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President Drake Highlights Academic Achievement and Affordability in University Management

The President of Ohio State University, Michael V. Drake, M.D. delivers his speech on the state of the university in the Saxbe auditorium at the Moritz Law School on January 25. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo editor

In his annual university speech on Thursday, Ohio State President Michael Drake highlighted academic achievement and increased access to affordability.

Drake reflected on a record number of graduate students, a diverse first-year class and online programs that garnered national recognition.

"Each of these milestones is truly fantastic, but overall, the series of accomplishments reflects the outstanding talent of the university and its incredible momentum," said Drake in his speech at Drinko Hall.

A notable issue that was missing from his address was access to mental health services for students.

This would include the university's plan to address the influx of students needing services in the last two academic years, after reports of a waits for six weeks for individual counseling sessions and increased appointments scheduled through the Student Life Advisory and Consultation Services in the last 10 academic years.

Statement in a letter to the editor Wednesday, Javaune Adams-Gaston, senior vice president of student life, said that the health and well-being of Ohio State students is a "top priority." Including access to mental health services, Adams-Gaston noted an increase in physicians employed by CCS and the addition of two new facilities at Lincoln Tower and North Residential District.

Drake highlighted how teaching will change in the next academic year with the new classroom technology of the Ohio State partnership with Apple. The university will provide each freshman with a free iPad Pro.

Changes to need-based aid for low-income students were also mentioned. The university is expanding its presidential payment capacity and land grant programs – tuition assistance provided to students in the state – and paying full tuition for all eligible Ohio freshmen who qualify for the Pell Grant.

Drake said these plans reflect the broader goals of Time and Change, a strategic plan presented this summer to take the university to the 21st century.

"We now have an extraordinary opportunity to take advantage of our recognized strengths while strategically investing in areas that directly address what matters most to the community at large," said Drake.

Throughout his speech, Drake reminded the audience of students, staff and faculty members of the impact of the State of Ohio on communities outside of the university.

"What Ohio State does is important," he said. "It matters to individuals and families throughout our state, throughout the country and throughout the world."

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