COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The Ohio State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire Dr. Michael Drake as their 15th president. It ended a six month search.

"He is truly the right person at the right time for Ohio State," said trustee Alex Shumate.

Drake comes to OSU from the University of California-Irvine where he served as chancellor since 2005.

"This university is outstanding, but it's also a university that's clearly on the move," said Drake.

Drake praised OSU for its "capacity to solve global problems" calling it an incredible place to be.

Members of the Board of Trustees heaped words of praise on Drake and his wife for their work.

"I was thinking I should do the proper thing and die first," Drake joked.

Drake does have a local connection. His mother graduated from East High School in 1933.

"Think of the great long circle that has taken place over this last century," he said.

Drake succeeds former President Gordon Gee, who retired in July after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public. Gee is now interim president at West Virginia University.

Drake is an ophthalmology professor who also is a published textbook author.