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Ohio State University’s new president has started his first day on the job.

A seven-month search ended in January when University of California-Irvine chancellor Michael Drake was chosen as Ohio State’s 15th president.

The 63-year-old Drake is the university’s first black president. He arrived Monday to applause from university employees and promised to get to work immediately.

He called Ohio State one of the flagship universities of American education.

Drake replaces former president Gordon Gee, who retired last year after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public. Gee is now president at West Virginia University, having returned to a position he first held in 1981.

Drake will earn about $1 million annually in total compensation. That’s about half of what Gee made.


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