The University of California Board of Regents unanimously named Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake, M.D., as the next president of the 10-campus UC system.
Drake, 69, is the 21st UC president, succeeding the retiring Janet Napolitano. When he assumes the helm in August, he will be the first person of color to lead the UC system. He has almost four decades experience in the UC system, first as a medical student, then as a faculty member, systemwide vice president for health affairs, and a chancellor.
The tenure of UC Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox intersected with Drake’s tenure as chancellor of UC Irvine from 2005 to 2014, when Drake became president of The Ohio State University. Drake, who is a ophthalmologist, was an adviser on the founding of UCR’s School of Medicine.
“He knows all the campuses, and he knows the state,” said Wilcox, chancellor of UC Riverside since 2013. “Michael is a wise and thoughtful leader, never afraid to do the right thing at the right time.”
He and Wilcox serve on the board of the University Innovation Alliance, a group of 11 public universities working to improve college access for low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. Drake is on the steering committee for the American Talent Initiative, or ATI, of which UCR is a member. ATI seeks to improve access for low- and moderate-income students.
“Michael has committed and contributed broadly to equity in public universities across the nation,” Wilcox said.
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