The University of Cincinnati's 24th President, Joseph Steger, has died. Steger led the university from July 1984 through September 2003. A release from the university says his 19 year term is the second longest in UC's history.
Steger came to UC in 1982 as Senior Vice President and Provost, recruited by then-president Henry Winkler. At the time, he was director of organizational development and human resources for Colt Industries.
During Steger's tenure the University adopted the Campus Master Plan and was known for fiscal responsibility. One survey named UC the most fiscally efficient university studied.
He began his academic career in 1966 at The State University of New York (SUNY), where he was named outstanding educator in 1971. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), he directed a project studying the early identification of management talent in engineering and science. He was named dean of RPI’s School of Management in 1974, vice president for administration and budget in 1977, and was acting provost for the 1978-79 academic year.
At UC, Steger oversaw the revitalization of the school's undergraduate curriculum -particularly in adapting to online and digital tools- and supported innovative programs in teacher education, international co-op, and university wide honors classes.
He served as chairman and was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, a cooperative technology transfer program involving state and local governments and industry. He was involved in bringing the Drake Center into the University Medical Center and served as chair of the Drake board.
In 2004, the University of Cincinnati awarded Steger an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center, located in UC’s MainStreet district, was named in his honor.
"President Steger was instrumental in the preservation of WGUC and classical music radio," says Rich Eiswerth, Cincinnati Public Radio General Manager. "His leadership and good faith negotiating helped facilitate the license transfer of WGUC to a non-profit corporation whose sole purpose is the preservation of public radio in Cincinnati," Eiswerth says.
Steger is survived by his wife Carol, son Marty (husband of Rhonda Steger), daughter Tracy McClorey (wife of Jeff) and 3 grandchildren, Dillan, Natalie, and Zemmie.
He died Thursday at age 76.
Contributions can be made to the Joseph A. Steger Scholarship fund at the University of Cincinnati, or the Alois Alzheimer Center Foundation. A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced later.