Ohio State’s new president Michael Drake started his job today. Drake becomes the 15th president of the university. He met with faculty and staff this morning. Debbie Holmes of member station WOSU reports from Columbus.
OSU president Michael Drake faced reporters’ cameras and microphones as he arrived on campus to meet and greet university faculty and staff members.
“It feels wonderful to be here, it’s a great day and I’m really looking forward to it,” Drake said.
Inside Bricker Hall, the 63-year-old professor, physician-scientist, and longtime university leader told a crowd that he is ready to meet the challenges Ohio State faces. Drake said working with tight budgets will be one of those issues.
“This is an expensive enterprise for everyone, and we want to try to continue to improve the quality of what we do, do a better job for our students and for the people who work with us and to do that within reasonable means, and that’s always a challenge,” he said.
Drake said other challenges include staying competitive with other universities in a worldwide economy and helping families to afford a college education.
“My life has been focused on education and health care and those are two very important things to Central Ohio and the rest of the country at a time when both are under great stress," he said, "and so it’s a very exciting time to be involved."
OSU picked the former University of California-Irvine chancellor for the job in January. Drake is the first African-American president at OSU. When not on the job, Drake enjoys cycling and playing guitar.
“What they should know is that I look a lot better playing guitar than I sound," he joked. "So that’s the most important thing for you to think of."
Drake is scheduled to make about $1 million a year in total compensation, about half of what OSU paid former president Gordon Gee.