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.