Ohio State President Michael Drake compared his time at the university so far to a cross-country marathon through beautiful terrain.
“Sometimes it’s up and down, sometimes there’s gravel, but the terrain is incredible, and you’re really involved in that and moving forward,” he said in an interview with The Lantern on Friday.
But Drake said he couldn’t do it alone, adding that his journey has been impacted by those around him.
“It’s actually a cross-country marathon with a group of people,” he said. “You’re there with colleagues and friends and you’re going on this wonderful journey.”
Drake is set to reflect on the progress of his marathon over the past year, as well as his future trail, in a traditional investiture set to be held Tuesday.
Investitures are ceremonial events that are common at universities nationwide, often taking place during the academic year, said OSU spokesman Chris Davey.
“(An investiture) is an opportunity to formally install the president of the university,” he said. “Most importantly, it’s an opportunity for the institution to pause and reflect on our history, our traditions and our values, and to have a discussion about our future and our priorities.”
An investiture differs from other yearly university addresses in that it typically occurs toward the beginning of a president’s time at a university.
Drake said he thinks the goals to continue striving for are the values OSU was founded on: access, affordability and excellence.
“We want to make sure that we maintain our value by continuing to have better quality (education), and then to do everything we can to moderate costs,” he said.
However, there is one aspect of the university that Drake said he would like to give more credit and attention to: education.
“At research universities, we do a lot of celebrating of research. We sometimes don’t do as much celebrating and recognition of education and teaching,” he said. “I’d like for us to continue to uphold, if not improve, our profile in that measure.”
Drake said he has also strived to create a more inclusive university environment.
“A place where people from different points of view, different backgrounds, would feel comfortable and excited to come work, learn and grow together as a model of how we can do this in an engaged and civil manner,” he said. “I’d love us to be recognized for that being true.”
Drake said he wants to integrate OSU into the local and statewide community.
“We’re working on ways to work with community service organizations and others to do things that are relevant to the people of Columbus,” he said.
Drake said projects he and his wife, Brenda, are embarking on incorporate programs for food security, infant mortality and women’s empowerment.
“We want to continue to do things that are relevant on a daily basis to the people of Columbus,” he said.
Drake’s investiture is set to be held at Mershon Auditorium at 1:30 p.m.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 31, 2015
An earlier version of this article had misspelled Chris Davey’s name.