Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed June 27, 1997
Contact: Mark Nickel

E. Gordon Gee, seventeenth president of Brown University

As the 11th president of The Ohio State University, E. Gordon Gee [pronounced with a hard g, as in good] has led one of the nation's most comprehensive research universities with nearly 60,000 students, 30,000 faculty and staff and an annual budget of $1.7 billion. Ohio State's Columbus campus is the largest in the nation. Its academic medical center in Columbus is one of the most wide-ranging in the world. A land-grant university, Ohio State has 19 colleges and four regional campuses.

Gee, 53, was born in Vernal, Utah, on February 2, 1944. He was valedictorian of his 150-person high school class and president of the student body. 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. At Columbia, he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Kellogg Fellow.

After his graduate work at Columbia, Gee returned to the University of Utah, serving 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.

He was dean and professor of law in the College of Law at West Virginia University from 1979 to 1981. In 1981, at age 37, Gee became one of the country's youngest college presidents when he assumed leadership of West Virginia University. He became president of the University of Colorado in 1985.

When he arrived at Ohio State in 1990, the university was facing a significant cut in state funding. Under his guidance, Ohio State 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 sustain a talented administrative group.

Ohioans know Gee as charismatic and approachable. His trademark bow tie and horn-rimmed glasses contribute to an appearance that has made him instantly recognizable and accessible on campus and across the state.

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.