President Drake takes the helm of Association of Public and Land-grant Universities board
Ohio State’s national leadership builds on historic marks at home
The Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake was sworn in today as chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
APLU is the oldest higher education association in North America and comprises 238 institutions, including 74 land-grant universities. Drake is the first Ohio State president to serve as APLU board chair in nearly four decades.
Since becoming Ohio State’s 15th president in June 2014, Drake has consistently cited the importance of the university’s land-grant mission while initiating historic access, affordability and excellence measures that have directly supported thousands of students and attracted more academically outstanding and diverse freshman classes each fall.
Under Drake’s leadership, the university has established the Ohio State Tuition Guarantee and added more than $100 million in financial aid for low- and moderate-income students. The Buckeye Opportunity Program, for example, ensures that thousands of Ohio students who qualify for Pell Grants receive an aid package that covers at least the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees. The program started on the Columbus campus this fall and will expand to Ohio State’s regional campuses in the spring — benefiting an estimated 4,200 students overall.
Most recently, the university eliminated 70 percent of all course fees, discounted digital textbooks, waived costs of certain credit hours for students with heavy academic loads and extended in-state tuition to more military families. This package, beginning in January 2019, builds upon a series of measures implemented at Ohio State since Drake first outlined his vision for the university at his investiture in 2015.
Michael Drake is an extraordinary leader with an absolute commitment to students, pathbreaking research and community engagement impact.
Drake completed his year-long term as chair of the Association of American Universities (AAU) Board of Directors on Oct. 23. He now serves as past chair of AAU, an organization of 62 research institutions.
APLU board members work to make public institutions of higher education more effective in delivering quality and affordable higher education while advancing cutting-edge research and robust community and economic engagement.
The APLU board’s priorities align broadly with Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan, developed during Drake’s tenure and announced in August 2017. The university’s long-term vision is focused on access, affordability and excellence and research and creative expression, as well as teaching and learning, academic health care and operational excellence and resource stewardship.
And with a nod to Ohio State’s founding purpose to offer an excellent education while elevating society through research, Drake established the President’s Prize in 2016 to have a direct impact in the community. Graduating senior recipients of the prize are awarded up to $100,000 in support of projects with the potential to create meaningful social change.
“Michael Drake is an extraordinary leader with an absolute commitment to students, pathbreaking research and community engagement impact,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “We’re delighted he’s been selected as the next chair of the APLU Board of Directors.”
Drake has helped spearhead national efforts to create opportunities for students who face barriers to a college education. He is a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, a consortium of more than 100 institutions seeking to increase enrollment of highly qualified middle- and lower-income students. He also serves on the executive board of the University Innovation Alliance, 11 public research universities working to make degrees more accessible to lower-income and first-generation students.
“The efforts of higher education organizations such as APLU align closely with Ohio State’s strategic vision for the future of our students and communities,” Drake said. “We share a mission to uplift lives through teaching, learning, research and outreach — and I look forward to the opportunity to help advance these vital efforts.”
Demand is at an all-time high for an Ohio State education with a record 52,540 applications for the 2018 entering class, and Drake is continuously looking for opportunities to further enhance the educational experience. The University Institute for Teaching and Learning — a first-of-its-kind initiative at Ohio State — opened in the fall of 2016 to establish best practices in the classroom. The institute recently introduced an incentive-based Teaching Support Program, designed to help foster optimal environments for student learning. It is believed to be unique in the nation for implementing a research-based survey instrument on effective teaching practices across the whole institution.
A groundbreaking Digital Flagship collaboration with Apple is also focused on transforming teaching and learning, and supporting economic development opportunities. As part of this initiative, Ohio State launched the largest learning technology deployment in university history this year, supplying more than 11,000 new students with iPad Pros.
The deployment is one of several student-focused programs, including the popular President’s Affordability Grant program, funded through administrative efficiencies.
In 2015, Drake announced a plan to generate $200 million in efficiencies across the university over five years as well as an additional $200 million in innovative funding. Ohio State is on track to meet its efficiencies goal — and has far surpassed its innovative funding target with $1.1 billion generated thus far. That number includes upfront funding from the university’s Comprehensive Energy Management partnership, the largest-ever single investment in Ohio State’s academic mission. Launched in July 2017, the partnership is also focused on improving energy efficiency on the Columbus campus by 25 percent.
With all-time highs in retention and graduation rates, records for academic excellence and diversity as well as fundraising, and the academic medical center’s nationally recognized reputation for quality, safety and innovation, Ohio State is one of the preeminent land-grant institutions in the nation. In a first for the university, Ohio State’s Board of Trustees voted in April 2017 to extend Drake’s contract until June 30, 2021 — a two-year extension of his original five-year agreement.
Drake is an alumnus of Stanford University (BA) and the University of California, San Francisco (MD) as well as an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. A board member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., Drake annually teaches an undergraduate course on music, civil rights and the Supreme Court.
His previous leadership roles with APLU include chair of the Council of Presidents and chair-elect of the Board of Directors. As board chair, he succeeds Robert Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland.
APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
With a membership of public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.8 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $44.9 billion in university-based research.