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For week ended January 16, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by David Eddington

LDS President of Brown University Causes Stir
(The Professional President)
Chronicle of Higher Education pA38 14Jan00 P2
By Kit Lively

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The new president of Brown University, Gordon Gee, is causing quite a stir, not only for his gregarious personality and bow ties, but for his plans to make sweeping reforms in the university.

While he was a candidate for his present position, he asked those who were conducting the interview, "Why is the Brown search committee looking at someone who has been at public universities all his life, is politically on the conservative side, and is a Mormon?" "Mr. Gee is known for sending birthday cards to faculty members. Penning personal notes to hundreds of alumni, donors, and other Brown friends, inviting students to dinner, and even bunking in the dormitories." One faculty member characterizes him as "a funny guy who is not pretentious and doesn't take himself too seriously, which is unusual with college presidents." When Brown won the Ivy League football championship for the first time in 23 years, Gee boasts that he showed the students how to tear down the goal posts.

Gee was born in Vernal Utah, has a B.A. from the University of Utah, and a J. D. and Ed.D. from Columbia. He served as president of West Virginia University, the University of Colorado system, and Ohio State University prior to joining Brown.

While many at Brown are confident that Gee's leadership is what Brown needs at this point in time. Others express concerns over the widespread reforms he has initiated, and his tendency to make significant decisions without consulting the faculty.


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