California Competes Applauds Appointment of New UC President

Higher Education Leader Brings Extensive Experience Within and Outside the
University of California

Today California Competes congratulates the University of California on the appointment of Michael V. Drake, MD, as the system’s 21st president. Drake most recently served as president of The Ohio State University. Prior to his six years in Ohio, Drake spent his academic career at the UC, which includes nine years as chancellor of UC Irvine. He also previously served as the UC’s vice president for health affairs.

“President-elect Drake brings deep expertise as an educator and administrator who prioritizes access and equity, along with familiarity with the incredible complexities of higher education in California. Further, the UC’s decision to appoint its first Black president in the system’s 152-year history is particularly meaningful, and California Competes applauds this important step toward building a more equitable future for both the UC and higher education more broadly,” said California Competes Executive Director Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez. “President Drake has a tremendous opportunity in making the UC more equitable with the recent removal of the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement and with the Regents’ support for Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5.”

Michael V. Drake, MD, Courtesy: The Ohio State University

Now more than ever, the UC requires outstanding leadership as the state looks to our university system for stewardship during this uncertain time for California and the world.

Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez

The Board of Regents conducted an extensive search during which Dr. Jez testified that the next UC president will be in the position to not only improve the student experience for hundreds of thousands of students but also lead change in how higher education more equitably drives the state’s economy.

California Competes also thanks outgoing UC President Janet Napolitano for her service and many contributions to the system and the state as a whole. Building off President Napolitano’s increased acceptance of transfer students, President-elect Drake has an exciting opportunity to further support those students who decide to attend college later in life or those who are stuck in inequitable systems that have limited their ability to matriculate into the UC.

“Now more than ever, the UC requires outstanding leadership as the state looks to our university system for stewardship during this uncertain time for California and the world,” said Jez.

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