08:06 AM

Trustees extend President Drake’s contract to 2021

In a first for The Ohio State University, trustees today voted to extend President Michael V. Drake’s contract until June 30, 2021 – a two-year extension of his original five-year agreement.

Typically, the Board of Trustees would consider renewal of a presidential term sheet during the final year of the contract.

“We didn’t want to wait that long to secure a new agreement that would result in extending Dr. Drake’s tenure as president of Ohio State,” said board chair Alex Shumate. “Consistency in leadership – and Michael Drake’s exceptional leadership specifically – will be very important as the university sets and pursues its strategic goals charting Ohio State’s course for the next several decades.

“It is no exaggeration to say we’ve got the best university president in the country here at Ohio State,” Shumate said. “We on the board are thrilled to be able to demonstrate our enthusiastic support for him. Most importantly, we are excited about what more we can all accomplish together moving forward.”

In extending the president’s contract, trustees cited Drake’s numerous accomplishments in pursuing his 2020 Vision for the university since he became Ohio State’s 15th president on June 30, 2014. They include:

  • Record number of first-year student applications, most outstanding and most diverse new class, and greatest overall student diversity, all for two consecutive years.
  • Named by the Education Trust among the top five universities nationally for improving overall graduation rates and rates of underrepresented minority students.
  • Faculty citations of excellence from or election to at least 115 national and international learned societies – a single-year increase of 40 percent.
  • Completion of the $3 billion “But for Ohio State” campaign and record donor support for two consecutive years.
  • Historic affordability measures that include comprehensive freezes to in-state tuition and room and board; decreasing summer tuition by 25 percent; investing $35 million in affordability grants; and achieving millions of dollars in efficiencies for redirection of funding to access, affordability and excellence initiatives.
  • Wexner Medical Center capacity growth with the opening of new and renovated facilities, a strengthened financial position and improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Academic and student experience initiatives that include the launch of the University Institute for Teaching and Learning; application of analytics to academic advising to keep students on track to graduation; establishment of the President’s Prize program supporting social change projects; and adoption of a comprehensive program to address sexual misconduct and relationship violence.
  • Introduction of the Framework 2.0 plan, a vision for the physical development of the campus to support the academic mission for the next decade and beyond.

The board also noted the negotiation of the Comprehensive Energy Management Project, which will provide significant resources to support sustainability and the university’s academic mission and enhance the research enterprise under an innovative funding model – all priorities that Drake detailed at his 2015 investiture.

Under the new term sheet, Drake’s salary and bonus structure will remain the same: $832,320 base salary, with annual increases determined by the board, and eligibility for an annual performance award of up to 25 percent of his base salary, the same as under his original contract.

New terms include:

  • Combine separate allowances for a car, financial planning and social club memberships with an annual fringe benefits allowance totaling $100,000.
  • Converting an annual $200,000 employer contribution from a 457(f) deferred compensation agreement to a 415(m) excess benefits plan.
  • Entering a split-dollar life insurance arrangement that provides the president a retirement benefits package.
  • A faculty title of Distinguished University Professor.
  • Eligibility to purchase football and men’s basketball season tickets for life.
  • Access to medical care under the Wexner Medical Center executive health program for life.

All new terms became effective immediately upon the board’s vote of approval.