Gordon Gee's recent remarks comparing his school's many divisions to the Polish army drew anger from the Chicago-based Polish American Congress, leading the Ohio State president to apologize Friday.
"As you might know, I made those ill-chosen remarks during a question-and-answer session after delivering a speech," Gee said in an apology emailed to a spokeswoman for the cultural group. "I realized at the time that I had made a mistake."
Gee spoke of the challenge of operating the university's 18 schools Wednesday.
"When we had these 18 colleges all kind of floating around, they were kind of like PT Boats, they were shooting each other," Gee said. "It was kind of like the Polish army or something. I have no idea what it was."
Gee may have even exacerbated the situation before an audience at the Columbus Metropolitan Club monthly forum moments later when he said: "Oh, never mind, who did I embarrass now?" and added, a moment later: "I'll have to raise money for Poland now."
The school's president was probably referring to the fallout of his use of the remark "Little Sisters of the Poor" in Nov. 2010 when referring to opponents Ohio State's football team wouldn't be competing against.
A contrite Gee soon paid a visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor facility in northwest Ohio and had a personal check in hand as well.
The money-raising comment didn't go over well with the Polish American Congress, either.
"Poland not only has a capable military, but also is strong economically and does not need money being raised for it," the group said.
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