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New OSU President Expected to Improve Diversity Development

OHIO STATE CAMPUS (Maria Durant/Kate Liebers) -- Dr. Michael Drake traded in his UC Irvine blue and gold for scarlet and gray Thursday, as he was appointed the new Ohio State University president.

Drake had been the chancellor at the University of California Irvine since 2005, receiving an annual salary of more than $400,000. He said he is accustomed to receiving inquiry letters from universities, but the one from Ohio State stood out. 

"The opportunity to join this community was something that was a dream come true, really, for anyone who's interested in this kind of work."

Before selecting Drake, the OSU Presidential Search Committee had said it was looking for a new president with a strong background in developing diversity. Drake seems up for the task.

Since his appointment at UC Irvine, the undergraduate admission increased by more than 90 percent. ABC 6/FOX 28 also obtained footage of Drake leading a panel discussion with students and faculty about how cultural background can enhance a school.

Drake's appointment comes at a pivotal time for the university. Ohio State is in the midst of new medical projects, and Drake's background is crucial. The newly elected president has led the launch of new programs in public health, pharmaceutical sciences and nursing sciences. He was also at the helm of a huge expansion at UC Irvine Health Douglas Hospital, which added 500,000 square feet to the existing building.

Drake said he is ready to get to work at Ohio State. He is scheduled to assume office June 30. 

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