E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, has resigned as a board member of Massey Energy, a company that critics say engages in environmentally destructive practices to assist in coal mining. The announcement from Massey noted Gee's "responsibilities" leading Ohio State and thanked him for his service on the board on which he has served nearly nine years. Several environmental groups have been urging Gee to leave the board, saying that he is effectively endorsing the company's practices. Ohio Citizen Action organized several public campaigns to influence Gee, including having thousands of children write to Gee with messages expressing concern about mountain coal mining. Gee has not commented on his decision, but has said that he believed the company was acting legally and that he was helping to bring about positive change as a board member. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Gee owns about 28,000 shares of company stock and was paid $219,261 last year for his work on the board, to which he was re-elected last month.