During the past 19 years, Joseph Steger dramatically transformed the University of Cincinnati with more than $1 billion 's in capital projects. As he retires today (see column on next page), he can claim credit for turning the Clifton campus into a stunning collection of buildings designed by internationally acclaimed architects.
Former University of Cincinnati President Joseph Steger carries a box of personal items from his office to his car as he leaves his office for the very last time Monday afternoon.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
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When Steger launched the master rebuilding plan a decade ago, he pragmatically recognized that UC lacked facilities that would help draw quality faculty. If faculty wouldn't come, he reasoned, neither would students. UC now is Ohio's second-largest public university, with more than 33,000 students and a record freshman class this year.
Steger has guided UC into a nationally-ranked research center, greatly increasing the number of top-flight researchers on campus. As state subsidies have shrunk, Steger continuously sought new avenues of funding. The UC budget has almost tripled since 1984, to more than $753 million now. The endowment is approaching $1 billion and UC now earns more than $260 million a year in research funding.
Steger often was the messenger of this unsettling news and the appointed pilot for many stormy changes. He had plenty of critics. But the skills essential to run a university shift with the times. Many Cincinnatians believe that Joe Steger was the right man for those times.
Today, as he turns the university over to its new president, Nancy Zimpher, we join others throughout this community in thanking Dr. Steger for his leadership and service.
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