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Farewell to an Academic Buffoon

9:26 AM, Jun 5, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Gordon Gee's peripatetic and colorful academic career – president of West Virginia University, University of Colorado, Vanderbilt, Brown, and Ohio State – has come to a self-inflicted end. Mr. Gee was an able fundraiser, which seems to be what those charge of civilizing and educating the next generation are mostly concerned with in these times.  Get the endowment up.  Get the government(s) to appropriate more.  Encourage students to take on more debt.  For his undeniable success in these endeavors, Mr. Gee was paid by Ohio State University a tidy $1.9 million.

gordon gee

Mr. Gee was obliged to retire for the crime of gaffery. In an attempt at humor, he said things he shouldn't have, to include making a lame joke about Notre Dame, the genesis of which was a football dispute.  Something about the difficulty in negotiating with the authorities at Notre Dame about that school joining the Big Ten Conference to which Ohio State belongs.

As Tamar Lewin of the New York Times reports, in talking about why Notre Dame was not in the Big Ten, Gee said: “The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday.”    

Har, har, har.

Still, politically incorrect humor is the least of Mr. Gee's offenses.  

For that, contemplate the condition of the modern state and debt funded university.  

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