Michael V. Drake, a national champion for access and equity who previously headed Ohio State University and UC Irvine, was selected Tuesday as the new president of the University of California and first Black leader in the system’s 152-year history.
The UC Board of Regents unanimously approved Drake’s selection, seizing a historic opportunity to hire a person of color to head a system whose 285,000 students are now majority nonwhite as the nation grapples with a sweeping racial reckoning. He will succeed President Janet Napolitano, who will step down Aug.1 after seven years.
In brief remarks after the vote, Drake thanked his supporters, expressed excitement at returning to his “UC family” and said he looked forward to working with UC colleagues to meet such major challenges as the global pandemic, climate change and “the yawning wounds of social injustice.”
“I am excited and ready to go,” Drake said.
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