Thursday, July 12, 2007

Insult to Injury...

"I woke up every morning thinking, 'Why am I here?'"
– Gordon Gee, July 12, 2007.

Great question, Gordon.

This is an absolutely awful quote from the Gee and shows a level of duplicity that is, quite frankly, pretty upsetting and unexpected.

Gordon Gee is now saying his motivation to return to Ohio State was based on a desire to return to the sphere where 80% of students are educated - the public education system. I mean no disrespect to public education at all, but I find this quote ridiculous, and somewhat of a cope-out from Gordo.

I guess my first question would be, was this morning query a new one? Did is start before or after he expressed his "unwavering and unshakable" commitment to Vanderbilt just 3 weeks ago?

It's one thing for Gee to have left Vanderbilt for Ohio State, but to make a comment like this in my view, not only denigrates all educators working at private institutions (university level or below), but is nothing more than a cheap shot at the Vanderbilt community.

Gee has worked at private schools for the last 10 years, and seemingly, didn't lose sleep over it until now. He was certainly able to cash their checks. The fact that this comes out now, after he has already left, adds insult to injury and can safely be characterized as the low road.

Gordon Gee conducted himself with class and dignity while at Vanderbilt; it's unfortunate that the same cannot be said after he decided to leave.


Seamus O'Toole said...

What a ridiculous and completely unwarranted slap in the face.

Honestly, this man is way too politically correct and articulate to have let that comment slip out the wrong way. What reason do we have to think this is nothing more than a cheap shot aimed at the entire Vanderbilt community?

13 years in public schools taught me enough to know an ego when I see one...

Stanimal said...

Here's my honest opinion, no holds barred:

While at Vanderbilt I was not a fan of this guy. I viewed his decision to convert Vanderbilt to residential colleges as a serious threat to the greek system. I viewed his public appearances among the student body to be rather cheesy, and saw him as more of a political campaigner than a chancellor who fully cared about the students. I think anyone who served as an officer in the greek system, and saw the philosophical change that occured there, would back me up on that. I REALLY condemned his dropping of the athletic department and thought there was ZERO way we'd be able to compete in the sports factory that is the SEC.

That being said, being out of the college environment, I thought perhaps I was wrong about Gee, because there was a tremendous wave of positive press about Vanderbilt. The success of the athletics, the money raised, the discussion of Vanderbilt as a "new ivy", all of that made me think that perhaps Gee was doing the right things, and maybe I was a little short-sighted.

Well at least one of my perceptions was correct about him, the two-faced one. I listened to friends talk about how great this guy was and I even allowed myself to be convinced that perhaps I was wrong, but this is flat out evident that I wasn't. This guy is a public relations guru, a man who's well schooled in "saying the right thing" but who isn't very good at "doing the right thing". He'll smile and wave in his glasses and bowtie, like a cartoon character that looks harmless, but this guy behind the scenes is a totally different animal, and he's in it for no one but himself.

Goodbye Gordon, may you receive every terrible sanction imaginable from the NCAA at Ohio State. Then try to say you want to "clean up".

Aaron said...

great points stanimal..lets hope vanderbilt can find someone who will be able to follow the tradition of vanderbilt, and who will be truly committed to the school and it students.

Anonymous said...

just as weird as the slap-in-the-face quote is the one where he said he originally "didn't know enough about Ohio State to consider their opening" (it's in the Tennessean story, I'm not going to link to that rag).

Hello? He's already been the freaking president there for seven years.

We'll be fine without him. I'm way more concerned with finding the right person (who'd better not be hostile to any part of VU, especially athletics) than with losing a bow tie.

Tom said...

I had grown to believe in Gee and his mission at Vandy, despite my early hesitation about the residential colleges and athletic restructuring. In a matter of days, all of my respect for Gee has vanished. His actions are completely unprofessional and his words deceitful.

It's hard to believe this is the same Gee that I tailgated with at the Wake game in 2005.

Anonymous said...