You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Gee to take unpaid leave from OSU to lead W.Va. University

He will get $450K to temporarily run the university in Morgantown

E. Gordon Gee will temporarily leave Ohio State University to take over as interim president of West Virginia University where his career as a college president began three decades ago.

Ohio State and West Virginia University officials made the announcement Friday.

Gee, 69, will take an unpaid leave of absence from OSU and will be paid $450,000 by WVU, prorated on the number of months he serves as interim president. He’ll start the job Jan. 1 and live in the sprawling Blaney House on campus in Morgantown. WVU officials plan to have a permanent president in place next fall.

“People I know and a state that I enjoy… There is a real pull for me,” Gee said. Gee headed WVU from 1981 to 1985. Gee said Friday that West Virginia took a risk on him 33 years ago, hiring him at age 36, and it kicked off a wonderful career.

Gee abruptly retired from Ohio State on July 1 with a $5.8 million retirement package. His departure came after news leaked that he made offensive comments about Catholics, the University of Notre Dame and the Southeastern Conference. The remarks came a year ago at the OSU Athletics Council meeting. His tendency to stick his foot in his mouth wore thin with university trustees, who put Gee on a remediation plan in March 2013.

Our Columbus Bureau also detailed Gee’s exorbitant spending and how he expanded his executive staff and began paying them performance bonuses. Between October 2007 and mid-2012, Gee spent more than $7.7 million on travel, housing, parties and entertainment.

Upon his retirement, Gee received a five-year contract with OSU that included an office, an appointment to the law school, a $1.5 million lump sum and a $410,000 annual salary and the title ‘president emeritus.’ Gee will maintain his titles and positions at OSU but not take a salary while at WVU, Ohio State officials said.

Since his retirement as Ohio State president, Gee has been on faculty at OSU Moritz College of Law and establishing the Center for Higher Education Enterprise within the OSU Glenn School for Public Affairs. The higher education center is primarily funded by a $300,000 pledge from George Skestos, a home builder and former OSU trustee.

While he is away, OSU law professor Deborah Merritt will serve as associate director of the center and coordinate its day-to-day operations. Gee will also continue leading Gov. John Kasich’s Quality and Value Initiative, which seeks to come up with ways for public universities to balance cost, quality and access for students.

Gee said WVU was enthusiastic about him continuing his work on higher education policy while leading West Virginia. Returning to the helm of a university will allow him to experience first hand the issues he is working on, Gee said. “One can never get too much experience.”

Gee temporarily replaces Jim Clements, the WVU president who announced in November that he was leaving at the end of the year.

When Gee takes over in Morgantown, it’ll be the seventh time he has led a university, including two stints at WVU and two at OSU.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Ohio

Cincinnati club shooting: Dispute ‘escalated into shots being fired’
Cincinnati club shooting: Dispute ‘escalated into shots being fired’

The investigation into the shooting inside a crowded Cincinnati night club that killed one and wounded 15 others early Sunday morning will take a long time, said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. No arrests had been made as of Sunday evening, and Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac couldn’t confirm if any of the possible shooters were among those...
United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings
United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings

United Airlines agents forbade two teenage girls from boarding a flight to Minneapolis because they were wearing leggings, according to witnesses and The Washington Post. A third girl would have been kept off the plane as well, but she put a dress on over her leggings and was then allowed to board. The three teens were traveling on a...
Gator eats golfer’s ball on Florida course
Gator eats golfer’s ball on Florida course

Gator sightings on Florida golf courses are fairly common for most residents, but one golfer didn’t intend on his golf ball becoming a snack for one. Daniel McNamara caught the alligator eating his golf ball Saturday, news partner WPTV Channel 5 reports. McNamara told WPTV he was on his third hole at Long Marsh Golf Course in Rotonda West...
Madonna’s twins get first Barbie dolls, singer posts video
Madonna’s twins get first Barbie dolls, singer posts video

Madonna’s twins got their first Barbie dolls this weekend and the entertainer is sharing it with the world. >> Read more trending news The “Material Girl” posted adorable video of newly adopted twin daughters, Estere and Stelle playing with the dolls. In the short video posted on Instagram, the girls sang the Finger Family song...
Clark County introduces new K-9 officer
Clark County introduces new K-9 officer

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office introduced its new K-9 officer on Sunday morning. Gordon, a 4-year-old German shepherd, was donated to the department by former owner Talerie Brown. The dog will be partnered with Deputy Christopher Doolin. As a new K-9 handler, Doolin will be entering a six-week training program with Gordon at Police Dog Services...
More Stories