The John and Gordon Roadshow

The following is excerpted from a Columbus Dispatch article by Charlie Boss and Jennifer Smith Richards. The article is titled “Education Roundup: Retired Gee’s Wit Still Working Overtime,” and it briefly surveys a series of stories from around Ohio.

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E. Gordon Gee might not be in the daily spotlight since retiring as president of Ohio State University this summer. But he can’t help stealing the show.

When Gov. John Kasich told a crowd at Columbus State Community College on Monday that he’d like to change the name of the state’s highereducation chancellor, Gee responded, “I came up with El Magnifico.”

Kasich shot back, “That’s the name you gave yourself.” And Gee replied, “That’s the reason I’m no longer president of Ohio State,” drawing thunderous laughter.

A few minutes later, someone asked Gee how he intended to work with his counterparts in primary and secondary education to come up with ways to make college more affordable and relevant.

“We love K-12 so much we want to take you guys over. Just kidding.”

To that, Kasich said, “There he goes again.”

No longer OSU’s top leader, Gee joked, “Now I have my First Amendment rights back.”

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Wow. It’s not exactly a Vegas lounge act.

And Gee, who, as President Emeritus, is still the most highly paid employee of Ohio State University and at the top of the list of the most highly paid executives at American public universities, is now joking about the reason he was forced into “retirement” as President and is framing his gaffes as a First Amendment issue.

I am not sure if that’s lamer as a joke or as an actual position.

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