University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono turns down a bonus for third year in a row

Donates $200,000 to scholarships, charities

CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono has once again turned down his yearly bonus, this time asking that his $200,000 bonus instead be given to 14 scholarships and charities.

Santa Ono

 Ono, who has been president since late 2012, has rejected his annual bonus each of the three full years that he's led the school. This year, he asked that $10,000 be given to the family of Cincinnati Police Officer Sony Kim, who was shot and killed last week in the line of duty. Ono asked that the remaining $190,000 be divided among 13 others:

• 10 $5,000 UC scholarships
• 10 $2,000 staff awards
• $10,000 for the faculty Senate to use at its discretion
• $15,000 for Gen-1 House, which houses and supports first-generation college students
• $15,000 for Hughes STEM High School
• $15,000 for Taft Information Technology High School
• $10,000 for DePaul Cristo Rey School
• $10,000 for the Reds Community Fund
• $5,000 for UC's LGBTQ Center
• $10,000 for Cincinnati Young Artists
• $10,000 for MyCincinnati Ambassador Ensemble
• $10,000 for Center for Respite Care
• $10,000 for Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses

Ono also rejected a raise to his base salary, which will remain at $520,000.

UC board of trustees members, who met Tuesday, were effusive in their praise of Ono's performance as president and of his three-year tradition of redirecting his bonus to others.

"This may sound crazy, but it's hard for us when someone turns down a raise," Board President Tom Humes said. "But we've learned that the way to satisfy President Ono is to give him the ability to help others. It's not to help him. We heartily endorse his decision."

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