Michael V. Drake

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Michael V. Drake
Michael Drake.jpg
Dr. Michael V. Drake
15th President of the
Ohio State University
Assumed office
June 30, 2014
Preceded by Joseph A. Alutto
Personal details
Born Michael Vincent Drake
(1951-07-09) July 9, 1951 (age 64)
New York City, New York
Spouse(s) Brenda Drake
Residence Columbus, Ohio
Alma mater Stanford University
University of California, San Francisco
Profession Physician
Website Office of the President

Michael Vincent Drake (born July 9, 1951)[1] is an American physician and current president of The Ohio State University. He began his tenure as the 15th president of Ohio State on June 30, 2014.


Early years[edit]

Drake grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, until moving with his family to Sacramento, California.


Prior to joining Ohio State, he served as the fifth chancellor of the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Prior to his appointment at UCI, he had a dual appointment at the Office of the President of the University of California as the director of policy for the five University of California medical schools and other health sciences programs, while continuing to hold his long-held appointment at University of California, San Francisco in the department of ophthalmology.

Drake was a vocal opponent of Proposition 209, often leading forums on the UCSF campus to garner opposition to it. He is an African-American physician who graduated from Stanford University and attended medical school at UCSF. After an ophthalmology residency, his concentration was academic medicine, at one point responsible for the oversight of grants in excess of $10 million. He served as Director of Admissions at UCSF medical school and sat on the resident selection committee for the Department of Ophthalmology prior to his appointment at the Office of the President. His annual $350,000 salary remained unchanged from his previous position as Office of the President, up from $70,000 paid to the previous UCI chancellor. As of 2010 he earned $374,969.32.

During his time at UCI, he was well known for the public firing (and subsequent rehiring) of Erwin Chemerinsky as the school's dean of the School of Law.

On January 30, 2014, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees named Dr. Drake as the 15th president of The Ohio State University. He began his tenure at the university on June 30, 2014.[2]

Multiple Firing Scandals[edit]

University of California, Irvine (UCI)[edit]

Drake's first major firing scandal, at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), was to fire the Dean of the UCI Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky.[3] On September 20, 2007, Chemerinsky was approved by the Regents of the University of California as the founding dean of the planned University of California, Irvine School of Law, resolving a hiring controversy. After signing a contract on September 4, 2007, the hire was rescinded by UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake, because he felt the law professor's commentaries were "polarizing" and would not serve the interests of California's first new public law school in 40 years; Drake claimed the decision was his own and not the subject of any outside influence.

The action was criticized by both liberal and conservative scholars who felt it hindered the academic mission of the law school, and few believed Chancellor Drake's claims that it was not the result of outside influence. The issue was the subject of an editorial in The New York Times on Friday, September 14. Details emerged revealing that UCI had received criticism on the hire from California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky's grasp of death penalty appeals, as well as a group of prominent Orange County Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who wanted to stop the appointment. Drake traveled over a weekend to Durham, North Carolina, and the two reached an agreement late Sunday evening.

On September 17, Chemerinsky issued a joint press release with UCI Chancellor Michael V. Drake indicating that Chemerinsky would head the UCI law school, stating "Our new law school will be founded on the bedrock principle of academic freedom. The chancellor reiterated his lifelong, unqualified commitment to academic freedom, which extends to every faculty member, including deans and other senior administrators."

The Ohio State University (OSU)[edit]

Drake's second major firing scandal, at The Ohio State University (OSU), was to fire marching band director Jon Waters.[4] Subsequently, concerns were raised by some regarding the investigation that led to this firing. In addition, Waters has sued for reinstatement, accusing the university, President Drake and a provost of discriminating against him by disciplining him differently than a female employee and denying him due process. [5] [6][7][8] To date, Drake has stood by his decision to terminate Waters as marching band director.[9] As of January 2015, the university had spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer-provided funding in defense of the decision and subsequent actions.[10] Invoices requested under Ohio's public records laws were heavily redacted, leading to more questions about what work the university had paid certain firms to perform.[11]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ Yost, Denise (2014-01-30). "Ohio State Announces Dr. Michael Drake As New President". NBC4i.com. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  3. ^ Erwin Chemerinsky
  4. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/26/ohio-state-band-controversy-again-puts-university-in-spotlight/
  5. ^ Binkley, Collin (27 September 2014). "Fired band director Waters sues OSU". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Alum: Claim vs. director 'absurd'". Associated Press. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Yost, Denise (19 August 2014). "NBC4 Fact Checks OSU President's Remarks About TBDBITL Report". NBC4i. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Yost, Denise (18 August 2014). "Did Ohio State's Band Investigation Follow Best Practices?". NBC4i. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Yost, Denise (13 August 2014). "OSU President Closes Door To Rehiring Band Director". NBC4i. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Binkley, Collin (24 January 2015). "Ohio State bills for band investigation and defense pushing $1 million". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Binkley, Collin (24 January 2015). "Ohio State bills for band investigation and defense pushing $1 million". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Joseph A. Alutto (interim)
Ohio State University President
Succeeded by