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Ohio State Trustees Vote To Extend President Drake's Contract Through 2021

Dr. Drake speaks at the John Glenn memorial ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 at The Ohio State University, Mershon Auditorium in Columbus.
Bill Ingalls

Michael Drake will stay on as Ohio State's president until 2021, with a few added perks, under a proposed new contract approved at the university's Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

According to a school spokesperson, the board normally considers renewing presidential contracts during their final year. Drake, who signed a five-year contract with the university in 2014, would have been up for renewal in 2019.

"During the course of the presidential review process in November, it was abundantly clear that we were extremely happy with President Drake as the leader of our university," said board member W.G. Jurgensen at the meeting.

The board voted unanimously to approve the contract.

In a press release, board chair Alex Shumate said they didn't want to wait to secure a new agreement.

“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."

Under the new terms, Drake will continue to earn a $832,320 base salary with annual increases, and will be eligible for annual performance awards of up to $208,000. The new contract will provide a number of extra benefits, though, including allowances for a car, social club memberships and financial planning.

Drake will be given the faculty title of Distinguished University Professor, have lifetime access to Wexner Medical Center care, and receive additional retirement benefits. He also can purchase Ohio State football and men's basketball season tickets for life.

According to the press release, board members recommending Drake's renewal cited accomplishments such as a record number of first-year applications and an increase in student diversity, a $3 billion donor campaign, tuition affordability initiatives, the introduction of the Framework 2.0 plan for continued development of the campus, and other projects.

"Under Michael's leadership, the university has made significant progress on its 20/20 vision and is shepherding other significant innovations that will position this university for the challenges that lie ahead," Jurgensen said.