Gordon Gee named Ohio State's 14th president
COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University Board of Trustees today (7/12) elected Gordon Gee as the 14th president of the university. Gee has been the chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville since 2000. Gee, 63, was recommended to the Board of Trustees by a 24-member search committee, chaired by board member Alex Shumate, to succeed Karen A. Holbrook, who retired June 30.
"Over the years, Ohio State has been blessed with many great and visionary leaders. We knew that choosing a new president would be a daunting, yet inspiring task," said board Chairman G. Gilbert Cloyd, in introducing Shumate at the board meeting.
"The charge to members of the Presidential Search Committee was to look for a leader with an outstanding record of achievement, a tough-minded manager, a strategic thinker, and an innovative and effective implementer," said Shumate, adding that the committee looked for a sitting president and someone who has worked with an academic medical center.
"On all of these criteria, Gordon Gee met – and he exceeded – our expectations," said Shumate.
Gee, who also served as Ohio State's 11th president from 1990 to 1997, will return to a university that has experienced significant academic progress over the past decade, Shumate said. Ohio State's stature as a center for academic research has been strengthened, and the university's budget has grown from $1.7 billion to $3.7 billion today.
"Gordon Gee is not the same president that led this institution a decade ago," Shumate said. "We discovered that Gee is a more seasoned and mature leader and an incredibly successful university president.
"The Search Committee believes that Gordon Gee is the most experienced and highly skilled university president in the nation."
Gee has served as president of Brown University (1997-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990) and West Virginia University (1981-1985), in addition to Vanderbilt and Ohio State.
A native of Vernal, Utah, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Utah in 1968 and a law degree and a doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1971 and 1972 respectively. He served as assistant dean of the University of Utah law school from 1973 to 1974, followed by a year as senior staff assistant and judicial fellow for U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger.
He returned to Utah in 1975 to become professor of law and associate law dean at Brigham Young University. In 1979, he was named dean and professor of law at West Virginia University. He assumed the presidency at West Virginia University in 1981 at the age of 37.
Gee has written or co-written eight books, including Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library, which won the American Library Association's G. K. Hall Award in 1990 for outstanding contribution to library literature.
Gee served a five-year presidential appointment as a trustee for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and is a current member of The College Board's National Commission on Writing, which helped develop the revised SAT test. He serves on the NCAA Presidential Taskforce on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics and has carried out research on behalf of the Ford Foundation, the Guy Anderson Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.