Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed June 27, 1997
Contact: Mark Nickel

E. Gordon Gee named 17th president of Brown University

E. Gordon Gee, currently president of The Ohio State University, has been selected as the seventeenth president of Brown University.

Editors: A black and white photograph of E. Gordon Gee and a color photograph of Constance and Gordon Gee are available from the Brown News Bureau. See also a transcript of the news conference on June 27.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- E. Gordon Gee, currently president of The Ohio State University, has been elected as the seventeenth president of Brown University. The announcement was made today (Friday, June 27, 1997) by Artemis A. W. Joukowsky, chancellor of the University, and Stephen Robert, vice chancellor and chancellor-designate.

Gee's election took place this morning at a special meeting of the Brown Corporation, which is charged with the election of presidents. The Corporation's vote was unanimous.

Gee will take up his duties at Brown January 1, 1998. He will visit the Brown campus frequently until then, meeting with senior officers and organizing his administration. Outgoing President Vartan Gregorian will be available to help with the transition through September 15, 1997.

Today's announcement ends a selection process that began in January 1997, when Gregorian was named president-elect of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

"Gordon Gee comes to Brown with an extraordinary record of leadership at one of the nation's premier public research universities," said Joukowsky. "He will assume the presidency at a propitious time in the University's history. Brown's successful capital campaign has renewed endowments for our faculty, student scholarships and libraries and has prepared the University for the challenges of the 21st century."

The selection was made by a 16-member committee of the Corporation, with the assistance of a 13-member advisory committee of faculty, students and administrators. The selection committee reviewed more than 165 candidates, consulted with hundreds of persons at Brown and other institutions of higher education, and held more than a dozen formal meetings with candidates.

"I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who helped, particularly the members of our Corporation selection committee and the members of the campus advisory group, who worked closely together through the process," said A.O. Way, the former University chancellor who chaired the selection committee and oversaw the selection process. "In temperament and personality, as well as in solid professional credentials, we have found a candidate who will prove to be a perfect match for our University."

E. Gordon Gee

E. Gordon Gee, 53, was born in Vernal, Utah, February 2, 1944. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Utah in 1968 and a law degree and doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1971 and 1972, respectively.

After completing his graduate work at Columbia, Gee returned to the University of Utah, where he served as assistant law dean from 1973 to 1974. He was a judicial fellow and senior staff assistant in the chambers of the chief justice of the United States from 1974 to 1975, and associate law dean and professor of law in the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University from 1975 to 1979. Between 1979 and 1981, he was dean and professor of law in the College of Law at West Virginia University.

Gee first served as chief executive officer of a university at West Virginia, where he assumed the presidency in 1981 at age 37, making him one of the country's youngest college presidents. He became president of the University of Colorado in 1985 and moved to Ohio State in 1990.

When he arrived in Ohio, the university was facing a significant cut in state funding. Under his guidance, the university reorganized and simplified its structure, adopted strict fiscal discipline and ranked its priorities, emerging as a stronger institution. Gee currently leads a five-year campaign to raise $850 million for scholarships to recruit top-level students, reward faculty for exceptional work and enhance an excellent research program.

An outspoken and tireless advocate for higher education, Gee chairs the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He serves on numerous other boards and commissions, including the Truman Scholarship Foundation, the Central Ohio United Negro College Fund, the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, the Advisory Council of Presidents to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities, and the National Advisory Council for School to Work Opportunities.

Gee has received many honors in law and education. He has written or co-written seven books, including Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library, which won the American Library's Association's G.K. Hall Award in 1990 for outstanding contribution to library literature. The second edition of Education Law and the Public Schools: A Compendium was published in 1997.

Gee is married to Constance Bumgarner Gee, director of the Arts Policy and Administration Program and assistant professor of art education at Ohio State. She will become an assistant professor of public policy and education at Brown. His daughter, Rebekah, is a 1997 graduate of Columbia University, where she will continue graduate work.


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