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Gee: OSU must take charge of own course

Austin Owens / Lantern photographer

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As Ohio prepares for a new governor, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee told staff Wednesday to prepare for a new world.

“These are challenging times,” Gee said. “The world is not how we wish it was, flushed with money and flushed with opportunity.”

Gee’s speech came a day after Governor-elect John Kasich beat incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland. Gee was joined by Matt O’Rourke, assistant vice president of strategic planning, who discussed how the university will operate in a state that is expected to have an $8 billion budget deficit next year.

“We want the long-range financial plan,” he said, “that really says these are the kinds of resources that we’re going to have five years, 10 years down the road, (which) helps the colleges plan.”

Some staff raised concerns at the meeting Wednesday that Kasich’s administration would cut funding to higher education.

“We’re going to hit a funding glitch regardless of who got elected,” O’Rourke said. “That’s just part of our planning. We’re already out in front of that.”

Gee said he believes that if OSU takes care of its own business, then the university will be in a much better place.

“The way we survive is to take charge of our own course,” Gee said. “We have to take charge ourselves. If we do that, we won’t have to worry about governors or senators or anyone else. We have a much better path to nirvana and salvation.”

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