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Eye on Education

Michael Drakes Brings Health Sciences Experience to New Job as OSU President

Chancellor Drake - UC Irvine

PHOTO COURTESY OF UCI / UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE

Michael Drake, the newly appointed president of Ohio State University, comes with strong credentials, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

As the chancellor at the University of California, Irvine for nine years, Drake helped the campus open a new law school.  Under his leadership, undergraduate admissions applications increased 90 percent and the graduation rate increased 19 percent, according to the school’s website.

He’s a medically trained opthamologist and has experience fundraising $800 million.

But as Mandie Trimble from our partner WOSU reports, Drake is upfront about the challenges he’ll face in his new move to Columbus.

“I’m at an institution now that has a budget of just over $2 billion a year, that’s a lot, here it’s $5 billion. We have nearly 30,000 students. Here it’s more than 60,000,” Drake said during a press conference Thursday.

“The academic medical center here is twice as large. The level of intensity and heft and important and weight of this university are as great as any that exists.”

Drake does have some experience leading health programs.   Prior to his role at UCI, he oversaw health programs at 15 health sciences schools across the University of California campuses.  The LA Times reports he’s also credited with helping to improve the reputation of UCI’s medical school, a program once under intense scrutiny after 30 patients died waiting for a liver transplant.

One thing missing from Drake’s resume is experience presiding over a school with a dynamic football team.  But he does sit on the board of directors for the National Collegiate Athletic Association until 2016.

Drake replaces Gordon Gee, who retired last summer.

The details of Drake’s contract—including his salary and length of term at OSU—are still under negotiation.

He’s set to begin the job on June 30th.

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