Only a few months into his presidency at The Ohio State University, Dr. Michael Drake took the time at a public forum to share his insights on the importance of university-business partnerships and what’s in store for one COE member on the brink of major change.

ohio state president drake

President Drake, left, speaking at the Columbus Metropolitan Club forum

President Drake, who stepped into the post June 30, took the stage at an August forum hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club and co-sponsored by COE member Mills James.

Asked about Ohio State’s vision for public-private collaboration, President Drake said the school already has great partnerships with private industry.

“We want to do even better with that,” he said, later adding that “one of the things that attracted me to the city is its potential for partnerships.”

If President Drake’s very first day on campus serves as an indication of his future priorities, the Columbus community is poised to benefit. Drake on the afternoon of his inaugural day joined city and federal leaders to announce $30 million in federal funding for Columbus’ struggling Near East Side that will go toward job training and education assistance, among other uses.

One key item on Drake’s agenda looking forward is Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, only months away from opening a $1 billion-plus expansion years in the works for years. It’s a challenge, Drake said, to be able to continually improve, but “we want to be able to increase quality, access and affordability.”

And while all eyes are on President Drake in the nascent days of his term, he insists it’s how he leverages the resources of faculty, staff, students and the business community that will make all the difference going forward.

“The job of the president is to do what he or she can do to facilitate the work of the great people that are a part of this great institution,” he said. “You don’t make or break an institution. It’s all about all the people here doing this great work and the students who are the beneficiaries of our focus.”

Watch Drake’s full address here.



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