University of California Names First Black President

Former Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake has been chosen to succeed Janet Napolitano as head of the University of California system. Drake is the first Black president in UC’s 152-year history.

“Michael Drake is a spectacular choice for the University of California,” said American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell (Los Angeles Times). “He has proven himself to be a visionary and effective leader in every role he’s taken on, from the University of California to Ohio State to national roles in leading associations, including the NCAA.”

Drake joined the faculty at UC San Francisco after obtaining a medical degree in ophthalmology there. He became UC vice president for health affairs in 2000 and UC Irvine chancellor in 2005. He left for Ohio State in 2014. He has also chaired the boards of the NCAA, the Assn. of American Universities, and the Assn. of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

The UC Board of Regents’ unanimous vote for a person of color means leadership will better reflect the the makeup of its schools. A majority of UC students are now non-white.