For years, Ohio State University trustees applauded E. Gordon Gee’s every move as he deftly led one of the largest public universities in the country. Decked out daily in bow ties, argyle socks and suspenders, Gee charmed students, alumni, lawmakers and others with his quick wit and knack for getting a laugh from any audience.
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June 4, 2013: Gee announces a decision to retire as of July 1.
May 30, 2013: Gee’s latest remarks to the Athletic Council become public.
March 11, 2013: OSU trustees put Gee on a remediation plan that included a warning that he could be fired if he made offensive remarks again.
December 2012: At an Athletics Council meeting, Gee said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten Conference because they’re “not very good partners” and “the fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You know, you just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday and so. Literally, I can say that. Very true. Father Joyce was one of those people and who ran the university for many, many years.” He also implied that the SEC can’t read or write and that the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville were not academically worthy of joining the Big Ten.
January 2012: Gee quipped that OSU’s individual colleges used to operate like PT boats shooting at one another in the ocean. “It was like the Polish army,” he said.
March 2011: Gee brushed aside a question about whether then head football coach Jim Tressel would be fired. “Are you kidding me? Let me just be very clear. I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”
November 2010: Gee remarked that Ohio State’s football schedule is tough. “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. So I think until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to (be) in the big ballgame.”
October 2007: Gee returns to Ohio State for his second go-around as president.
2000: Gee leaves Brown for the chancellor post at Vanderbilt University, a private school in Nashville, TN.
1997: Gee leaves Ohio State University for the top job at Brown University, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I.
1992: Upset over higher-education funding, Gee told a student newspaper reporter “the governor’s a damn dummy,” referred to then Gov. George Voinovich. And Gee called a 13-13 tie after the Michigan-Ohio State football game “one of our greatest wins ever.”
1990: Gee begins his first stint as president of Ohio State University.
Sources: OSU, The Associated Press, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Columbus Dispatch
What’s next for E. Gordon Gee:
Q: How will you end up working with the new president?
A: “I think one of the best contributions I can make is to get out of the way…I don’t want to linger. I don’t want to be in anyone’s way. I’ve had that happen to me and I think that’s not in the best interest.”
Q. What do you plan to do?
A: “I’ve got 33 years of experience doing it (leading universities). Now I want to write about it.”
Q. What will you miss most about being OSU president?
A: “I think what I’ll miss most is the daily activity with people. I am such an intense guy and (I have) 15 meetings a day. I’ll miss that. But what I am absolutely looking forward to is… that I shall have time to do things, which I’ve never had.”
What’s next for Gee? He answers the question from our reporter. For the video, go to mydaytondailynews.com.
Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee has long been held in high esteem by a board that did little to curb his excessive spending habits. Last year, the Dayton Daily News documented that Gee had spent more than $7.7 million since October 2007 on travel, housing, parties and entertainment.