Ohio State University Names UC Irvine Chancellor As New President


UPDATED: Thursday January 30, 2014 6:46 PM

The Ohio State University has found its next president.

The Board of Trustees met on Thursday to officially hire Dr. Michael V. Drake.

Drake has served as chancellor at the University of California Irvine since 2005.

"I was educated starting in community college, then going to Stanford and UCSF Medical School, then I was a medical school faculty member for 30 years," Drake said.
            
The 64 year old ophthalmologist has held his current post since 2005 and helped establish the university’s new law school.

According to his university bio, Drake has led the launch of new health programs, oversaw the creation of the first new public law school in California in more than 40 years and established the UC Irvine School of Education. In addition to helping his university grow, Drake also serves as a member of the NCAA board of directors for college sports.

Drake comes to OSU with little to no name recognition, leaving some students with questions and others excited by the prospect of a fresh slate and a new beginning.

"A lot of people when they heard the news were like, who is this guy?” said OSU student Victoria Wabler. “Like what's going on?"

"I don't know who this guy is,” said OSU student Mike Durda. “But I’d like to know more."

“Our ultimate goal with our students is that we grow the whole person," Drake said.
            
He refers to his four pillars as excellence in academics, research, character, and leadership.

"I'm glad they finally picked a president. That's better than having no one there, but I really liked Gordon Gee. He was a good guy, he was a good president," said student Sal Ashshabani.

"For this big of a school, I thought we'd get someone well-known and I'm pretty sure most of us - my roommate and I both don't even know who this guy is," said student Brian Yang.

Drake will be the first black president at OSU and the 15th person to lead the university.

"It definitely means something to me," said Sable Wallace, President of OSU's Black Student Association.
            
On a campus that in recent years has dealt with racial tensions, she is excited by the prospect of a black leader.

"This kind of opens the doors to a lot of other things,” she said. “Because I know African Americans for a while have been fighting for equal representation in faculty and staff."

Drake’s first official day at OSU will be June 30.

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