New UC President Michael Drake shares vision for education system

The new University of California president, Michael V. Drake, is sharing his vision for the system during a discussion with the UC board chair John Pérez on Friday. Drake is the first person of color to lead the system.

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During a virtual conversation with UC Board Chair John Perez, Drake says, "Who we are is really important part of our scholarly work, so I've always been interested in the humanities and social sciences as the core understanding of us as people."

Drake also discussed music and soil.

In regards to his new position, Drake says, "This opportunity came before us (him and his wife, Brenda), and there's no opportunity I would have considered. This is the most impactful public research university in the world, and the model for public university research systems in the world. We are in a position to continue to do that as we move forward."

Perez praises the UC system for its history in elevating free speech and shared govnerments.

Drake is the former Ohio State University president and now the 21st president of the state system.

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Drake, 69, spent much of his academic career in the UC system, including a term as chancellor at UC Irvine and as the systemwide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005. He was president of OSU from 2014 until last week.

"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 in a statement released by the UC system.

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Drake is replacing Janet Napolitano, who announced in September she would step down after seven years as president of the UC system.

The UC board approved Drake's salary at $890,000.

The UC system consists of 10 campuses and more than 280,000 students.

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