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U of L's Neville Pinto Named Cincinnati President

The University of Cincinnati has named as its new president the current acting president at the University of Louisville.

The Ohio school's board of trustees met Saturday and approved Neville Pinto as the 30th president for the public university of more than 44,000 students. Pinto is a former longtime University of Cincinnati chemical engineering professor.

A presidential search committee has been looking for a new president since Santa Ono left to lead the University of British Columbia in June.

Pinto will leave U of L in February. He is among several high-profile departures from U of L since former President James Ramsey was forced out earlier this year. They include chief financial and operating officer Harlan Sands and David Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs, who was given a $1.15 million buyout and has been under FBI investigation.

The announcement of Pinto's departure comes days after U of L and its nonprofit foundation drew a harsh rebuke from Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon.

"As acting provost and then acting president, I have gained a great appreciation for my faculty and staff colleagues throughout the university," Pinto said in a statement Saturday. "I am constantly impressed with the quality of our outstanding students. Together, we faced a number of challenges in recent months, but I am confident that the worst is behind us and a bright future lies ahead for the University of Louisville."

U of L trustees chair Larry Benz thanked Pinto in a statement Saturday. He said he and Pinto are discussing a transition plan.

"I will also consult with the faculty, staff and student representatives to obtain their thoughts and input," Benz said. "A meeting of the board of trustees will be scheduled in the near future to plan for this change in leadership such that we have some overlap and ongoing continuity and momentum going into 2017."

The U of L trustees have yet to begin a formal search to replace Ramsey, who resigned in September. There are currently five vacancies on the 20-member board that Gov. Matt Bevin could fill.

Beverly Davenport, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Cincinnati, had been serving as interim president. The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously approved the appointment of Davenport as the first female chancellor of that public university system's flagship campus in Knoxville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.