Ohio State University President Gordon Gee announced his resignation yesterday. His recent statement, “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics,” and the resulting public uproar are widely suspected of prompting his decision.
But Gee said he is resigning because at 69 he is getting old and a bit “slower.” Or because he wants to spend more time with a yet unnamed “significant other” in California. Or simply because this is his style: “I’m not anyone who wants to hang around. I want to move on.”
Gee has found it necessary to “move on” from a university president post five times. His career leading colleges has been riddled with controversy, beginning with a slew of financial disputes that led him to resign from Brown University after only two years.
Other achievements of Gee’s career include spending $6 million, unapproved by the full board, to renovate his presidential mansion at Vanderbilt, and running up a tab of $700,000 a year for “personal expenses.” Vanderbilt University had to create a subcommittee for the sole purpose of monitoring Gee’s spending.
He also managed to spend $64,000 of university money at Ohio State on bow ties and related paraphernalia. He is revered nationwide as well dressed and is a renowned “bow-tie aficionado.”
Since his start at Ohio State University, Gee has earned $6.8 million. Earning $1.9 million last year, he was the third highest paid public university president.
Some other memorable quotes from Gee include calling then-Gov. George Voinovich a dummy, and suggesting that the Southeastern Conference learn how to read and write.
At least one Ohio State senior, Allison Roda, supports Gee: “He represents everything great about college life.”