Santa Ono greets students on campus in Ann Arbor as he starts University of Michigan presidency

President Santa J. Ono talks with students during a recent campus visit. (Eric Bronson | Michigan Photography)

ANN ARBOR – Santa Ono officially started his five-year term as the 15th president of the University of Michigan on Friday.

He came to U-M from the University of British Columbia, where he served as president and vice chancellor since 2016.

As he steps into the new role, he said in a recent interview published by the university that he knows he has the important task of rebuilding trust on campus.

“I have to earn that trust,” he told the editors of The University Record and Michigan Today. “And it’s something I have to earn by first listening to the community. I’ve been doing that over the past three months, and I hope that people see that I’m beginning by listening.”

U-M’s official Twitter account released a one-minute video of Ono walking around the Ann Arbor campus and greeting students and staff with handshakes, high fives and selfies.

President Santa J. Ono joins in a selfie with U-M students during a recent campus visit. (Eric Bronson | Michigan Photography)

At one point in the video, Ono jumps over the Block M on the Diag. Legend has it that if a student steps on it prior to their first final exam, they’ll fail it.

“I’m super excited to be here, listening to people, meeting people. Go Blue!” Ono said at the end of the clip.

A molecular immunologist, Ono holds degrees from the University of Chicago and McGill University. Prior to his appointment at UBC, he served as president of the University of Cincinnati and senior vice provost and deputy to the provost at Emory University.

Additionally, he has taught at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and University College London.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.