University of Michigan’s new president shares his vision for the institution

Public service and commitment to diversity are some items highlighting the university’s agenda, according to President Santa Ono.

Santa Ono stands in front of a University of Michigan sign

Santa Ono is introduced as the new president of the University of Michigan, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Ann Arbor. Ono becomes UM's 15th president and its first minority and Asian chief executive — the son of Japanese immigrants who came to the United States after World War II. The 59-year-old Ono has led the University of British Columbia for nearly six years after guiding the University of Cincinnati for four years.

The University of Michigan lost in dramatic fashion on Saturday to Texas Christian University, leaving many across the state disappointed. But while U-M is well-known for its football and basketball teams, producing excellent collegiate sports is just one part of the university’s role.

U-M is one of the largest public research institutions in the world and plays a significant role in the region. With an endowment of $17 billion, the university has a lot of room to spread its influence. And now, the university has a new president — Santa Ono.

“Focusing on diversity, and really the opportunity of education has been a passion of mine that I’ve worked on intensively for decades.” Santa Ono, University of Michigan

Listen: How the University of Michigan plans to serve the public, according to its new president.



Santa Ono is the newest president for the University of Michigan. He says that he is committed to improving diversity at the university.

“Focusing on diversity, and really the opportunity of education has been a passion of mine that I’ve worked on intensively for decades,” says Ono. “I think the Detroit-based Admissions Office is something we’re going to take a look at, because it’s a mechanism for us to support students in those communities in Detroit, with respect to applications and financial aid.”

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