staff, staff, June 4, 2013

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Ohio State President Gordon Gee announced his retirement Tuesday after he came under fire for jokingly referring to "those damn Catholics" at Notre Dame and poking fun at the academic quality of other schools.

Gee, 69, said in a statement he decided during a vacation last week that he would step down July 1.

[ AP: Ohio State president retires after Notre Dame jabs ]

"During my days away, I also spent some time in self-reflection," Gee said. "And after much deliberation, I have decided it is now time for me to turn over the reins of leadership to allow the seeds that we have planted to grow. It is also time for me to re-energize and refocus myself."

[ TWITTER: Reaction to Gordon Gee's retirement ]

Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph A. Alutto will serve as interim president until a permanent successor can be named.