The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

December 15, 2013

Gee ...

This past week, the West Virginia University Board of Governors announced that it had found the school’s interim president.

In January, WVU will welcome back Gordon Gee, who will lead the land-grant institution as it searches for a permanent leader.

Gee offers 33 years of experience leading universities across the country to greater prominence and also brings a wealth of knowledge regarding WVU as he served as its president from 1981 to 1985.

In the wake of current president Jim Clements’ departure, Gee, with his staple look of horn-rimmed glasses, pressed suits and bow ties at WVU, will certainly be a positive asset to continue WVU’s momentum.

Currently, WVU has more than $1 billion worth of projects occurring on its multiple Morgantown campuses, and Gee will make sure those projects stay on track. Gee, whose experience includes leading Ohio State to greater heights, has helped in WVU’s growth in the past.

During his first tenure at WVU, his administration was responsible for the building of the College of Business and Economics and the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. He also saw the incorporation of WVU Hospitals, which led to the construction of Ruby Memorial Hospital and the restructuring of the WVU Foundation.

Gee is the perfect candidate to see potential growth opportunities in WVU, as he is a positive bridge from WVU’s current vision to WVU’s future.

Gee himself has already said he doesn’t like the word interim and will be pushing for and creating new projects during his current stint at WVU.

“I just don’t like the word interim. I think it signifies ‘seat warmer,”’ Gee said in a recent interview. “I’m a guy who likes to get in and get to work and make a difference as much as I can.”

Although we are aware of Gee’s past missteps (disparaging remarks against Roman Catholics and schools from the Southeastern Conference), as those remarks and incidents are well documented, we see this opportunity given to Gee by the WVU Board of Governors as a chance for him to reflect, learn from his past missteps and serve the Mountaineer community he loves.

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