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Gee receives raise, more than $140K bonus

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

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Ohio State’s Board of Trustees approved a $16,363 pay raise for President E. Gordon Gee when they met Dec. 9 for their quarterly meeting.

The Board of Trustees evaluated Gee’s performance from July 2010 to June 2011. Gee received a positive evaluation from the Board for his “recruitment of top talent, providing exceptional educational opportunities for students, increasing level of research and teaching output, constant advocacy for the University, and solidified relations with the State,” according to the report to the Board of Trustees.

Gee’s allotted compensation was based on his past year’s performance, the president’s current ranking among other university presidents, OSU’s economic condition, Ohio’s economic situation and compensation increases among all university faculty and staff, said Janet Reid, chair of the Compensation and Talent Development Working Group.

For Gee’s work, the Board motioned and approved Gee’s 2 percent pay raise increase of $16,363, making his salary $834,530 for 2012.

Gee will also receive a performance-based compensation bonus of $143,179, a bonus equivalent to 17.5 percent of his base salary, Reid said.

Ohio tax dollars or student tuition will not pay the bonus, Reid said. The Academic Excellence Fund, a fund to assist recruitment for academic leaders and funded by private donations, and other private funding sources will pay the bonus.

Reid said Gee has earned the bonus and increase based on his achievements and leadership.

“Ohio State University is an outstanding institution because of Dr. Gee’s leadership. He’s truly a visionary leader who adeptly handles the breadth, complexity and demands of the job,” Reid said.

However, Gee plans to donate the $143,179 and the 2 percent raise to the E. Gordon Gee Scholarship Fund, Shelly Hoffman, assistant vice president of media relations, said in an email.

Last year, Gee donated his raise and bonus to his scholarship fund as well.

Despite positive remarks from the Board, Gee also received constructive feedback. According to the report, the Board said Gee must improve in four areas: strategic planning, forming senior leaders into a more effective team, strengthening internal and external communications and the NCAA and OSU football program.

Some students have said they think Gee’s raise was justified.

“He deserves every penny of it,” said Andrew Vieth, a fifth-year in accounting. “The enrollment standards are getting more and more difficult to get accepted to Ohio State every year. The fact Gordon Gee is becoming a symbol to Ohio State shows he is becoming more valuable to Ohio State.”

Mike Heyl, a third-year in business management, said he thinks Gee’s income is deserved.

“That’s a lot of money to be making.” Heyl said. “But he is also the head of Ohio State, and that’s pretty appropriate for him, but maybe a little less than that. Generally, he has done a lot of stuff for OSU and has been there for us.”

Vieth also said he is not shocked that Gee donated the funds to a scholarship.

“It doesn’t surprise me because it seems like something directly in line with his character at Ohio State,” Vieth said.

Heyl said he has never met Gee, but thinks it is great for him to donate the money to student scholarships.

“I think that’s very admirable of him,” Heyl said. “It seems like something he would do anyway. He’s a pretty good guy and very generous and a very cool thing to hear.”

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