Ohio State President Drake elected chair of Association of American Universities

In new role, Drake will help develop national higher education policy positions

By: Chris Davey

Published on October 24, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake will play a prominent national role in advancing higher education for the next year as chair of the Association of American Universities (AAU) board of directors.

Drake was elected today at the association’s semiannual meeting in Washington, D.C. He succeeds Rice University President David Leebron, after serving as AAU vice chair for the past year.

As chair, Drake will represent AAU in discussions with federal policymakers, help develop national policy positions and play a significant role in determining the association’s agenda during the coming year. He will also serve as a spokesperson for the association, particularly on issues that affect research universities.

“Dr. Michael Drake will be an excellent chair,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. “He’s shown outstanding leadership for Ohio State and the state of Ohio and serves as an example for all of our universities as they fulfill their missions in research, undergraduate and graduate education, economic development and community service.

“A two-time AAU university leader and a medical doctor, Dr. Drake offers a unique perspective and an adept ability to articulate the value of research universities, and we expect he’ll help AAU do the same at the national level.”

Drake is a recognized higher education leader with several national organizations that help set the course for solving the most important issues facing universities and colleges today. He is chair of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and was a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of low-income students enrolled on member campuses by 50,000 over the next decade. He holds additional leadership roles for the University Innovation Alliance, National Collegiate Athletic Association and Big Ten Conference.

“Our nation’s universities are at the forefront of teaching, learning and research that change lives and build our most vibrant communities,” Drake said. “A college degree is the clearest path to the American Dream, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to help advance our great institutions of higher learning.”

Drake has served as president of Ohio State since 2014. He served as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine from 2004-14. An alumnus of Stanford University (BA) and the University of California, San Francisco (MD), he holds three honorary degrees and is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Also a board member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., Drake annually teaches an undergraduate course on the music of the civil rights movement.

Founded in 1900, AAU comprises 62 distinguished institutions. Member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research and collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.

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