Michael V. Drake's retirement was pretty short-lived.
Just a week after he left his post as the president of Ohio State University, Drake was announced as the 21st president of the University of California system. The move marks the first time a Black person has ever held the position in the system's 152-year history.
"Dr. Drake personifies the qualities we looked for in selecting a new president: He is committed to seeing the whole student and to supporting all our students. He recognizes the incalculable value of faculty and staff to the University’s mission, and he understands the importance of the public and private partnerships that help us achieve that mission," John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents, said in a statement. "As the first person of color to serve as UC president, Dr. Drake returns to UC at an important point in the University’s journey. This is a homecoming the University of California is very excited to be celebrating early."
Prior to becoming OSU's president, Drake had spent nearly a decade serving as the chancellor at UC-Irvine and about five years as vice chancellor for health affairs for the University of California. He's also a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, which further underscores his long history with the 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," 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. Brenda and I are thrilled to be back. Fiat Lux!"
Drake will officially take on the president role next month, when current President Janet Napolitano steps down from the position after seven years. According to a UC press release, the board has approved Drake's salary at $890,000, slightly less than what he earned at OSU. The Los Angeles Times reports Drake agreed to take a 10 percent pay cut until June 2021, as the system tries to recover from the financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are about 285,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff members across 10 campuses in the UC system.