Former Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee is waiving his claim to more than $6 million in favor of a new role at OSU and $5.8 million, as agreed upon in a new contract with the university.
Gee’s supplemental executive retirement agreement with OSU promised five additional payments totaling more than $3.47 million should he continue as president through June 30, 2017. However, he released all claims to that money, as well as to the more than $1.59 million currently in his deferred compensation plan and the additional $956,250 he would have received for the time from July 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2017, by signing a retention agreement contract Monday.
OSU will pay Gee $1.5 million for waiving the claims, according to the contract, which was released Monday.
Effective July 1, Gee has been given the office and title of president emeritus and will retain his tenure as a professor in the OSU Moritz College of Law. His position includes completing his research on 21st century education policy, as well as researching, writing, speaking nationally, teaching and lecturing for Moritz, the OSU John Glenn School of Public Affairs and the OSU College of Education.
The annual base salary for Gee’s position will be $410,000, paid each year from 2013 through June 2018. After that point, Gee will be paid “equivalent to the highest paid non-administrative faculty member of the Moritz College of Law as calculated on an annualized twelve month, full-time basis,” according to the contract.
Gee has not fully started his new position – until June 30, 2014, Gee will be on special assignment with full compensation and benefits, according to the contract.
Special assignment is defined as a redistribution of “some of the regular duties a faculty member for a period of up to one full semester so that he or she may concentrate on a unique research, service or teaching endeavor or invest in a relatively brief professional development opportunity,” according to the Office of Academic Affairs faculty special assignment policy.
The assignment may be completed on campus or off-campus, but those on special assignment are “expected to make arrangements to participate in personnel meetings and to advise graduate students,” according to the policy.
The university has also promised Gee “mutually satisfactory office facilities” in the Moritz College of Law, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs or “such other location as the parties mutually agree,” according to the contract.
A $190,000 renovation has been proposed in Page Hall to create a new office suite for Gee and would be completed by late September or early October. Until that point, Gee’s office is located in the South Campus Gateway.
Gee will be provided a secretary through June 30, 2018, as well as a “Platinum A” reserved parking permit.
OSU plans to allow Gee a $300,000 annual grant through 2018 to “support his research undertakings, the expenses of Dr. Gee’s travel and entertainment on behalf of the University, compensation for part-time office associate/program coordinator, student research assistant(s) and graduate assistant(s),” among other various expenses, according to the contract.
Gee’s obligations to the university are spelled out in the contract as well – he is required to pay the remaining $714,000 toward his $1 million pledge for scholarships and to vacate his university-owned house, located at 80 N. Drexel Ave., by Sept. 30 or earlier.
OSU will be paying for Gee’s moving and storage expenses until he finds a new home.
OSU will also contribute $800,000 to the Retirement Continuation Plan in Gee’s name, which can only be withdrawn at the end of Gee’s employment at OSU and will be reimbursing the “reasonable tax preparation expenses, interest and penalties incurred by Dr. Gee as a result of corrections made by the University in reporting his income for the years 2009 through 2011,” according to the contract.
Gee is guaranteed lifetime health care insurance benefits and group long-term disability insurance coverage by OSU until Gee is not employed by the university and has other employment with comparable coverage. OSU will be continuing to pay for premiums related to the Split Dollar Life Insurance Agreement, according to the contract.
OSU Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Schottenstein included a more personal note to Gee at the bottom of the contract.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to you for your years of distinguished and meritorious service and commitment to The Ohio State University. I and the other Trustees look forward with confidence to this exciting new chapter at the University in the career that you have so capably dedicated to higher education,” the letter read.
Gee said Monday he is excited to continue working at OSU.
“It was my great calling to have led Ohio State for fourteen years, and I am proud to be able to continue my work for Ohio and Ohio State,” Gee said in a released statement. “I am also looking forward to deepening our understanding of the changing nature and role of higher education in the 21st century.”
Gee announced his retirement June 4, effective July 1. Former executive vice president and provost Joseph Alutto has assumed the role of interim president.
Alutto’s base salary as interim president will be $625,000, while his salary as provost and executive vice president was $554,559.
The announcement of Gee’s retirement came days after controversial remarks Gee made at a Dec. 5 OSU Athletic Conference became public. Comments about Notre Dame and the SEC in particular, among other remarks, brought national attention.
Gee earned slightly less than $1.9 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and his supplemental executive retirement agreement has been credited about $2.33 million since June 2009.
Gee became president of OSU in October 2007, but previously served as university president from 1990-1997.
OSU spokespeople were not immediately able to provide the price and details of some of the more miscellaneous items in the contract or the details of Gee’s special assignment Tuesday evening.