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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended August 06, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 31Jul00

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

See also:
Mormon News' coverage of E. Gordon Gee


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