The First Black President in the 152-Year History of the University of California System

Michael V. Drake has been named the 21st president of the University of California. He will be the first African American president in the 152-year history of the university system.

The system includes 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students, and 230,000 faculty and staff. Dr. Drake will earn a salary of $890,000 and will be appointed to a tenured faculty post at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Drake, who had served as president of Ohio State University since June 2014, announced last fall that he would step down as president at the end of the 2019-20 academic year but would remain on the Ohio State faculty. Dr. Drake was the fifteenth president of Ohio State and the first African American to serve in the post.

President Drake served as chair of the board of directors of the Association of American Universities from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, he became the first Ohio State president in nearly four decades to serve as chair of the board of directors for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the oldest higher education association in North America. And in 2019, Drake was elected chair of the board of governors of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Before being named president at Ohio State, Dr. Drake was chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. He had held that post from 2005 to 2014. Earlier, he was the director of education and research for the 15 health science schools of the University of California System.

“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 this great university and its time-honored mission,” Dr. Drake said. “I look forward to working with the regents, chancellors, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our broader community as we, together, guide the university through the challenging times ahead.

Dr. Drake began pursuing his higher education at Sacramento City College but transferred and graduated from Stanford University. He earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco. An ophthalmologist, he began his academic career as an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Cornell Leverette Moore says:

    Congratulations. You/We deserve it. Keep on keeping on. Let us all celebrate and support you. Call us all to help and support you.
    Good luck!!!!!!

  2. Ja'Net says:

    This is huge. Congratulations! Much prayer, much power.

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