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OSU Releases New Presidential Contract; Drake to Earn $800K

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines/Kate Liebers) -- The Ohio State University Board of Trustees named current University of California, Irvine Chancellor Dr. Michael Drake as the next president of OSU.

Drake was officially introduced as the university's 15th president on Thursday afternoon, following a morning meeting at the Longaberger Alumni House.

He is to assume office June 30, according to OSU. The university released the terms of his contract on Friday.

Per the contract, Drake will earn an annual salary of $800,000 -- nearly twice what he was earning at UC Irvine. He is also entitled to receive an annual credit of $200,000 under a deferred compensation arrangement.

Drake stated in a release that it was "a tremendous honor to be asked to serve as president of The Ohio State University."

The university embodies and defines the mission of a modern land-grant institution," he said. "In every sense one can imagine, the university is demonstrating national leadership in developing the model for public higher education. I am thankful for the boards confidence and eager to begin my duties.

Read the full Ohio State University announcement here.

Drake, 64, has held the chancellorship at the UC-Irvine since 2005, following a term as the the Vice President of Health Affairs for the California university system.

An 18-member search committee, chaired by trustee Jeffrey Wadsworth, recommended Drake to the Board of Trustees.

Wadsworth said the committee focused on finding a "a leader with vision, someone who could lead a highly complex organization, who had a deep understanding of university culture and superb leadership skills."

"In Michael Drake, we have surely found that person," Wadsworth stated in a release.

The hire ended a six-month search that became necessary after the retirement of former university president E. Gordon Gee.

Gee, who was recently appointed Interim President of West Virginia University, stepped down from his leadership position at OSU after making highly-publicized and controversial comments about Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools.

From West Virginia, Gee relayed his support in the following statement:

"In Michael Drake, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees has made a brilliant choice. Dr. Drake is a world-class academic and an exceptionally able and seasoned higher education leader. I welcome Dr. Drake and his family to Ohio and Ohio State. They will discover, as have I, a state and community filled with passionate advocates for this eminent public, land-grant University.
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