Welcome President Pinto
The University of Cincinnati (UC) will welcome it’s 30th president in February 2017. Neville Pinto, PhD was named UC’s next president on December 17th by the UC Board of Trustees.
Currently, President-Elect Pinto, is serving as the acting president and professor of chemical engineering at the University of Louisville. Pinto has a long history with UC and many are excited for his return.
Pinto served for 26 years on UC’s faculty in chemical engineering. During this time, he held numerous administrative roles including Department Head for Chemical Engineering, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering, and, most recently, Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School.
In 2011, Pinto left UC and joined the University of Louisville as the Dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. In 2015, he was named Interim Provost and most recently he is serving as the universities’ acting president.
The search for UC’s president started in August after former President Santa Ono, PhD, left UC to become the President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
College of Allied Health Sciences Dean, Tina Whalen, EdD, was one of the members of the presidential search committee that had a hand in choosing our 30th president.
The university has a specific composition that makes up a presidential search committee (as outlined in University Rule 3361:10-6-01). A full list of search committee members can be found at the bottom of this article. As the Chairman of the Dean’s Council it made sense that Whalen would represent the university deans on the search.
Prior to beginning the search, the committee held sessions across the university to collect feedback about what stakeholders wanted in their next president. Based off of these conversations the committee knew that they couldn’t replicate former President Santa Ono, but they needed to find a candidate that was in touch with students. These sessions also made it clear that faculty and students wanted a president who ascribed by the values of the institution and who would not see UC as a stepping stone opportunity.
After reviewing and interviewing the pool of candidates the committee recommended four finalists who then had further interviews with a number of stakeholder representatives. The final decision was solely with the Board of Trustees.
“We were committed to getting the best possible candidate” Whalen said about the presidential search committee. To ensure that the committee had the highest quality pool they also had to protect the antinomy of the candidates for as long as they could.
“President Pinto offered the best of both worlds” says Whalen. “He has a history and knowledge of the university and has developed new experiences and skills while at the University of Louisville.”
It was also important to the committee that Pinto made it clear that he wanted to come back to Cincinnati. “He intends to come here and establish himself in the university and the community” says Whalen.
During his past years at UC, Pinto showed he was an advocate for the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Academic Health Center.
While he was dean of the graduate school, he worked with CAHS on a number of programs including:
- Approving the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program, a program that will surpass 200 graduates this year.
- Moving the genetic counseling from CAHS to the College of Medicine. He was able to save the program by finding it another home, showing that he put students at the forefront of his decisions.
- Supporting early conversations about the development of our Master of Occupational Therapy program which is currently in the final stages of accreditation.
Whalen says she excited about Pinto’s arrival. “He is thoughtful, a good listener and very process-oriented when it comes to decision making” she says. She also notes that she has received unsolicited messages from past and present faculty at the university who share in her excitement. Many of them say they have had positive interactions with Pinto over the years and thank the committee for their time during the search.
As UC approaches its Bicentennial year, it now has a leader that can help take our rising institution to new heights. The campus is eager to see what 2017 with President Pinto will bring.
Search Committee Members
Rob Richardson, chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee
Shakila Ahmad, UC Foundation Board of Trustees
C. Francis Barrett, Past Chairman, UC Board of Trustees
Thomas D. Cassady, UC Board of Trustees
Phil D. Collins, UC Board of Trustees
Thomas H. Humes, Past Chairman, UC Board of Trustees
Ericka King-Betts, Community Member
Richard P. Lofgren, President and CEO, UC Health
W. Troy Neat, UC Alumni Association
Mitchell A. Phelps, Undergraduate Student Government
Robert Probst, Dean, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning
Sid Thatham, Graduate Student Government, Vice President
Tina F. Whalen, Dean, College of Allied Health Sciences
Faculty Member, elected by Faculty Senate
Faculty Member, elected by Faculty Senate
Ohio Department of Higher Education Designee, Gary Cates, Vice Chancellor for the Ohio Board of Regents
Watch an interview with President Pinto here: http://www.uc.edu/president30.html