Ohio State University rolled out the red carpet on Monday to welcome new president Dr. Michael Drake.
This comes after a seven-month search for OSU’s new president ended in January with the selection of the former University of California-Irvine chancellor as the 15th president.
Drake tells 10TV one of the first things he will do on his first day is take a tour of the campus, as well as meet with faculty and students.
“This is like the first day of school for me. I've always been excited those first days to meet the people of the institution. Students are great to meet on the first day and I think their families will be with them. I also really like meeting staff, the people we often walk by without noticing. They're the backbone of the institution.”
Dr. Drake says he’s already prepared to take off his jacket and roll up his sleeves - ready to get started. He acknowledged budget constraints and a move to make college affordable as two of his biggest challenges at Ohio State.
Drake also told faculty and students on Monday what drew him to Ohio State is the iconic status of the school, as well as his positive experiences with students, faculty and alumni.
Meanwhile, Ohio State Board members say one of the big things they were looking for in a new president was a vision for the school. They say we'll see some of Drake’s forward thinking in the coming months.
He replaces former president Gordon Gee, who retired last year after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public.
Gee is now president at West Virginia University, returning to a position he first held in 1981.
Drake will earn about $1 million annually in total compensation, or about half what Gee made.