MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The hunt for a new president of West Virginia University took an abrupt turn Friday when the search committee recommended the Board of Governors hire interim E. Gordon Gee for the position permanently.

Gee, who served as university president from 1981-85, took over as interim president last year after Jim Clements left to become president at Clemson.

The search committee, which considered more than 30 applicants,emerged from Friday’s two-hour executive session and approved a motion paving the way for Gee to get the job.

The motion called on the BOG to “take all necessary steps, including any necessary approval by the Higher Education Policy Commission, to move forward in consideration of current president-for-a-term E. Gordon Gee as the permanent president of West Virginia University.’

The Board of Governors has now scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday at 9 a.m.

First, the board must rescind a motion from November that prohibits the interim president from being a candidate for the permanent position. Then the BOG must approve the hiring of Gee, which is viewed as a procedural step with board members unlikely to override the wishes of the search committee.

Gee had considerable support on the search committee, though it was not unanimous. In a conference call vote, it appeared 16 of the 20 members voted for Gee, two opposed (Susan Brewer and Matt Valenti) and two apparently dropped off the call and were unable to vote (Elizabeth Dooley and Cynthia Roth).

Jim Dailey, chair of the search committee and the BOG, strongly supported Gee.

“Gordon Gee is absolutely, hands-down the very best person to be at the helm of West Virginia University at this important time in our history,” Dailey said in a prepared statement. “I know we recruited him to serve until a permanent leader was in place and said the interim president would not be a candidate for the permanent presidency, but the search committee had a change of heart.”

The motion approved by the committee calls on the BOG to enter into a contract with Gee to make him the president of West Virginia University.

Gee said he was honored, energized and humbled by the committee’s recommendation.

“My return to West Virginia has reminded me of the special spirit of this university and the unique role it plays in the state,” Gee said in a prepared statement. “I am also reminded of the warmth and friendship of the people of West Virginia which have been demonstrated over the past few months in full measure.”

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Comments

  • TW EAGLE

    WVU should actually be thanking the Papists at notre dame for getting their noses so bent out shape at a joke that they forced Dr Gee to resign at OSU . . . rah rah nd rah rah . . .
    I think Dr Gee should lead a cortege of WVU students to the campus of notre dame and celebrate his reappointment as WVU president by TP'ing TD Jesus . . . OMG !
    will the whole country rise up and throw the Mountain state out of the union ? We West Virginians ( at least most of us ) do possess a healthy sense of humor . . .
    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

    • Aaron

      A couple of things. Not all Papist got their nose bent out of shape. While most did not find his humor funny, they understood that he was joking and Notre Dame's President accepted his personal apology.

      It should be noted that the comments were made several months before becoming public and that it was the national media that continued to push the story.

      What baffles me is that while everyone remembers his comments regarding the Catholics, no one remembers what he said about the SEC or Louisville. Those in my opinion, while still funny could have been taken more literal and as such were far more derogatory.

      Apparently Rick Pitino agrees as his response was was pretty forceful. In it, he stated to among other things "not taking kindly" and "being insulted" and at one point called Gee an "arrogant a**,"

      I listened to the comments a couple of times and again, I thought they were pretty funny given the context.

      I'm sure that given he raised over $2.5 BILLION for OSU, there are those who did not want to see him resign.

      My only hope is that he's wants to stay on the job for a very long time as I think he will do tremendous work for WVU.

  • Guardian

    I thought when E Gordon was announced as the "interim" or "president for a term", that why limit him - he was the right choice when he was here previously, and in my opinion he is once again the right choice.

    To me, this is a no-brainer decision and kudos to the search committee for having the courage to back away from their original strategy and for the vision to see that the right candidate was already here, sitting in Stewart Hall and doing the job.

    • Aaron

      +1

  • TW EAGLE

    Once more into the breech , dear friends ,

    once more into the breech . . .

    • Aaron

      Is there anything WVU can do that you find favorable?

  • jay zoom

    maybe this clown can help Oliver Luck collect $20.00 in the parking lots. he will run like Rich did in a couple of years. the jerk should retire and collect his social security. never liked him in the 80's and have no use for him today. You'll see

    • Aaron

      The above question applies to you as well.

  • Randy Hotsinpiller

    I live in Columbus and I got to tell you GG is a mixed bag. He will raise money. And he will make you wince. Won't be dull.

    Another WVU '74

  • William101

    President Gee has been Dean of the law school, and then he was elevated to President. I knew him in both capacities. He was Dean of the law school when my younger brother attended there. I've always found him to be intellectual, energetic and approachable. From an alumnus POV, he passes the litmus test.

  • Mister G!

    This is the best news to come out of Morgantown in a long, long time...

  • WVU Guy

    A university president today faces three major problems...student parking, student sex, and fund raising. Gee will do a good job at all three.

  • TW EAGLE

    Dr. Gee , I better see you in the student section Saturday at the coliseum . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

    • Aaron

      I've attended 4 ballgames since his return and he was at every one of those. Whether he was in the student section, I do not know but I do know he interacts often with students, particularly in student gathering places like the Mountainlair.

      I have a son in his 3rd year at Morgantown and he has met President Gee more times in a few months than he did President Clements in 3 years.

  • richard

    Welcome back, President Gee. Finally they hire someone who actually wants to be there. Maybe now we can get rid of the drunk AD and coach and hire someone respectable.
    Great hire! Congratulations!

  • beechurst

    From his previous comments, it's obvious that he's senile! He'll fit right in with the rest of the university. I'm ashamed to say I'm a WVU grad!!!

    • richard

      Bye Bye, beechhurst. Turn in your diploma, and resign from whatever job you do now that you diploma from WVU afforded you.

    • TW EAGLE

      turn in your sheepskin . . . I'm sure the WVU review board will be happy to strike your name from the list of graduates . . . you must be from joisey ! ! !

  • polarbear

    wvrefugee: WVU will even gobble more state funding from Huntington Community College. I challenge all naysayers to provide some factual example of how this is a bad hire. Here is some light reading on what Gee is about.
    http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1937938_1937934_1937914,00.html

  • polarbear

    Gee was 2009 Time magazine best college pres.
    WVU can thank him for Ruby Hospital, the business college at old Mountaineer field just to name a few. This is a no brainier. The job was Gee's if he wanted it from the start. It was more of E. Gordon Gee interviewing WVU.

  • David Kennedy

    Let wisdom prevail....Gordy Gee is such a class act...
    A better choice could not be made across America.
    WVU is now on the threshold of greatness.
    Very proud of the BOG...you have earned your keep this year...
    I'm standing proud for the Gold & Blue.

  • wvrefugee

    It was my understanding that terms for bringing Gee here was that he would NOT be a candidate for the permanent position. This University has gone to He.....!

    • Aaron

      Why do you continue to follow what happens in Motown then?