On July 1st, Gordon Gee will resign from his role as the 14th President of The Ohio State University. Gee has obviously proven his devotion to the University when he came back in 2007. Nobody can dispute how much OSU has grown and changed in the past six (6) years.
Robert H. Schottenstein, Chairman of Ohio State’s board of trustees also spoke very highly of Gee, lauding his presidency as “transformational.” Despite his years of loyal service and previous commitment to Ohio State, Gee will retire as the The Ohio State University’s President with less than thirty (30) days notice and no permanent successor in place.
The most likely reason for Gee’s resignation is due to the public’s reaction to his recent gaffes that quickly made the rounds on the national news circuit.
It should be clear that, although he says otherwise, Gordon Gee would not have resigned from his presidency if he had not been treated so harshly for his comments that were obviously made in jest. Following his comments, OSU trustees came up with a remediation plan that included hiring a ‘coach’ to help Gee do his job and having him slightly retract his public persona in order to not overshadow the University. OSU's leaders have managed to lose Time Magazine's best college president of 2010 because of perceived insensitive remarks about the SEC and a single low blow to the Catholic Church?
Gordon Gee exalted OSU to the top tier of universities with a unique flair hallmarked by his bow ties, horn rim eyeglasses, and overflowing personality. The direct and indirect rewards reaped by OSU, its students, graduates and faculty far outweigh his hefty salary and occasional blunder.
The Board of Trustees publicly reprimanding and warning Dr. Gee not only resulted in a critical loss to OSU it will certainly hobble the efforts to recruit someone on par with him.