Summarized by Kent Larsen
Gordon Gee Becomes Vanderbilt University's Chancellor Today
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- LDS Church member E. Gordon Gee officially becomes
chancellor of Vanderbilt University today, and has already formed plans for
big changes at the University. Gee, who left Brown University after a short
and controversial term, plans to streamline Vanderbilt's administration and
push for new construction projects on campus.
Gee's sudden departure from Brown was met with frustration by Brown
University's committee, which felt that the University was just getting used
to Gee's style. But meanwhile Gee was courted by Vanderbilt, which was
looking for a replacement for Joe Wyatt, who retired after 18 years of
running the University.
Since leaving Brown, Gee has visited Nashville several times to listen to
the University community and visited Vanderbilt's Washington, DC lobbying
office. Gee says he has learned that Vanderbilt is "too fractured -- a
cacophony of voices and not a chorus." He wants to make the University more
entrepreneurial, streamlined and diverse.
Chief among his criticisms is that the budgeting process is run by each
school independently, limiting the ability to collaborate between schools,
"Almost all the vectors of intellectual life are right here geographically,
within 10 minutes of each other," he said. "I'm not sure the budgeting
system has allowed that to bloom."
Gee also says he wants to build new buildings on campus, "I love to build. I
sort of have an edifice complex," he quipped to staffers. "I'm always
uncomfortable around a university that doesn't have a lot of cranes." Gee is
also looking for a way to reduce the debts students incur for Vanderbilt's
$33,000 tuition and fees.
Prior to becoming president of Brown in 1997, Gee was president of Ohio
State University for seven years after serving as president of both the
University of Colorado and of West Virginia University.
Vanderbilt's new chief on board today
Knoxville TN News-Sentinel (AP) 31Jul00 P2
By The Associated Press
Mormon News' coverage of E. Gordon Gee