Officials Applaud Gee Pick

Reaction from across the state to Friday’s appointment of E. Gordon Gee as interim president of West Virginia University:

– Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin:

“E. Gordon Gee’s long and distinguished record in higher education began at WVU’s College of Law in 1979 and in 1981 as the youngest university president in the country. There are many great things on the horizon at our state’s land-grant institution. I’m confident Gee will provide the leadership skills necessary to maintain the university’s positive momentum.”

– Jim Clements, current president, WVU:

“Gordon Gee is a seasoned higher education leader who knows West Virginia well and is very passionate about WVU and our land-grant mission. He brings a wealth of experience that will help him continue the very positive trajectory the university is on. WVU is a great place with a solid strategic plan, outstanding faculty, staff and students, a great administrative team, passionate alumni and a supportive board, and I am convinced that the momentum will continue.”

– Michele Wheatly, provost and vice president of academic affairs, WVU:

“I’m very excited to work with someone like Gordon Gee. He has led some very prestigious academic institutions and brings a great deal of knowledge and experience with him. I look forward to learning from, and working with, one of the best higher education leaders in America.”

– Dr. Christopher C. Colenda, chancellor, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center:

“Dr. E. Gordon Gee is well known to have a keen interest in and has been a strong supporter of the missions and values that academic health science centers bring to universities and to the citizens of the states they serve. Many people may not be aware of this, but without Gee, Ruby Memorial Hospital might never have been built 25 years ago. It was his innovative idea to create a non-profit corporation to build a new hospital that was desperately needed at a time when the state couldn’t afford to do so. I look forward to working with him and welcoming him back to the university.”

– David C. Hardesty, president emeritus and professor of law, WVU:

“Gordon Gee is among the most experienced and well known university leaders in the country. He has stayed in touch with WVU, speaking at various functions over the years and calling his acquaintances from time to time. Those who do not know him will find that he is fond of bowties and has a tremendous sense of humor. He also has enormous leadership capacity. His appointment will give us increased national exposure and will likely instill confidence in the transition and search process. The board seems to have seized on an important opportunity for WVU.”

– Lisa DiBartolomeo, chairwoman, WVU Faculty Senate, and faculty representative on BOG:

“The selection of E. Gordon Gee … bodes well for WVU’s future. That a recognized scholar and leader of his stature and experience is willing to cap off his career in higher-education administration here at WVU clearly marks us on the national and international map, and demonstrates that we are poised to continue the great strides we have made under Jim Clements’ leadership. For the faculty, I can say that we respect Dr. Gee, and look forward to partnering with him.”

– Wayne King, president and CEO, WVU Foundation:

“E. Gordon Gee brings with him a lifetime of accomplishments in higher education, not the least of which is his success in private fundraising. The WVU Foundation is looking forward to working with Dr. Gee in continuing to build momentum during our comprehensive campaign, and we extend a hearty Mountaineer welcome back to Morgantown.”

– Gene Budig, former president of WVU, Illinois State University and the American League:

“The Gee appointment speaks volumes for the national reputation of West Virginia. It shows his strong confidence in WVU and its position of strength. Gordon also understands the university’s vital need for private fundraising. No university president can match his extraordinary success over 30 years in rising vast amounts of private funding for faculty research, student scholarships and athletics.”

– Peter Magrath, president, Binghamton University and former interim president of WVU:

“I’ve known Gordon since 1981, when he became president of WVU. He’s one of my closest friends on the planet. … This is an absolutely perfect decision for WVU. He loves WVU, as I do, and has a special place in his heart for the university. He will strengthen WVU-he is a very good fundraiser-until a permanent president emerges. I congratulate Jim Dailey and the BOG for acting quickly and making a really smart move.”

– Neil Bucklew, professor of management and industrial relations and past president, WVU:

“I had the good fortune to follow Gordon as president of WVU. That experience illustrated for me the care and thoughtfulness he brings to an important administrative assignment. This transition period is an important time for the university community and we will be in good hands. I cannot think of anyone who can do a better job of melding an extensive track record in higher education leadership with an understanding of this particular university. Welcome home, Gordon.”