Gordon Gee Reportedly Will Return to West Virginia U. as Interim President

E. Gordon Gee plans to accept the position of interim president at West Virginia University, the site of his first college presidency, according to reports by The Columbus Dispatch and other news outlets.

The university announced on Thursday that its Board of Governors had unanimously approved the selection of an interim president at an emergency meeting, authorizing the board’s chair “to take all necessary steps to negotiate and complete an agreement.” But the university’s news release did not identify the person who had been selected, and said that the appointment would be made public on Friday.

The university said the interim president would take office in January, replacing James P. Clements, who was selected in November to lead Clemson University, in South Carolina. Mr. Gee retired as president of Ohio State University in July, after making one of the verbal gaffes that marked his decades-long career as a university president.

Gee was president at West Virginia University, in Morgantown, WVa., from 1981 to 1985, and has frequently talked about the school fondly, saying it gave him a chance to follow his passion. He was 37 when he took the job, then the youngest university president in the nation. He was dean of West Virginia’s law school from 1979 to 1981.

Gee retired from Ohio State in July and negotiated a five-year, $5.8 million compensation package to remain as emeritus president and as a professor. He served as Ohio State’s president from 1990 to 1997. After stints leading Brown and Vanderbilt universities, Gee returned to Ohio State in 2007.

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