CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 30 years after he first served as president of West Virginia University, Dr. E. Gordon Gee will be returning to Morgantown to take over the same role on a temporary basis.

On Friday, members of the Higher Education Policy Commission unanimously approved the presidential selection WVU’s Board of Governors had unanimously made Thursday.

Gee has been appointed for a term which means he is president, not interim president.  His annualized salary at WVU will be $450,000 and he will live at Blaney House on WVU’s campus.

Gee, who is considered one of the most highly experienced university presidents in the nation, will replace outgoing WVU President Jim Clements for the first part of 2014.  Clements will officially become the president of Clemson University in the New Year.

According to WVU officials, Gee, 69, will take an unpaid leave of absence from Ohio State and will continue his work for Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Quality and Value Initiative.

“West Virginia University is where my journey as a university president began more than three decades ago, so it has always had a special place for me,” said Gee.  “I am delighted now to be able to come back and give back to the West Virginia University community while also continuing my commitments to Ohio State, as well as higher education in Ohio and nationally.”

Gee’s presidential career started at WVU where he first served from 1981-1985 after several years as WVU’s law dean.

That was followed by stints as president at the University of Colorado (1985-90), Ohio State (1990-97), Brown University (1998-2000) and chancellor at Vanderbilt University (2000-2007).  Gee returned to The Ohio State University in 2007 as president and continued to serve there until his retirement in June of this year following controversial comments about Catholics and Notre Dame.

In 2009, Time Magazine named Gee one of the top 10 university presidents in the United States.

“I am delighted that Dr. Gee has accepted our invitation to lead our state’s flagship, land-grant university while we conduct a national search for a new WVU system leader,” said James W. Dailey II, chairman of WVU’s BOG.

“I am confident he will continue the great work going on here and the momentum this University is enjoying.”

The Higher Education Policy Commission also signed off on the procedures WVU’s BOG will follow to hire a permanent WVU president on Friday.  According to the established timeline, a permanent president will be selected on or around June 5, 2014.

The position will be nationally advertised next month.

Check back for more information on the hiring Gee throughout the day.

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  • Guardian

    An excellent hire - wish he was the permanent president, but I imagine his pre-existing committments to tOSU and to Governor Kasich would have precluded him from contemplating the permanent position.

  • Medman

    I commend the BOG for making this choice. I know Gordon well, having worked with him in the 80s and followed his career since. Not only is he smart as a whip, but is a great guy to be around. The jokes and humor are great and often make a tough situation seem tolerable. He will do a great job for us.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    That's the man who signed my diploma.

    • David

      Mine too!

    • Chuck Anziulewicz

      Ooops. Never mind. It wasn't E. Gordon Gee who signed my diploma, but rather Gene Budig.

  • Blinky the Clown


  • John weaver

    I have tried to follow dr. Gee's career since he was at WVU the first time. He really symbolizes the dramatic changes that have happened in the role and purpose of the university president. When he was at WVU the first time the university president was still considered, along with the provost, head scholar among scholars and spokesperson for the faculty to the public including the board of trustees. Now the president is first and foremost lead public relations director and chief fundraiser in times when public support for higher education does not move much beyond what the athletic teams are doing and should do. Like any president he faces major issues including dwindling public support for higher education, the corruption of collegiate athletics, the reduction of higher education to job training, and the decline of academic standards. Having said this I have no doubt dr. Gee will have WVU in great position for the next president to grapple with these issues.

  • MM,28804,1937938_1937934_1937914,00.html

    People That have a problem with this hire...SHUT IT! He was voted one of the top university presidents by Time Magazine

    • justsayin

      And what are Time Magazine's credentials that make this, apparently in your mind, a solid gold appraisal?

      When I first saw this I thought it was a joke. I frankly can't believe that anyone on BOG can even consider hiring this guy. I have lived in Morgantown and graduated from WVU. I've had exposure to him in private industry as well. It's all about E. Gordon. Let's see how long "interim" turns out to be.

  • Chef Camille

    This just proves (and I have a degree from the university) that we are just a bunch of dumb wannabes. This guy is your typical Academic hack. It's like the same retreads we see in our government. Pitiful.

    • mauldawg

      You need to shut your mouth. People like you should be banned from posting such trash. Go back to the MU board.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Questions I want answered
    1. What do you think of Notre Dame?
    2. What are your thoughts on academics in the SEC?
    3. What is your opinion of Louisville as a major University?
    4. Are there any comments about other Institutions of Higher Education that you think we may find interesting & entertaining?

  • Joe

    I was just thinking that hiring Dr. Gee is just what was needed to get the ol' WVU mojo back. Between the Garrison fiasco....Bresch mba scandal, firings, third tier media shenannigans, etc there has been almost a feeling of being losing our identity. Dr. Gee immediately provides credibility and national legitimacy to WVU's reputation, which it always once enjoyed.

    • Grant

      You do realize that WVU's academic ranking is higher than ever at this point? Infrastructure is being built and tons of research is being accomplished. I would say our national reputation is better than ever.

      • The bookman

        Perception and reality are two different things...Dr. Gee may be able to change the perception of WVU as a second class institution by providing the credibility his stature in the Higher Ed community provides..I, as a WVU alum, wish him well and thank him in advance for his efforts!

      • Joe

        Grant....thx for the info. Not sure I commented in turn. I'm proud of WVU, just have gotten a bit frustrated with the string of controversies. I would put my WVU degree up against anyones, and frankly have worked in hand with ivy leaguers and public ivy graduates my whole career.

        Take care, Joe

  • Joe

    Welcome home, Dr. Gee. Sunnyside is different now, and we are all 30 years older, but would be great for you and some us alumni to get together in Sunnyside for a beer, pizza and chat like the old days!

    • The Professor

      Good story, Joe - but I really doubt you ever sat in Sunnyside and shared a beer with Gee. He is Mormon and they do not drink alcohol.

  • Hop'sHip

    Wow! So you can go home again. I wish him, and us, well. And props to Hoppy for calling it. He's better at predicting Presidents than he is football games.

  • Art in Ohio

    Need for him to stay for a few more years. Great hire.

  • Bill

    Wonder if he would be willing to bring Coach Tressel with him, this is indeed a great hire for the university.

    • Guardian

      I'd take the sweater vest in a heartbeat.

  • Matt

    Great hire.

  • Michael

    Welcome back President Gee!