Ohio State trustees honor President Drake’s commitment to teaching and learning
University has reported historic highs in graduation rates, student excellence and patient care
The Ohio State University Board of Trustees recognized the accomplishments of outgoing President Michael V. Drake yesterday (June 3) by renaming the University Institute for Teaching and Learning in his honor.
The Michael V. Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning serves as a tribute to Drake’s commitment to providing greater access to an affordable and excellent Buckeye education. Since arriving at Ohio State, he has called for the university to be as highly regarded for world-class teaching and learning as it is for research. Trustees unanimously approved the change at their meeting today.
“Michael has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to institutional excellence and a passion for promoting a high-quality, accessible and affordable education,” said board chair Gary R. Heminger.
UITL was launched in 2016 with the goal of enhancing teaching and learning efforts at Ohio State, and to elevate that work to the institutional level. The institute’s Teaching Support Program, a signature professional development opportunity, is now one of the most comprehensive teaching excellence programs in higher education.
Drake, the 15th president in university history, announced last year that he would transition away from the president’s office to a faculty position at the end of the academic year. During his tenure, Ohio State has seen record highs in applications, graduation rates, the academic excellence and diversity of students and donor support.
In 2019, the university also broke records for overall research productivity, with $929 million in expenditures and $158 million in industry-sponsored research. Ohio State has received national recognition for its commitment to teaching and learning and achieved all-time highs in patient satisfaction, patient volume and clinical outcomes at its academic medical center.
Board Vice Chair Abigail Wexner praised Drake for raising the profile of the university.
“I think there’s something that’s very hard to put our fingers on that I would love to call out, and that’s the ability that Michael has had to really raise the profile of Ohio State to a completely different level,” she said. “Having Ohio State included at the national level, international level, and recognized that way is something that has been a first. … Having a voice at every important level that speaks of education and opportunity and success for young people is an extraordinary thing.”
Drake made access, affordability and excellence a top priority during his six-year term. It is a key element of the university’s strategic plan. Ohio State has committed $200 million in additional need-based aid to students and families since 2015, far exceeding its stated goal of reaching $100 million by 2020. The additional aid has benefited more than 40,000 Buckeyes and their families.
Graduate student trustee Janice Bonsu said she appreciated Drake’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity at Ohio State.
“When I look at all of these conversations happening right now… about equality and diversity, I’m really proud to say that I have had such a uniquely diverse experience here in Ohio State. That’s because of the leadership of you and Mrs. Drake and other individuals at the university,” she said. “More than being an image, you’ve been a really responsible example of good leadership and it’s just been a privilege to get to know you.”
Drake said he would not have succeeded without the support from his wife, attorney Brenda Drake. He also said he appreciated the work of the students, faculty and staff who make Ohio State a great university.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of the Buckeye community and be welcomed into this community. Once a Buckeye, a Buckeye forever,” Drake said. “Thank you very much for your kindness and support. I’m looking forward to the future. … Go Bucks.”