Ohio

Eye on Education

Don’t Worry Ohio State Students, Gee Plans to Stick Around Post-Retirement

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact Ohio

Retiring Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee, speaking at the City Club of Cleveland last year.

Long-time Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee may be retiring from his role as the university’s president, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be leaving campus.

“I am leaving the presidency; I am not leaving the university,” Gee told reporters earlier today.

According to our partners at WOSU, Gee is taking the changes in stride:

“I will just not be on the day-to-day firing line,” Gee said. “And to me, that gives me the joy of doing the things I really feel most passionately about: continuing to be engaged with students in a variety of way and continuing to do other kinds of things. This is not a funeral. This is a new phase in my life.”

Gee says he plans to continue fundraising for the university, which kicked off a $2.5 billion fundraising effort last fall. Columbus Business First reports that fundraising effort is just now transitioning into its public phase, with another $1 billion to raise before 2016. They quote Gee as saying:
“I intend to be a very active participant. In fact, in many ways, I can be a much more-engaged fundraiser on behalf of the university in my new role because of the fact that I’ll have more time and I’ll have more ability to be able to spend time legitimately doing those kinds of things. I will be fully engaged in furthering the agenda of the university.”
WOSU reports Gee may also teach in the Moritz College of Law.
It’s unclear who Gee will report to, or how much he will be paid in those position(s).
All this may come as good news to the some Ohio State students who were hopeful they could change Gee’s mind and prevent him from leaving. A change.org petition was started not long after Gee announced his retirement. The petition reads, in part:
“We feel that the Board of Trustees should keep President Gee and not let him leave his position, as he is an influential and beloved part of Ohio State University and has done a lot of good for the university in his six-year tenure. To let him go would be a blow to student morale and to the university itself.”

The petition has 1,223 signatures to date.

Gee is set to retire on July 1, at which point current Provost Joseph Alutto will become the interim president of the university.

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