Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee has done it again, but it is too easy to say: “He’s just telling a joke. So he put his foot in his mouth. Get over it.” (“Ohio State president to retire after gaffes; Gee cites age, says he will leave July 1,” June 5).
Unfortunately, such events have continued to occur. Coming from the president of Ohio’s flagship university, they are an embarrassment. It’s not a cute joke when he offends not only other universities, but also members of the Roman Catholic faith.
The latest gaffe occurred on Dec. 5, 2012, at a meeting of the OSU Athletic Council. Six months later, a reporter had to use the Freedom of Information Act to read the remarks Mr. Gee made at that meeting.
One can only speculate about the reaction if Mr. Gee’s remarks had been directed at other faiths, races, or special-interest groups. How will Catholics respond — or will they turn the other cheek?
Ohioans deserve better than Gee
In response to your June 2 editorial “The Gee flap”: You criticize anyone who would utter negativity toward Jews or Muslims, let alone a racial group — as well you should.
Yet when Mr. Gee talks about “those damn Catholics,” we are supposed to find his alleged lack of control refreshing because he, as you said, “always apologizes” — although apparently only after being caught.
Your attempt to compare this recent comment to his 2011 gaffe about the Little Sisters of the Poor is pathetic.
The OSU Board of Trustees knew the comment was made in a university meeting, but only put Mr. Gee on some kind of remediation plan. This, for an individual who has been at his level for more than 30 years.
The residents of Ohio deserve a president of the state’s largest university who does not engage in offensive comments, and a board that has the courage to address such behavior properly.
What if Gee hadreferred to others?
Your editorial said we should forgive Mr. Gee for his slam of Catholics. I wonder whether your position would be the same if the word “Catholic” in his comments were replaced by “Jew,” “Muslim,” “African-American,” “gay,” or “lesbian.”
OSU should focus on academics
Mr. Gee’s remarks denigrating the University of Notre Dame were pathetic. Ohio State’s academics aren’t even the best among Ohio’s public universities.
Ohio State should bring in someone who will transform OSU into a university of true academic excellence.
For Gee, money doesn’t buy sense
I was shocked to read the comments about Notre Dame by President Gee (“Gee apologizes for Notre Dame remarks; Ohio State leader said priests there cannot be trusted,” May 31). The remarks were inappropriate.
You would think that someone in his position would have more common sense. I guess the old saying is true: Money doesn’t make the man.