The West Virginia University Board of Governors today (May 26) recommended a new five-year contract for President Gordon Gee. The recommendation will soon be forwarded to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission which has final approval on the terms, which were not disclosed.

“Since the moment he stepped on this campus for a second time, Gordon Gee has energized this University,” BOG Chair Thomas Flaherty said. “He has made a positive impact on enrollment, developed new collaborations and partnerships, and ensured that WVU is a true partner as we plan for the future of West Virginia.”

Gee, who was first president of the University from 1981-1985, returned to the helm in December of 2013, initially to guide the university while a search was conducted for a replacement for President Jim Clements, who had become president at Clemson University.

However, the Board quickly determined that Gee was the best person to become that permanent replacement, and in March of 2014 offered him a two-year contract – the maximum allowed for a new president by state law. Under that contract, which expires on June 30, Gee has been paid $775,000 a year – including $125,000 from the West Virginia University Foundation’s Milan Puskar President Chair Endowed Fund.

The new contract, once finalized, would take effect July 1, 2016.

In preparation for the contract renewal, in according with procedure established by HEPC, Board representatives met with various groups around campus, including the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Staff Council and representatives from the incoming and outgoing Student Government Association. There was also an open, public meeting. BoG Vice Chair William Wilmoth led the evaluation process.

Given the results of that evaluation, the Board voted unanimously Thursday to authorize Flaherty “to take the necessary steps to finalize a contract with Dr. Gee ? and that Chairman Flaherty submit a finalized contract and our supporting evaluation to the Higher Education Policy Commission for its approval, as required by Series 5 of the Higher Education Policy Commission legislative rules.”

HEPC is scheduled to take up the contract at its regular meeting on June 24.

“I am deeply grateful to the members of the board, and to the entire West Virginia University community, for the support I have been privileged to receive since my return,” Gee said. “I feel extremely fortunate to be here at a critical time as we work to transform this institution in new and innovative ways, as well as secure the role of the University in transforming the state and its future. I look forward to continuing to partner with our faculty, researchers, staff and our students to make this University, our state and, indeed our country, a better place through education.”

In addition to two tours as West Virginia University president, Gee has twice served as president of The Ohio State University, from 1990-1997 and later from 2007 to July of 2013 when he was named President Emeritus. He was also president of Vanderbilt University (2000-2007), Brown University (1998-2000), the University of Colorado (1985-1990) and WVU (1981-1985; Jan.-Feb. 2014; and March 2014 and beyond). He also served as the dean of the WVU College of Law from 1979-1981.

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