Michael V. Drake, MD
15th president (June 30, 2014 – present)
b. July 9, 1950
Dr. Michael V. Drake's service in higher education spans nearly four decades and includes senior leadership roles at universities and national organizations dedicated to advancing education. He became the 15th president of The Ohio State University on June 30, 2014.
His vision for the university’s future focuses on access, affordability and excellence, with an emphasis on groundbreaking research and modern and effective teaching. Other focus areas include deepening the university's community engagement and advancing inclusive excellence and diversity.
As evidence of his steadfast commitment to access and affordability, Dr. Drake directed the university to identify $400 million by 2020 to lower the cost and improve the value of students' Ohio State education. At least $200 million will be generated through administrative efficiencies, and another $200 million will be developed from innovative financing strategies.
In June 2015, the university instituted a comprehensive freeze on costs for in-state undergraduate students for the first time in at least 40 years. The comprehensive freeze was extended to 2016-17. In addition, the university launched the President's Affordability Grant program, which provided $15 million in need-based grants to more than 12,000 low- and middle-income students. In 2016-17, the program expanded to direct $20 million in grants to 15,700 undergraduates, bringing the total investment in the program over two years to $35 million. Dr. Drake is committed to increasing need-based scholarship support by $100 million by 2020.
From July 2005 to June 2014, Dr. Drake served as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. He also served as a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology (School of Medicine) and Education (School of Education). As chancellor, Dr. Drake played a crucial role in advancing the university's sustainability efforts and increasing minority enrollment. In 2014, UC Irvine ranked No. 1 nationally on Sierra Magazine's list of the "Ten Coolest Schools" for improving its energy efficiency and sustainability.
In his last five years at UC Irvine, the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented minority groups increased by nearly 60 percent. Additionally, in 2014, more than 60 percent of entering freshmen were first-generation students, and more than 40 percent came from lower-income families. Both percentages are among the highest in the nation.
Prior to serving as UC Irvine chancellor, Dr. Drake served for five years as vice president for health affairs for the University of California system, overseeing academic program policy at the system’s 15 health sciences schools, located on seven campuses. He also spent more than two decades on the faculty of the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, ultimately becoming the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology and senior associate dean.
Dr. Drake is an alumnus of Stanford University (BA) and UC San Francisco (MD), and holds three honorary degrees. He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous honors and awards for teaching, public service and research, including the Burbridge Award for Public Service, the Asbury Award (clinical science) and the Michael J. Hogan Award (laboratory science). In 2014, he became the 27th person to be awarded the University of California Presidential Medal, in recognition of his exemplary career of service to the university.
Dr. Drake has served as trustee and national president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and as chair of the board of trustees of the Association of Academic Health Centers. He has been named vice chair of the Association of American Universities for 2016-17 and will serve as chair for 2017-18. He currently serves on the AAU Membership Committee and is completing a three-year term on the board of directors. He also serves in leadership roles for the American Talent Initiative, University Innovation Alliance, National Collegiate Athletic Association and B1G 10 and as chair of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
In 2015, Dr. Drake was appointed to the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. He has had a lifelong interest in music (notably rock and jazz), plays guitar and teaches courses on the music of the civil rights movement.
A New York City native, Dr. Drake has always maintained a fondness for Ohio, as his mother grew up and graduated from high school in Youngstown. Now, he and his wife, Brenda, live in Columbus. They have two grown sons and four grandchildren.
Updated February 2017