Dr. Michael Drake is the Barack Obama of Ohio State University. He’s the first black president to ever call the shots in OSUs 144-year history, University Herald reports.
Drake, 63, was the fifth chancellor at UC Irvine, University of California. He has impressed OSUs Board of Trustees with an outstanding resume: Under Drake’s direction, UC Irvine has seen undergraduate applications skyrocket by 90 percent, the graduation rate increased by 20 percent, and he introduced new programs including nursing science, pharmaceutical sciences, and public health.
From the very beginning Drake was the focus of our attention because of his experience and qualities, said William Funk, the head of a search firm who was on the hunt for OSUs new president. Dr. Drake was the strongest and the consensus candidate, said Jeffrey Wadsworth, an Ohio State University trustee who directed the search.
Drake, who earned an undergrad degree from Stanford University and a medical degree from UC San Francisco, is replacing Gordon Gee who retired after bad-mouthing Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, and the Southeastern conference.
Despite Gee’s awkward resignation, he has nothing but praise for OSU’s first black president. “He’s a world-class academic and an exceptionally able and seasoned higher education leader,” Gee said. Drake, who knows Gee for several years now, hopes to work with him on a professional basis, University Herald notes.
“This university is outstanding but its also a university thats clearly on the move,” Drake said toThe Lantern.
Drake an optometrist by trade is OSUs 15th president. His five-year term will begin on June 30, the Lantern says, with an $800,000 salary. Nice!