Ohio State University trustees yesterday officially introduced Michael Drake as the school's new president.
The 63-year-old Drake is the school's first African-American leader. The chancellor of the University of California-Irvine is a member of the NCAA board of directors, which should help OSU, given the recent scandals in the football and men's basketball programs. Drake, who was chosen from a list of five finalists, succeeds Gordon Gee, who retired last summer after his offensive remarks about Roman Catholics, Notre Dame and the Southeastern Conference were made public. Terms of Drake's contract have not been released. Gee was paid over 1 million dollars a year. Drake was a fundraiser at Irvine, something OSU trustees say was crucial in their selection. Drake says he was drawn to Columbus by OSU's power
Drake also talked power when asked how he plans to continue the school's land-grant tradition.
Drake also says his wife Brenda will be a partner in his leadership. He cites one example of that partnership from his days at Irvine.
Drake drew criticism from some professors at Irvine for his leadership style and from a group of Muslim students arrested in 2010 after disrupting an on-campus speech by an Israeli ambassador. The professors say he helped try to privatize Irvine. The final figures on how much the search for a new leader cost OSU have not been released, but information released during the search last year indicates the school has spent well over 300 thousand dollars. Drake takes over in June.