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The Ohio State University is setting a historic precedence just in time for Black History Month.

Dr. Michael Drake, the current University of California Irvine Chancellor is said to be the next president of Buckeye Nation as a successor to former president Gordon Gee, following his July retirement.

Reports The Lantern:

University of California Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake is expected to be named the next president of Ohio State, The Lantern has learned.

Ria Carlson, associate vice chancellor of strategic communications at UC Irvine, declined to comment on whether Drake was a finalist for the OSU presidency Wednesday afternoon. Carlson had said Monday she hadn’t heard anything and didn’t think Drake would want to comment, but would look into it.

Drake was appointed chancellor of UC Irvine in 2005. Before his appointment, he served as vice president for health affairs for the University of California system for five years.

UC Irvine has more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, according to UC Irvine 2013 Facts and Figures.

Drake is an alumnus of Stanford University and UC San Francisco.

Dr. Drake is an ophthalmologist by trade but is also a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors.

Photo: UC Irvine