Just a comment on the news of the retirement of OSU President E. Gordon Gee.
WOSU Public Media is a licensee of The Ohio State University and President Gee took great pride in WOSU being a critical part of the land grant mission of Ohio State — extending the University’s reach into the community. Yet, he was also cognizant that we are a journalistic organization and respected the lines that couldn’t be crossed as we covered sometimes controversial issues surrounding Ohio State. He even touted our news team a couple weeks ago when he tweeted to his some 48,000 followers: “Kudos to WOSU for cleaning house at this year’s Ohio Associated Press Awards.”
President Gee’s infectious energy and humor will certainly be missed. In my 30 years working at three Universities, I’ve worked for a dozen University presidents — many are so programmed, academic and plain boring. None has been as authentic a leader as President Gee. Let’s be clear — all leaders are flawed.
But with authentic leaders like President Gee, you see someone who is genuine, who leads with his heart his mind and doesn’t hide from his mistakes. I would much rather have that kind of leader than one who is acting the job and not being real to himself or anyone else.
We have been lucky to have President Gee supporting our initiatives and being there when needed. And as an aside, how many presidents leave Universities and the students actually feel they know them and will miss them? Perhaps the saddest person in my household is my daughter who just graduated from Ohio State. She was pleased to have met Dr. Gee several times during his many forays into student life at OSU.
We look forward to the new leadership at Ohio State, but wanted to acknowledge how much President Gee’s leadership has meant to WOSU and the community we serve.