Education, News

Dr. Michael Drake has been named president of the University of California

He is the first Black man to hold the post in the school’s 151- year history.


Michael V. Drake, M.D., has been named the 21st and the first African American president of the University of California in its 151-year history.

Dr. Michael Drake (pictured) has been named president of the University of Californa

Dr. Drake succeeds Janet Napolitano, who announced she is retiring in August after leading the U of C for seven years. Napolitano was U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama. She also was governor of Arizona.

The UC Board of Regents selected Dr. Drake to lead the University of California after a 10- month search. The University of California is one of the world’s most-renowned universities. It is comprised of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff.

The University of California is a public university system in California. The system is composed of campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

Dr. Drake, 69, will assume the presidency in September. Before taking over the leadership at the University of California, he was president of Ohio State University from 2014 until this past week.

His selection as president returns him to California. Prior to leaving to lead Ohio State University, his entire academic career had been at the University of California.

He was chancellor of the UC Irvine for 2005 to 2014. Under his leadership, Dr. Drake enhanced UC Irvine’s reputation as a premier university. He also served as systemwide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005.

“Much has changed in the 15 years since I was given the privilege of becoming chancellor at UC Irvine, but not my absolute belief in a great university and its time-honored mission,” he said.

Dr. Drake earned an A.B. from Stanford University and his residency, M.D. , and a fellowship in ophthalmology from the University of California at San Francisco. He spent more than two decades at UCSF School of Medicine as the Steven Shearing Professor of Medicine.

His leadership at Ohio State University was marked by record-high applications and graduation rates, groundbreaking research and donor support. Dr. Drake has co-authored six books and written numerous articles.

The Board of Regents approved an annual salary of $890,000 per year. Dr. Drake also will be appointed a tenured professor at the University of California San Francisco.





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