Gordon Gee (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State president Gordon Gee is calling it quits.
Following the revelation of recorded remarks in which he criticized Notre Dame, Roman Catholics and the SEC, Gee announced his retirement Tuesday through the university.
He will make his official announcement in an email to students, faculty and staff later this afternoon. His retirement is effective, starting July 1. Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph A. Alutto will be named interim president. Alutto previously served as interim president in 2007.
"Without question, the university has achieved remarkable success, and it has been my honor and calling to lead it," Gee's email reads, via The Columbus Dispatch. "Ohio State is well-positioned for the future. I love this university, and my relationship with it will continue."
Trustees labeled Gee's joking remarks, made in December during an update on the Big Ten expansion, unacceptable and placed him on a remediation plan. The recorded comments were obtained by The Associated Press last week.
Gee's success as a college president has often been overshadowed by verbal gaffes. During the meeting in December, he referred to "those damn Catholics" and joked that priests at Notre Dame are holy on Sunday but "holy hell" the rest of the week. Additionally, he once called Ohio's governor a "dummy" and likened the job of running a university to the Polish Army.
Gee's full Ohio State University statement read:
"I recently returned from a vacation with my family, during which time I had a chance to consider the university's phenomenal achievements and the road that lies ahead for it. Ohio State now has a richness of new opportunities that would be the envy of most universities. During my days away, I also spent some time in self-reflection. And after much deliberation, I have decided it is now time for me to turn over the reins of leadership to allow the seeds that we have planted to grow. It is also time for me to reenergize and refocus myself.
"I began my career at Ohio State in 1990, and I was honored to return as its leader six years ago. I am proud to have played a critical role in the university's transformation from excellence to eminence. I plan to work closely with the Trustees and Dr. Alutto to ensure the smoothest transition possible. I cannot express enough my deep appreciation to the people of Ohio for the opportunity they have given me to lead this great university. I love this university, and although I might be retiring from the presidency, my work with Ohio State will continue. No matter what the future may hold for me, Ohio is my home."
Robert H. Schottenstein, chairman of the Ohio State's Board of Trustees called Gee's tenure at Ohio State "transformational" in a statement. Gee served as Ohio State's president for two terms, from 1990 to 1997 and 2007 to 2013.