Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gee: OSU must change with times - Campus

Click here to hear the speech -

President E. Gordon Gee spoke with faculty members Monday about the state of the university.

The meeting was sponsored by The University Staff Advisory Committee, and took place in a Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center Auditorium in front of a large audience. The meeting was also streamed live on to regional campuses and those unable to attend.

Gee thanked the faculty and staff for their support, hard work and insight they give into the university.

"I do not experience the university like any of you. I have my own parking space, my own office and subsidized public housing," Gee said. "I joke the only reason I became university president is so I didn't have to mow the damn lawn anymore."

Gee said he hopes to make OSU the first public university to be listed as one of the 100 best places to work. While chancellor of Vanderbilt University, Gee hoped to make the institution the first private university on the list, a goal that was achieved last year.

Gee also spoke of the hard economic times and how he believes OSU can prosper with the support of Gov. Ted Strickland and the General Assembly.

"We are maybe the single most important economic machine in Ohio and they are willing to invest in us," Gee said.

Gee used a number of analogies to demonstrate how the university has to change to survive trying times.

He likened the university in its current state to an elephant, "large, ponderous and bureaucratic," he said. But the university must transform from an elephant into a ballerina who is "agile, lively, dances with everyone and thinks of relationships and partnerships."

"The other option is to become a dinosaur, and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs," Gee said.

Gee fielded questions about the new dean of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences, Joseph E. Steinmetz, praising him as a world class scholar and a great leader.

"I'm very confident about where we are and the opportunities that we have," Gee said.

Gee's speech to the faculty can be found online at


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