"This is the university of the American dream"
Gordon Gee is Ohio State's 14th President
Bullet points of Gordon Gee’s remarks to The Ohio State University Board of Trustees, July 12, 2007
- Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
- Yesterday, I wrote to the Vanderbilt community and its Board: "I am not leaving Vanderbilt. Rather, I am following my heart and returning to a place that I consider home."
- Thank you for letting me come home!
- In Luke 15 in the New Testament is the story of the Prodigal Son. I am that son. I left, I experienced the world. I made my way in a different life and a different time. But this place, this father, never forgot me and has now forgiven me and welcomed me home. Oh, how true today is that great refrain:
Time and change will sure show
How firm thy friendship – O H I O.
Board of Trustees
Citizen recruiter Jack Kessler
Faculty, Staff, Students of Ohio State
Predecessors: Brit Kirwan and Karen Holbrook
Martha Ingram / Angel
Board of Trustees
Faculty, Staff, and Students]
[Introduce Rebekah and (husband) Allan Moore]
- Why am I here?
- I am returning to be part of one of the most exciting academic environments in American higher Education. This is Ohio State time!
- The University since 1990 has moved from good to excellent. I believe it now has the ability due to wise decisions and a thoughtful academic plan, to move from excellence to eminence.
- The most comprehensive, complex university in this country should have the calling to be a beacon on the hill for the future of higher education. We do and we will.
- I am returning as a different, more mature and hopefully more thoughtful academic leader.
- This is not Back to the Future. This is not Halloween II. I do not intend to be the Grover Cleveland of University Presidents.
- I have had the opportunity to lead and learn from two of the most highly respected and academically strong institutions in the country – Brown and Vanderbilt. As a result, I have developed a clarity of purpose and an ability to understand, identify, sustain, and create excellence.
- I am returning at a time in which the people of Ohio are demanding leadership from our university and are willing to support the university financially and politically.
- [Governor Strickland
- The leadership of the House and Senate
- Chancellor Fingerhut
- Trustee reorganization]
- I clearly believe that a confluence of common sense and common weal is occurring, recognizing that one cannot have a vital and progressive state without the leadership of a great university -- and this university recognizing that we have an essential stake in Ohio’s future.
- And that leads me to perhaps the most compelling reason I am here. I believe in the land-grant mission and in the magnificence of the public university.
- Do I see the challenges? Of course. There are many.
- But the fundamental challenges, I believe, center around people and ideas.
- We must capture the hearts and minds of the people of Ohio to believe that this university will make a difference in their lives and then do so.
- At the same time, we must convince the people of this university (faculty, staff, students) that this university is not a job but a calling and a responsibility.
- We must create a climate of dignity and respect for each other.
- We must engage in and win the battle for talent. And the corollary is that we must win the battle for ideas.
- We must be research centered and willing to recognize and encourage creativity.
- We must think of size not as an impediment but as an opportunity.
- We are the most massive intellectual platform in American gathered on one campus – but we will only be that if we think, act, and operationalize ourselves as one university.
- We must become agile and without boundaries. We must be both simple and complex.
- We must remember that as we are about creating ideas, we must be equally passionate about passing along those ideas. We must be a student centered university. Teaching and learning are our mission.
- And those whom we teach and those who teach and learn here must reflect the diversity (racially, economically, socially, culturally) that allows difference to flourish.
- On this mid-summer evening as we celebrate a great university, these are a few of my thoughts. This is the University of the American Dream . . . the front door to the future. Today, it is also my dream fulfilled.