University of Cincinnati President Gregory Williams resigns

CINCINNATI - Gregory H. Williams, the 27th President of the University of Cincinnati, resigned Tuesday morning.

Williams had served as president of the university since November of 2009, during which time the school's enrollment hit record highs with more than 42,000 students this year.

The university board of trustees says Williams resigned because of personal reasons. The board said they are most appreciative of Dr. Williams' service and contributions to the university.

"This was totally his decision. It's personal. I do not wish to invade the president's privacy," said C. Francis Barrett, Chairman of the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees.

Provost Santa Jeremy Ono, PhD., has been appointed interim president. Ono is the senior vice president of academic affairs and both a pediatrics and biology professor at UC. More information about Ono can be found at

UC will make further announcements in the future with regard to a search committee for the university's next president. Williams' contract was through June of 2015 at an annual salary of $451,000. A severance package will be negotiated, officials say.

Williams launched a strategic plan, UC 2019-Accelerating Our Transformation, that was intended to help make UC, "a first-choice destination for students, patients, faculty, and staff," according to UC's website.

Before joining the University of Cincinnati Dr. Williams served as president of The City College of New York (CCNY), the flagship college of The City University of New York.

The following biographical information about Williams is from the University of Cincinnati website:

He has worked as a university administrator for over 30 years, serving in a variety of posts at The George Washington University, The University of Iowa and The Ohio State University. Prior to becoming CCNY's president, he was Dean of the Law School and Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law at The Ohio State University. Early in his career, Dr. Williams was a Deputy Sheriff, and he later worked as an aide to a U.S. Senator.

The author of three published books, he is best known for his award-winning and best-selling memoir, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black. As a result of his autobiography, he has been featured on a number of national programs including "Oprah," "Dateline NBC with Tom Brokaw," "Larry King Live," ABC's "Nightline with Ted Koppel" and "Fresh Air with Terri Gross" of National Public Radio.

In 1995, Life on the Color Line was selected as Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times. In 1996, the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America named Life on the Color Line an "Outstanding Book on the Subject of Human
Rights." It is often required reading for entering students at U.S. colleges and universities. President Williams also has written a number of articles and book reviews for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and other publications.

Dr. Williams currently serves on the board of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Consortium. He is also a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee, the Strive Executive Committee and the CincyTech Executive Committee. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a past Chair of the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE) of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU, formerly the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges) and a past president of the Association of American Law Schools.

Dr. Williams has received numerous awards. Among them are the "Governor's Tribute to African-American Leaders of Excellence in State Service" (2004) from New York Governor George Pataki for his significant contributions to the people of the state, the Austrian Cross of Honor in Science and Art, First Class (2006), and the "Dean of the Year" award given by the National Association of Public Interest Law (1999). He also was the first recipient of the National Bar Association's A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Preservation of Human and Civil Rights (1999).

President Bill Clinton invited Dr. Williams to the White House in 1998 as part of his "Call to Action" to promote pro bono work and diversity in the legal profession.

President Williams has earned five degrees, including a JD and PhD from George Washington University, and he holds five honorary doctorates. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

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