CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati community is in mourning after learning of the passing of the school's 24th president.
Joseph A. Steger, who was instrumental in the rebirth of the UC campus during his 19-year term as university president, died Thursday at the age of 76.
Steger's first day as UC president was July 6, 1984 and he held the position until Sept. 30, 2003. During that time, the second-longest term of any president in school history, he directed the dramatic rebirth of the university campus through the adoption of a world-renowned Campus Master Plan, launched in 1989.
He was also instrumental in helping the university achieve increasing fiscal responsibility during his presidency, with one survey naming UC the most fiscally efficient university studied, according to a press release from the University of Cincinnati.
As president, Steger oversaw the revitalization of the university's undergraduate curriculum, particularly in adapting to online and digital tools. According to the press release, he also supported innovative programs in teacher education, international co-op and university-wide honors classes.
During his tenure, Steger was also instrumental in establishing the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, a cooperative technology transfer program involving state and local governments and industry in addition to the university. He was involved in bringing Drake Center, the regional rehabilitation hospital, into the University Medical Center and served as chair of the Drake board.
Steger, who was born Feb. 17, 1937 in Philadelphia, was working in human resources for Colt Industries when he was recruited to come to the university and serve as senior vice president and provost in 1982 by then-president Henry R. Winkler.
He served as the chief academic officer and introduced programs to increase support for instructional equipment and library holdings while UC's provost.
Steger earned his PhD in psychophysics and MS in experimental psychology from Kansas State University after graduating with a degree in psychology from Gettysburg College, where he was named a distinguished alumnus in 1987.
He began his academic career in 1966 at SUNY, where he was named outstanding educator in the SUNY system for 1971. He also spent time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While at RPI he was named dean of the School of Management in 1974, vice president for administration and budget in 1977, and was acting provost for the 1978-79 academic year.
According to the press release from UC, Steger consulted worldwide with both government and private organizations throughout his career. He served as a consulting for New York City Police and Tax departments, ARAMCO, General Electric, National Science Foundation, Texaco and the People's Republic of China. He also served on various state and federal advisory boards and commissions.
Steger leaves behind his wife, Carol; son Marty (husband of Rhonda Steger); daughter Tracy McClorey (wife of Jeff); and three grandchildren, Dillan, Natalie, and Zemmie. Both of his children are UC graduates, and two of his grandchildren are currently attending the university.
Steger's legacy will continue on at UC thanks in part to the Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center, located on UC's MainStreet district, which houses offices and meeting spaces for student groups and organizations.
The University of Cincinnati is yet to determine a time and location for Steger's memorial service.
Contributions can be made to the Joseph A. Steger Scholarship fund at the University of Cincinnati, or the Alois Alzheimers Center Foundation.
You can learn more information about Steger's lasting legacy at the University of Cincinnati by visiting the following link: http://ow.ly/kT3lf
Share a memory you have of Joseph A. Steger or leave a condolence for his family in the comment section below.
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