UC President Santa Ono strengthening ties with Northern Kentucky

ERLANGER, Ky. - University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono made a trip across the river to help build stronger ties with the Northern Kentucky community on Tuesday.

He said the entire Tri-State will benefit if everyone worked together instead of competing, during the Eggs 'N Issues breakfast for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

"We have to do a better job of aligning what happens in our schools and universities with what's needed in workforce development," he said.

Ono said the region is well on its way to becoming world-class. He began several joint programs with Northern Kentucky University President Geoff Mearns.

During the breakfast, Ono touted the new partnership with Chongqing University in China.  UC will establish its curriculum in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and offer faculty instruction in the two majors under the new agreement.  Close to 100 Chinese students are expected to enroll by fall via the Joint Co-op Institute.

The 28th UC President also thanked companies like Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, General Cable Corp., and L'oreal USA,  for providing co-ops to students.

Ono, a former faculty member at Harvard University, said the perception of UC has changed from a commuter school to a highly competitive institution. He added that diversity in education and industry is vital for area growth.

"There is no right college or university for every young man or woman and there is a good place, a good fit for many different kinds of individuals," he said.

The technically savvy president said he uses social media to connect with students and alumni.  He has more than 18,000 Twitter followers and claims he coined the hashtag #HottestCollegeinAmerica to describe UC.  He also told the audience that starting this week, they can connect with him on Instagram.

Although the university more than 41,000 students from all 50 states and 100 countries, Ono said the change starts at a local level.

"UC cannot reach higher without our entire region joining forces to make this place better. "We're in this, we're all in this together," he said.

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