CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Higher Education Policy Commission approved Gordon Gee’s appointment as West Virginia University’s 24th president Monday by a vote of 8 to 1.
Commissioner John Leon was the only member to vote against the appointment. Clarence Pennington, ex-officio member and chair of the Council for Community and Technical College Education, was not present to vote.
Gee, who has served as interim president since Jim Clements left for Clemson University in November, was expected to serve only until a full-time replacement was found.
The university board of governors formed a presidential search committee in November to find and vet candidates from across the country. At the time, the board decided Gee would not be considered a permanent candidate for the job.
Search committee members changed their minds at an emergency meeting Feb. 28 and requested the board rescind a motion that would prohibit Gee from becoming president. The board waived that motion and unanimously voted March 3 to appoint Gee, pending the commission’s approval of the amended search procedure.
The board was able to appoint Gee even though he wasn’t considered a candidate because the original search procedure included a clause allowing the selection process to be “subject to modification.”
Board chairman James Dailey told the Daily Mail last week that it was a “no-brainer” to modify the search procedure and keep Gee. He also likened Gee to a superstar the university couldn’t afford to let go…