On January 30th, 2014, Ohio State announced its 15th president: Michael Drake.
For more than three decades, Michael V. Drake has excelled as an innovative leader for the University of California and the broader field of higher education. On June 30, the chancellor of the University of California, Irvine will trade the West Coast for the heart of it all as he takes on a new role – 15th president of The Ohio State University.
“There are many things that attracted us to Columbus and to The Ohio State University,” Drake says of himself and his wife, Brenda. “The academic opportunity, quality of the people and the spirit of The Ohio State University is something that really extends through all four corners of the state.”
Ohio State’s Board of Trustees appointed Drake as the university’s next president on Thursday, January 30. The search committee selected Drake, in part, for his forward-thinking leadership and his demonstrated ability to lead a highly complex organization.
Drake, who has been chancellor of UC Irvine since 2005, is a medical doctor and longtime UC faculty member and administrator. He joined the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco in the late 1970s and rose through the ranks, serving for five years as vice president for health affairs for the UC system, overseeing academic program policy at UC’s 15 health sciences schools, located on seven campuses.
As chancellor, Drake has been responsible for substantial increases in the institution’s academic breadth and reach. He oversaw the creation of the first new public law school in California in more than 40 years, and successfully led the launch of several new programs in public health, pharmaceutical sciences and nursing science. The UC Irvine School of Education also was established under his leadership.
The New York City native already has a fondness for Ohio, as his mother grew up in Youngstown, and he would visit the state often as a child. Now, he and his wife are thrilled to start a new chapter of their lives in the Buckeye state.
“There is no more impactful university in the United States and in many ways in the world,” Drake says. “It is the center of the country, in many ways kind of at the heart of the country. It represents the land-grant research public universities – that is one of the things that makes this country so great. … The chance to be associated with such an institution is something that is just a wonderful opportunity.”