President Drake on the record
Today, 10 days after arriving in Columbus, Ohio State’s new president Dr. Michael V. Drake sat in his campus office in Bricker Hall, walls still empty, to talk about his future at the university. He spoke first about why he and his wife, Brenda, chose to uproot their life on the West Coast—Drake assumes this role after leading the University of California-Irvine since 2005—and move to Ohio for the job. “It was the combination of the iconic nature of this academic research university, the public mission of this university, and the great opportunity to have an impact on higher education broadly because of the size and importance of this university.” He added that the people he met throughout the process, including students, faculty and members of the community, were a critical part of his decision.
He spoke quickly as he fielded questions ranging from his philosophy on fundraising—“I think our job is to show why this is the place where your support will make the most difference to the most people”—to his role in filling the position of medical center CEO, which will be open at the end of this year. An ophthalmologist by training, he says he has a few candidates in mind.
But most questions will be left unanswered until Drake is able to make his mark on the university and tackle some of the issues at hand. As he puts it, “that’s the proof of the pudding.”
By sheer nature of his position, Drake is a person with whom the entire Ohio State and Columbus community will be fascinated over the coming months and years; suffice it to say we have much more to learn about him, and look forward to seeing what he has in store for the storied university.