UBC president Santa J. Ono to take the reins at University of Michigan

Rumours that UBC is set to lose its president to another university were confirmed Wednesday.

Santa J. Ono has been announced as the finalist in the University of Michigan’s search, due to his “passion for his profession” and because he “checked many, many boxes.”

The reports first began circulating on Tuesday, after the Detroit Free Press said that “multiple sources with direct knowledge” had heard that Ono would be announced as the new top boss at the University of Michigan.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents called a special session to announce the new president, and voted unanimously in favour of his appointment.

“I am humbled and honoured to be named its 15th President. This is a remarkable day for me and for my family,” Ono said.

Ono has served as UBC’s president since 2016 and has set himself apart for his social media presence as an avid Twitter user, as well as his role in navigating the university throughout the pandemic.

The doctor also sits on the Board of Directors of Universities Canada and is the Chair of the U15 Group of Universities.

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The Vancouver-born Ono’s ties to the U.S. run deep. Prior to his role at UBC, Ono was the president of the University of Cincinnati and professor of Pediatrics at the city’s children’s hospital.

He also studied at the University of Chicago, taught at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, and worked in advisement for GSK, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck, among others.

CityNews has reached out to UBC for comment on its search for a new president.

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