Latest ‘recruit’ for OSU should be a success

The selection of Ohio State University’s next president was not accompanied by white smoke pouring from the roof of the Main Library. Heck, fumata bianca (to use the Latin term) didn’t even grace the selection of the football coach.

But make no mistake: The choice of Michael Drake, chancellor of University of California at Irvine, is a solid decision.

We’ve reported Drake’s pedigree and achievements elsewhere in today’s edition. What you might not know is his current employer is held in high regard internationally.

While most Ohioans will be content if the new OSU president merely refrains from making public gaffes, it’s safe to harbor greater expectations. That’s because UC Irvine placed highly in an international list of 50 universities founded less than 50 years ago.

QS World University Rankings, published annually by Quacquarelli Symonds of Britain, shows UC Irvine at No. 7 on the list – one of just three U.S. institutions making the list and the only one on this continent in the top 10.

When QS last ranked all universities worldwide, regardless of age, UC Irvine came in at 149 – behind OSU, at 113. There is room for improvement, but Drake isn’t exactly starting from scratch.

University of California at Irvine has more than 28,000 students served by 1,400 faculty members and 8,100 staff, so the size of Ohio State should not be an issue. And, hopefully, speaking in public should not be a concern, either.

We wish him well.