MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Board of Governors at West Virginia University plan Monday to consider the permanent hiring of interim president E. Gordon Gee.

That follows Friday’s surprising support for Gee from a university search committee that evaluated a nationwide array of more than 30 candidates. The position was scheduled to be filled by June, and Gee is the only candidate who will be considered Monday.

He has been serving in an interim role at WVU since the departure of former president Jim Clements, who is now at Clemson University. Gee was appointed for a term with an annualized salary of $450,000.

Now, the bow-tied Gee said he is interested in staying. “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 statement issued last week.

For the hiring to happen, the BOG must rescind a motion made last November that prohibited the temporary president from being a candidate for the permanent job. That step is on Monday’s agenda. After that, the board members could approve Gee’s hiring and, additionally, seek approval from the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission.

The agenda for Monday’s meeting said the following:

“The Board must immediately consider the retention of President Gee as the University’s permanent president….Given the current circumstances, the University has an imminent and substantial interest in meeting immediately to solidify its future leadership. To that end, it must meet to discuss the potential permanent retention of President Gee.”

Gee served as president at WVU 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 Ohio State University in 2007 as president and continued to serve there until his retirement in June of last 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.

Monday’s emergency meeting for WVU’s board was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at Stewart Hall in Morgantown.

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Comments

  • flossrancher

    The last time WVU was led by a president with a national reputation it was Elvis Stahr, who left the post for a top job in John Kennedy's White House.

  • Chef Camille

    How many wives does he have?

  • Chef Camille

    Can he play quarterback?

  • Mister G!

    Dr. Gee's apparent acceptance of the position has already done wonders to West Virginia's collective self-esteem...

  • Mike

    Gordon Gee never really was a (arrogant, obnoxious) true Buckeye. He's a Mountaineer! He's a great and admired University President! And now he is ours once again. Welcome home.

  • PMQ

    Welcome home Dr. Gee!!!

  • WVU Guy

    Today's university presidents face three major issues: student parking, student drug-use, and fund raising. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Gee has the experience to handle all three. This is a good hire.

  • WV Grad

    He's the man we need!

  • Low Rider

    Good hire.

  • Aaron

    I have that same hat. Guess I need to get me a bow tie as well.

    It's a great day to be a Mountaineer.

  • LEE ARTHUR

    You all understand he was forced out at Ohio St. because of his idiotic statements.

    • Aaron

      No sir, he was not. As one who annually raised hundreds of millions of dollars, he had the support of much of the OSU Board of Governors.

      "Records show that Ohio State University began planning cultural sensitivity training for then-president Gordon Gee (GEE') after he made comments jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools last December.

      Email records released Wednesday show that the university considered several proposals last spring for sensitivity and media training for Gee, whose off-the-cuff remarks repeatedly got him into trouble. The proposals included having Gee talk with trainers to develop a deeper respect for diversity and learn techniques for discussing challenging topics and avoiding pitfalls."

      That's not to say that had the media continued their onslaught of Gee and OSU that the BOG's feeling would not have changed but the fact remains, that when Gee retired, his job was not at stake.

      • wvrefugee

        FAIL! This guy is a clown and accepted the interim position with the condition that he would be a candidate for the permanent position. Just another pawn for the BOG to manipulate. Great guy no doubt! President to take this University forward, NO WAY! The faculty WILL NOT support this "so-called" hiring process!

        • Mike

          What do you have against bow ties?

        • AJ

          you couldn't be more incorrect. Go root for Marshall!

        • Aaron

          Horsehockey. I see your lack of knowledge regarding WVU is not restricted to their athletic department, it is University wide. The faculty love Dr. Gee. They know what he can bring to this institution.

          • Aaron

            Yeah you are. And I've got this bridge that I want to talk to you about. It leads to some beautiful ocean front property in Mingo County. You're gonna love it.

          • wvrefugee

            I love him....just not as a new President. Faculty has already stated they are not in favor of this hire due to NO Process! Facts are. I am here...you're not!

      • jeco

        AMEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!