The University of California announces its first Black President

Micheal V. Drake, the new president of the University of California and the first Black President of UC
Emeh Joy

The University of California (UC) during a meeting on Tuesday announced Micheal V. Drake as the new president of the University. This would be the first time a Black would be taking up this prestigious position at the University.

The University's Board of Regents unanimously voted and welcomed Drake as the college's first Black President and President of colour in the university system's 152-year history.

Drake, in reaction to this, released a statement. "Much has changed in the 15 years since I was given the privilege of becoming chancellor at UC Irvine, but not my absolute belief in this great University and its time-honoured mission.

"I look forward to working with the regents, chancellors, students, faculty, staff, alumni and our broader community as we, together, guide the University through the challenging times ahead", the statement said in part.

Drake is to succeed Janeth Napolitano, who became the University of California's first female president in 2013. He has been working for over 30 years at the UC as a faculty member, health administrator as well as the university Irvine's fifth chancellor.

Drake also served as the president of Ohio State University and chair of the board of directors for both the Association of American Universities and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, a release from the UC Office of the External Vice President says.

The UCLA's Undergraduate Student Association Council External Vice President, Aidan Arasasingham also spoke via a statement saying, "Given the ongoing epidemics of COVID-19, unaffordability, and racial injustice in our state, students, have high expectations for President Drake to chart a future rooted in social, economic and racial justice.

"I look forward to working closely with President Drake to make that future a reality for UC".

The University of California has more than 285,000 students, 227,000 faculty and staff across ten campuses, three affiliated national laboratories, five medical centres as well as a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.

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