It all started on November 3, 2010. That was the day when Santa Ono sent out his first tweet. It was an invitation for an event at the University of Cincinnati where Ono was then serving as provost.
In 2012, Ono became the president of the university. And that's when he took his engagement activities on Twitter to a whole new level. He didn't just broadcast content, he responded to comments, and used Twitter as a springboard for connection and community.
Ono quickly became a shining example of how a senior leader at a university could use social media for engagement.
Fast forward to the start of this week and Ono confirmed (via Twitter) what had previously been reported by IHE that he was moving on to a new position:
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to serve the Univ. of Cincinnati as your 28th President. I will miss you. https://t.co/TQ99ru1ULa— Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno) June 13, 2016
Four minutes before Ono's departure tweet, The University of British Columbia welcomed him back to Vancouver as their new president:
It's easy to highlight Ono's use of social media as a university president who "gets it." However, one of his leadership qualities that should always be mentioned is his openness to being vulnerable in digital spaces. Last month, in a tweet about mental illness, Ono shared that he had twice attempted suicide:
My message tonight: There should be no stigma for those with mental illness. I tried to take my own life 2X. We need to support each other— Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno) May 22, 2016
It wasn't the first time that Ono has disclosed his struggles with depression:
Read about 10 ways you can get past feelings of depression. There is no shame to depression. I've been there myself. pic.twitter.com/cCQ5RDqY6Y— Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno) September 10, 2015
We need more university leaders who are willing to be vulnerable on social media. Ono isn't just a leader on social media. He is a role-model who is showing us all what it means to lead with vulnerability.
What a privilege to participate in today's White House Summit on Mental Health pic.twitter.com/6VNrqsaWnm— Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno) June 7, 2016
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