COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Early Wednesday morning in the Student Union at Ohio State University, President Gordon Gee, Robert Schottenstein and Joe Alutto gathered for a press conference to discuss the recent matters in regards to President Gee announcing his retirement on July 1, 2013.
The conference opened with a statement from Schottenstein saying that Tuesday morning Gee met with him to tell him about his decision to retire after many days of reflection.
“He (Gee) has been an inspiration to many people and most of all the students here at Ohio State University,” said Schottenstein.
When Gee joined Ohio State in 2007 Schottenstein mentioned that Gee’s first promotion was to “put the students first”. He followed by saying that Gee will be leaving his position as a president with “a rich and endure legacy” that has always thought of the students needs first.
Schottenstein made it a point to say that he felt Gordon Gee is the best president he has ever seen and Gee’s decision “is a decision that we must honor and respect.”
Many questions were asked to Gordon Gee, wanting to know his reasons for retiring. Health was mentioned as an issue and whether or not his past remarks from December had to do with his ultimate decision.
Gee began by saying his recent Disney Cruise trip with his children and grandchildren made him realize that it was the first time in 33 years that he was able to be alone with his family and more importantly on a vacation. This realization was one that he knew was about to come.
“I have devoted my life to higher education and I will continue to do so,” said Gee. “I feel that the university is in a strong position and I am very confident where we are and I want to be involved in a way other than the day to day leadership roles that I have done.”
President Gee finished by saying he will be leaving the presidency but he will not be leaving the university.
“This is not a funeral, this is a new phase in my life,” said Gee.
The University and Board of Trustees have not decided what position Gee will hold in the coming months but mentions of teaching in the Law School and leading the fundraising department of OSU are in the mix.
The Board of Trustees begin the process to make a decision and discuss the parameters of Gee’s severance pay and position after his retirement.