Dr. Michael V. Drake became the 15th president of The Ohio State University on June 30, 2014, following three decades of service as a higher education leader with the University of California. He also served as a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology (School of Medicine) and Education (School of Education). Dr. Drake outlined a vision for the university’s future focused on making progress in three areas by 2020: providing access to an excellent and affordable education; extending the university’s outreach with an emphasis on promoting food security; and celebrating diversity as a defining characteristic and source of strength. As part of this Vision, he 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 be generated through administrative efficiencies, and another $200 million will be developed from innovative financing strategies that don't rely on tuition or tax dollars. 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. 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. The overall goal for the grant program will be to increase scholarship support by $100 million by 2020.
As chancellor at UC Irvine, from July 2005 to June 2014, Dr. Drake led the university with a focus on excellence and inclusivity. During his tenure, the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented minorities increased by nearly 60 percent. In 2014, more than 60 percent of the entering freshmen were first-generation students, and more than 40 percent came from lower-income families – both percentages among the highest in the nation.
Prior to that, he 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.