CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has voted to officially approve E. Gordon Gee as the interim president of West Virginia University, effective next month.
Gee, who served as president at WVU from 1981 to 1985, is the president emeritus of Ohio State University.
WVU's Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday to approve the selection, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission unanmously voted its approval today.
According to a news release from the university, Gee will serve in the interim role until a permanent president is in place. He will take an unpaid leave of absence from Ohio State.
Gee, 69, replaces Jim Clements, who announced in November he would leave the presidency at the end of the year. Gee will live at Blaney House, and fully participate in the active life of a University president.
"I am delighted that Dr. Gee has accepted our invitation to lead our state's flagship, land-grant university while we conduct a national search for a new WVU system leader," said WVU Board Chair James W. Dailey II. "He is a seasoned and respected higher education leader who has served five major universities over 33 years, and I am confident he will continue the great work going on here and the momentum this University is enjoying.
"What's more, he understands the national higher education landscape and is very familiar with our University. We're thrilled to welcome WVU's 19th president home."
Dailey said Gee is expected to be on campus Tuesday afternoon for a meet-and-greet with the University community.
Gee has twice served as president of The Ohio State University, from 1990-1997 and later from 2007 to July of this year. He was also president of Vanderbilt University (2000-2007), Brown University (1998-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990) and WVU (1981-1985). He also served as the dean of the WVU College of Law from 1979-1981.
His annualized salary at WVU will be $450,000.
During Friday's meeting, the Higher Education Policy Commission also approved procedures and guidelines for WVU's national presidential search.
Dailey will chair the committee and it will include the following voting members: three faculty, three staff, three students, three BOG members, two administrators, two alumni and two Foundation representatives and one representative from the two divisional campuses. In addition, Gee will serve as an advisor to the BOG and search committee, and HEPC Chancellor Paul Hill will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the committee.
"Our goal will continue to be to have a new president in place by fall," Dailey said. "Finding the right person to continue to lead this great University forward will be one of the most important things any of us on this presidential search committee do."