Advertisement

Performance review: Official’s leadership style could ‘cripple’ Ohio State

April 17, 2014

essig.21@osu.edu

A university’s leaders should arguably be the most productive people on campus, but also the most scrutinized, as their decisions affect everyone.

In 2013, one leader was certainly at least well-scrutinized — easily the harshest performance review of Ohio State’s senior leaders was of the top financial official, who was criticized for his handling of both people and multi-million dollar decisions.

But he still earned a six-figure bonus.

At OSU, senior leaders’ productivity has lately been focused toward navigating more than 63,000 students and 43,000 employees through a time of transition. Big transitions at the university can be tricky when it’s the leaders themselves switching up their roles.

The words have been written dozens of ways in a myriad of stories: E. Gordon Gee retired as Ohio State president last July, leaving Joseph Alutto to take the reins in an interim role once more. One year from that big change, another is set to take place as Dr. Michael Drake becomes OSU’s 15th president.

As administrators come and go, as they’re promoted to new roles or moved around at their current level, the university forges on. There’s no timeout, no pause, no moment to take a breath.

So while not all of OSU’s top administrators are in the same roles they were in a year ago — some, as in Gee’s case, aren’t with the university at all — The Lantern took a look at their most recent performance reviews to dig a little deeper into the faces and changes behind some of OSU’s most important decisions.

The Lantern requested 18 OSU senior administrators’ performance reviews for 2012 and 2013. Eight of the 18 administrators did not have performance reviews available for 2013, and at least two who were employed at the time did not have reviews available for 2012.

According to an OSU human resources performance review policy, “all employees must receive a performance review at least once a year.”

University spokesman Gary Lewis said he would be responding to all questions about the performance reviews. He provided a human resources document Wednesday with additional information on the distribution of bonuses for some of the administrators.

 

Senior Vice President for Optimization and Integration and Medical Center Chief Transformation Officer Geoff Chatas

Chatas’ current role, which he moved into March 1, is new at the university. He previously served as OSU chief financial officer and senior vice president of business and finance, titles he had held since February 2010.

Chatas earned a $683,153 salary in 2013 as CFO, and was paid an additional bonus of $97,647. That additional amount was a payment of a bonus he earned in 2012.

Chatas earned an additional $100,464 bonus, nearly 15 percent of his base pay, in Fiscal Year 2013, half of which is set to be paid in FY 2014 with the other half to be deferred until the end of his contract.

In his performance review dated September 2013, Chatas received criticism from Alutto, who called attention to Chatas needing to be aware of his “leadership shadow.”

“You have taken on an increased level of responsibility that requires great attention to detail and thoughtful leadership,” Alutto wrote, noting Chatas needs to “remove barriers and create a culture where people want to work for you.”

Alutto continued on to tell Chatas not to put pressure on his team “without taking the time to understand their situations and the impact on the university.” He said if Chatas forces changes his team can’t handle, it can “cripple the university” in the long term.

Alutto wrote that Chatas needs to focus on his “own personal and professional development.”

“You are quick to point out the shortcomings of your peers as well as other individuals across campus, but this year I want you to totally focus on you,” Alutto said. “Determine how you can best serve the university and how your peers and I can best support you in that process. Work with your external coach to determine if you really believe that you need to change. I believe you want to, but I am not convinced that you are doing it for the right reasons.”

When making decisions or being involved with decisions about “the band and compensation for the band director, selecting (Chatas’) assistant, renovations in the management suite for Student Life, spending funds on MBAs and workers’ (compensation),” Alutto said Chatas’ moves “could be perceived as being focused more on the individual than the greater good.”

“These are decisions that are university decisions that need to be made at the level of the President’s Cabinet,” Alutto said. “My expectation during the coming year is that you will look to this group for advice, provide them with the appropriate level of accurate information and background and then stand behind whatever decision is made.”

Last year, OSU invested $50 million in venture capital firm Drive Capital, despite concern from Alutto about the amount of money being invested.

“The only issue I see is the initial size of the investment,” Alutto said in a June 13 email to Chatas. “What is the justification for a $50 million investment rather than one in the $20-30 million range that you described as more typical?”

An email later sent to Chatas, signed “G,” said, “I spoke with Joe Alutto today and told him we had to honor the Kvamme agreement.” The address of the email was redacted in the provided records.

Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen launched Drive Capital in 2013. The deal with OSU was controversial because of its size and a potential conflict of interest between Kvamme and Gee, who previously met when Kvamme worked at JobsOhio and Gee was a board member there.

Three months after Alutto sent the email expressing his concerns, he wrote in Chatas’ review about a concern of Chatas’ colleagues — that he “too often (makes) pronouncements as if (he is) dealing with absolutes.” He gives the example of Chatas’ mindset that there is “no funding for construction other than new money.”

“That, coupled with confusions about motivations and resource availabilities, has also led to concern about whether you are overextended or simply do not have the support needed for consistency in action. That needs to be addressed,” Alutto wrote.

Alutto, however, also called Chatas “bright and intelligent” and told him he is committed to providing Chatas with the “feedback you need to help you continue on your path of continuous learning.”

When asked for a specific response from Chatas to the assessment in his 2013 review, The Lantern was referred to Lewis, who responded with previously provided information including that “performance management at Ohio State also involves a continuous process of feedback and mentoring, which includes verbal and written reviews.”

Meanwhile, Gee, who hired Chatas, gave him an overall favorable review in September 2012.

Gee noted Chatas had “learned and made great progress” in leadership and teamwork, and asked Chatas to seek “new and innovative ways to finance the university’s future.” That same year, Chatas was named CFO of the Year by Columbus Business First, following a recommendation by Gee.

 

Interim President Joseph Alutto

While Alutto planned to retire from his former position of executive dean and vice provost in November 2013, he stuck around OSU a bit longer to take over as interim president following Gee’s retirement.

Alutto’s salary was $637,508 in 2013, and he earned a $234,096 bonus — which consisted of a performance bonus totalling 30 percent of his base pay and a $40,000 retention bonus.

Alutto did not receive a written performance review in 2013.

Gee conducted Alutto’s most recent performance review, dated September 2012. He initially notes the “historic transition” from quarters to semesters and says OSU is “poised to seize the future in new and exciting ways.”

In the review, Gee said Alutto had done a “wonderful job accomplishing his FY 2012 goals,” and set a few focus areas for Alutto for the coming year. Gee called on Alutto to guide senior leaders toward efficiency and alignment, to plan for the best possible support of the Discovery Themes and develop a program to reward and recognize faculty “as a way for us to differentiate ourselves from other institutions of higher education.”

The Discovery Themes initiative was launched in October 2012 to target health and wellness, energy and environment, and food and food security. These were areas identified as priority areas for OSU by university officials, and the $400 million plan includes expanding research and hiring new faculty.

 

Former President E. Gordon Gee

While Gee left the university last July, his salary stood at $410,000 for the year and he was paid a whopping $1,460,703 bonus, easily the highest bonus of any senior administrator.

The next-highest 2013 bonus payout among the administrators investigated was Alutto’s $234,096.

As Gee retired from OSU in 2013, there was no performance review available for him for that year. Gee is now the president of West Virginia University.

His 2012 performance review was dated November 2012, about a month before a Dec. 5, 2012, OSU Athletic Council meeting where Gee made comments that later came under public scrutiny. Remarks about Notre Dame and the Southeastern Conference in particular brought national attention.

The review was conducted by the Board of Trustees and covers July 2011 through June 2012.

Alex Shumate, Board of Trustees governance committee chair, said trustees recognized Gee’s “exceptional ability to execute change in a complex organizational structure.”

“In fact at a turbulent time for higher education, in which many universities are being forced to make many difficult sacrifices, this university has thrived,” the review said.

The Board recommended a salary increase of 3 percent to his base pay, and a performance-based bonus of 40 percent of his base pay.

The review noted future areas of focus for Gee, including generating new resources, developing academics in line with Discovery Themes areas, implementing the Advancement Plan and aiding the Medical Center expansion.

The Board also praised Gee for the success of the $125 million partnership with Huntington Bank, the creation of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program and the transition from quarters to semesters.

 

Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz

Steinmetz also moved into a new role July 1, as the former executive dean and vice provost of the College of Arts and Sciences stepped into the position vacated by Alutto.

Steinmetz earned a salary of $461,040 in 2013 and was not eligible for a bonus in FY 2013 or FY 2012.

In Steinmetz’s September 2013 review, Alutto wrote that Steinmetz’s “role and leadership” had a great impact on the success of transitioning from quarters to semesters, which Alutto noted went “better than any of us had expected.”

Alutto also thanked Steinmetz for the way he handled “uncertainty” following Gee’s departure, becoming one of Alutto’s “strongest advocates.”

As far as goals for the coming year, Alutto requested that Steinmetz make both short and long term goals, and requested to remain informed of how the goals are progressing as well as ways he could help. No specific goals were mentioned.

Alutto acknowledged Steinmetz’s input is important to the success of OSU, noting that he depends on him as the No. 2 at the university.

“You have great ideas, and strong opinions; do not hold back,” Alutto wrote. “My expectation is that between the two of us, we need to be vigilant on all matters so that we can ensure that when it comes to our core, we have the resources that we need to support and implement the Discovery Themes as well as your short-term and long-term objectives.”

On March 6, Steinmetz announced the creation of the Provost’s Discovery Themes Lecture Series, which intends to bring leaders to the university to speak on topics relating to Discovery Themes initiatives in health and wellness, energy and environment, and food production and security.

In his July 2012 performance review, Alutto called Steinmetz a “model for other deans,” and asked him to examine and balance faculty teaching loads.

 

Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Planning Dolan Evanovich

Evanovich’s 2013 salary was $370,000, and he was also paid a bonus of $24,407. That amount was a payment of a bonus he earned in 2012.

He also earned a $66,962 bonus, 20 percent of his base pay, in FY 2013, which is to be paid in two equal installments: one in FY 2014, and the other at the end of his contract.

A 2013 performance review for Evanovich was not available, though his contract was renewed May 9 in a letter from Alutto. His new contract term is set to run through Aug. 31, 2018.

“You will continue to be expected to enhance Ohio State’s excellent track record and positive trend in the recruitment of outstanding students (and) expand our access initiatives to ensure that highly qualified students capable of benefitting from university excellence have opportunities to study at the university,” the letter reads.

The university’s strategic plan is to work toward a goal for OSU to “be consistently recognized among the top 10 public comprehensive research universities in the world,” according to the department’s website. Evanovich works largely in admissions, the university registrar, financial services and student services.

In his performance review dated August 2012, Alutto said Evanovich “recruited some very good new staff members and (had) done excellent work in developing (his) team.”

That same year, Evanovich set goals of having 7,100 students in the freshman class, with a 28.2-28.3 average ACT score and 90-91 percent in the top 25 percent of their class for Fall 2013.

The actual numbers for two of those goals exceeded his expectations, as the Fall 2013 freshman class had an average ACT score of 28.5 and 92 percent were in the top 25 percent of their class. Enrollment was just short of Evanovich’s goal, resting at 7,083.

 

Senior Vice President for Administration and Planning Jay Kasey

In 2013, Kasey’s salary was $438,934. He received a $56,465 bonus on top of that, which was a payment of a bonus he earned in 2012.

Kasey also earned a $107,582 bonus in FY 2013, 25 percent of his base pay, to be paid in two equal installments with the first hitting his bank account in 2014 and the second at the end of his contract term.

His performance review dated September 2013 noted projects that made it from the drawing board into implementation, with Kasey playing a key role. These projects included parking, traffic safety and the OSU Wexner Medical Center Expansion Project.

In June 2012, OSU’s Board of Trustees approved a $483 million, 50-year parking privatization deal with QIC Global Infrastructure. Kasey also helped lead a Traffic Safety Task Force, following a series of traffic incidents early in Fall Semester 2012.

The Medical Center’s expansion includes the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, set to open in December and accommodate a 21 percent increase in patient admissions over the next 10 years.

Gee’s September 2012 review of Kasey also mentioned his work with the Medical Center, noting Kasey’s leadership in developing the facilities.

Alutto told Kasey to focus on some areas for improvement in his 2013 review.

“As we discussed, your tendency is to wait until you have all the details and a solution until you come forward with either good news or to identify potential issues,” Alutto said. “This approach prevents others from truly understanding the great work you and your team accomplish … Sharing information is a key driver to our success; my expectation is that in the coming year I can count on you to tell your story better.”

Alutto also asked Kasey to think about the big picture in order to make decisions “that can sustain the test of time.”

 

Performance review logistics

While not all administrators had written performance reviews on file, Lewis said performance management, and the assurance that employees are reviewed yearly, go beyond the written review.

“Although it is required for all employees to receive reviews, performance management at Ohio State also involves a continuous process of feedback and mentoring, which includes verbal and written reviews,” Lewis said in an email Monday. “All elements of performance review, verbal and written, are key inputs in determining compensation.”

He said the performance review process was adjusted because the university is in a period of change.

“This year’s process for performance reviews of senior leaders was one in transition. Because every senior leader participates in the ongoing, annual review process, all leaders expect to receive helpful coaching and feedback.”

To further explain bonuses, under OSU’s Performance and Retention Plan, not all bonuses are paid out in full immediately. Instead, 50 percent is paid in the following fiscal year and 50 percent is deferred until the employee’s contract term has expired.

Therefore, an employee might receive money in one year that is actually the culmination of past bonuses. On another note, if an employee leaves the university before their term is up, or breaks their contract, the deferred money goes back to the university.

The Lantern requested the performance reviews and other records including travel budgets Jan. 23, and the request was filled March 24.

 

Next steps

As OSU spins forward, forging through changes in administrative roles, it prepares to welcome Dr. Michael Drake, the current chancellor at the University of California Irvine, who was named the university’s next president in January.

As part of a series on the OSU administration, The Lantern is sorting through different aspects of what goes into running a university of OSU’s size and prominence.

This story is the final of three focusing on performance reviews of 18 senior administrators.

The next story in the series will take a look at why these administrators are compensated at the rates they are and how these rates stack up against salaries of administrators at comparable institutions.

 

This story is the fourth in a series about Ohio State’s administrators, including travel expenses and performance reviews over the last two years. The series was made possible by the generosity of Ohio State and The Lantern alumna Patty Miller.

 

 

A look at some of OSU’s administrators:

 


The Lantern uses two-click social media buttons to protect your privacy. Click once to load the button, then again to share!

Tags: , ,

Category: Campus

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Thanks Joe says:

    Pres. Alutto’s commentary regarding Chatas is spot on and shows what a fantastic leader Pres. Alutto is.
    He knows there are serious issues with Chatas, addresses them head on, but does not overstep his role as interim, instead leaving any major changes in leadership to Dr. Drake.
    Honestly, I’d like to know what Joe would do if he was unleashed fully.
    He and Provost Steinmetz are a great team.
    Kudos, Pres. Alutto, your poise and directness will be missed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s offensive in the first paragraph to say that these people might be the most productive on campus. I’m a staff member of the university and can work up to 60 hours a week tirelessly. Just because I’m not an official administrator doesn’t mean that I’m not representing the university.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Lantern is doing a great job with this series. This is what the the “fourth estate” should be doing – shining light in the dark corners of “leadership” suites. In all of this “looking forward” business, dominated by questionable investments and privatizations, there seems to be little time to reflect on our past and the original mission of our land grant university. OSU was created to serve the citizens of Ohio. It’s almost never mentioned as we ink insane 50 year parking deals with Australians, and make the main campus more and more difficult for Ohioans to enter.

    I see little long term leadership. I see lots of short term greed in terms of salaries and bonuses at the top. Oh, gosh, I just realized, it’s a reflection of present day America. Bank of America move over – The Ohio State University Corporation is here.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Part of the series should include a comparison of the 1.5 percent raises with no bonuses given out to faculty and staff over this same time period

  5. Chas Jones says:

    Land Grant Universities, first and foremost, ought to serve the people of Ohio in opening access to Higher Education to as many as possible. This is not happening at Ohio State. Like the cliche, nothing is certain but death and taxes, at OSU nothing is certain except for for spiraling tuition and Administrators pay and perks.

    Leadership, truly worthwhile and effective Leadership, requires Integrity, Ethics, Morals, and other Virtues. None of those may exist without a foundation of Faith, in a “Higher Power.” Consider The Northwest Ordinance: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/nworder.asp and especially Article 3: “Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.”

    Sadly, Ohio’s “leaders” have abandoned and forgotten the History and Legacy of those who settled and formed the State of Ohio. Unless and until that History and Legacy is restored, it is highly unlikely Ohio’s Governors nor OSU’s Trustees, nor OSU’s administrators will eschew greed, corruption, and self-interest and once again seek to serve the people of Ohio by fashioning a Great University with the widest possible access to its citizens and residents.

    I challenge everyone in Ohio, everyone who ever attended OSU, discover Ohio’s true History and Legacy; restore those and build upon them. Or, passively watch, or worse still enable Ohio and OSU’s continued decline.

  6. Anonymous says:

    RE: Part of the series should include a comparison of the 1.5 percent raises with no bonuses given out to faculty and staff over this same time period…

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s difficult for current faculty and staff to see such enormous leadership salaries when we are told our department budget is being cut and will have to find other areas for reduction in order to accommodate a 1.5-2% annual increase for staff.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I want to echo the comment that Alutto was spot on. What is, however, quite disturbing, is that Chatas was put in a senior position at the medical center when he has no experience in healthcare. Nepotism and back room politics seem to be the crux of the hiring and management strategy at OSU. I would urge the Lantern to shine a focused beam in that area.

  8. Another Anonymous says:

    I don’t know her at all, but kudos to Caitlin Essig, the OSU senior who put this all together. She certainly has a bright future as a journalist. Very professional and revealing story.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Seriously they should be ashamed of themselves. I have not honestly had a “cost of living” raise in the 12 years that I have worked here and I have gotten the max allowable every year. Leadership is completely OUT OF TOUCH with those of us in the trenches. Every time we turn around we are expected to give to this campaign or that one. smh

  10. Anonymous says:

    …. I would urge the Lantern to shine a focused beam in that area.

    Completely agree with this entire comment. Nepotism and favors. Someone with no HR experience was hired to run HR. Someone who brings her husband (not an employee) to meetings. Someone who was a personal coach for Gee and Chatas… We can see how well that turned out.

  11. Your Mom says:

    RE: RE: Part of the series should include a comparison of the 1.5 percent raises with no bonuses given out to faculty and staff over this same time period…

    RE: I couldn’t agree more. It’s difficult for current faculty and staff to see such enormous leadership salaries when we are told our department budget is being cut and will have to find other areas for reduction in order to accommodate a 1.5-2% annual increase for staff.

    Couldn’t agree more. Maybe quit spending money on the Effectiveness and Efficiency Study (Layoff or early retirement research) and pointless positions mid-level. Should take a look at what the old gaurd in these positions were making compared to the slick willies of today are making. Demanding more for less to the staff while getting fat off our hard work.

  12. Tim says:

    “It’s offensive in the first paragraph to say that these people might be the most productive on campus. I’m a staff member of the university and can work up to 60 hours a week tirelessly. Just because I’m not an official administrator doesn’t mean that I’m not representing the university.”

    You can represent the university and not be as productive as them. Productivity is a function of elapsed time, effort, and results.

  13. Just the Tip says:

    Great job! I think you have just touched on the tip of the iceberg – I would urge you to look at how poorly the Office of Human Resources is run, the amount of bonuses of more than $25,000 that were paid to lower level “executives”, and the fact that faculty and staff are constantly being told to “appreciate” the hardship of the university to provide them with a 1.5 – 2% annual raise – all the while increasing health care and parking. More people than ever are taking home less money in their paychecks while being asked to do more and cut more resources for the sake of “efficiency”. When money is needed for an administrator, you can bet it can be and will be found. This university is no longer focused on students, thanks to Les Wexner, but rather on business and making money. Students are simply a product and like most corporations, this university has figured out how to pay the top and work to death the bottom.

  14. We will rock you says:

    Thank you 4th Estate for finally doing your job instead of reporting on Miley’s genitalia.

  15. anonymous says:

    My guess is at some point in time the administration, with approval of the board of trustees, adopted a new model of compensation for senior leadership that is akin to the annual performance bonus model on Wall Street. And I would bet the level of compensation under this model has led to a significant increase in the level of compensation for those positions. It is all public record. The Lantern should obtain historical compensation (salary, bonus, deferred compensation and fringes)for certain key positions and plot it over time–starting maybe 15 years back and carrying it forward to the present day.

    And then determine if other Big 10 universities pay similar amounts and use the same or different compensation models.

    Do not be dissuaded by bromides like you have to pay good money to get good people.

  16. Lots of good comments here!

    Ms. Essig and her fellow journalists seem to be doing a great job in this series as well as the last one (see the “Special Reports” heading under the masthead for those). This is indeed what it should be all about (well, besides the Hokey Pokey!).

    I’d also echo the situation with most OSU staff, who don’t earn close to a six figure income, or receive any five figure bonuses. Those bonuses, at from 6 to 25% (or more?), are insane, especially in our compromised economy, and with all the waste here at OSU. Now consider their effect on “morale.” Just read the comments.

    What I wrote above also applies to most of the actual, teaching faculty, and certainly the GTAs.

    We’re the ones who pick up the trash. We’re the ones who cook the food. We’re the ones who watch out for safety. We’re the ones who teach and grade the students. We’re the ones who navigate the paperwork. We’re the ones who tend to the sick. We’re the ones who MAKE OSU WORK.

    And we’re also the ones whose taxes pay the bonuses! Ain’t that sweet?

    It doesn’t stop at pay, either. In fact, pay isn’t one of my complaints. I like my job, for the most part, and I love and respect REAL higher educational efforts, as both my parents were TEACHERS.

    There’s more to life than money, but you wouldn’t know it from the inflated Wall Street salaries and bonuses around here. As a PUBLIC SERVANT, I’d be ASHAMED to be making over $200-300K per year, plus BONUSES. We’re supposed to be providing EDUCATION to the next generations, not enhancing Wall Street Cred for up and coming Junior Executives.

    Maybe some of our Leadership will see these comments and participate in order to provide their honest perspective! You know, as in “dialog” concerning “higher education?”

    Don’t even get me started on the “secret presidential search” they concocted, whilst ignoring Ohio’s Sunshine Law.

    We need to reform Higher Education, and not just at OSU.

    Karl
    Always a Student, sometimes a Teacher

  17. Anonymous says:

    The amount of money paid in bonuses is shameful. I could understand if they were CEOs of corporations but aren’t they all supposed to be educators.{Insert chuckle here} Obviously the amount of the bonus is tied in to how much you bring in and who you know. Personally I would be thrilled if the new President came in and started slashing salaries. Gene Smith making the amount of money he does is just a travesty. More than the new President. If that position were offered at $250,00 per year with no bonus there would be a list of highly qualified people submitting just so they could have it on their resume. In the end, what is it exactly that Gene Smith does?
    My wife worked at OSU for 26 years before passing away suddenly this January. Through the years she was saddled with added responsibilities with little adjustment in salary. I would say she worked harder in any given week than most of the people making 20 times her salary. But she was one of the little people. I wish the high and mighty would realize the university would grind to a halt without the hard work of so many who aren’t making six figure bonuses.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it odd that this article came out on the same day that the Chief Investment Officer announced he was leaving and that the University chose NOT to publicize that? Sounds like President Alutto had some valid points.

  19. The last Anon wrote:

    “Personally I would be thrilled if the new President came in and started slashing salaries.”

    Yes, that would be thrilling. The idea that despite the careful, secretive vetting process carried out by the Movers and Shakers of OSU and their central Ohio political influences, Dr. Drake turns out to be “slightly unexpected.” Either some epiphany changes him midstream or it was his true self that he carefully hid from them all the time. After a nice honeymoon period during which he scopes out the landscape and carefully plans his moves, President Drake turns out to be a MAVERICK who shrugs off their slimy grasp and begins REFORM. Slashing huge egotistical salaries & accompanying bonus packages is only the beginning! His next cuts begin lowering tuition costs; instead of hiring outside consultants we begin forming our own study committees out of professors and grad students and…oh well…

    Great American Novel potential, eh? That’s about all it is. (I hope I’m wrong!)

    Also:

    “My wife worked at OSU for 26 years before passing away suddenly this January. Through the years she was saddled with added responsibilities with little adjustment in salary. I would say she worked harder in any given week than most of the people making 20 times her salary. But she was one of the little people.”

    My condolences. Your wife sounds as though she was an essential, dedicated, hard worker and a shining example of one of us “little people.”

    Karl

  20. Anon at 1:24pm wrote:

    “Isn’t it odd that this article came out on the same day that the Chief Investment Officer announced he was leaving and that the University chose NOT to publicize that? Sounds like President Alutto had some valid points.”

    I suppose it’s “odd.” It could also be mere coincidence. We’d need more info. Coincidence happens, which is just one reason we do our best to learn and implement proper investigative techniques and sound research methods.

    As for OSU not publicizing his departure for the Weinberg Foundation, why would they want to do so? What would be their motivation? I honestly don’t know, but I’m sure OSU PR folks are working on proper spin. Not my area, but I’d guess he didn’t get a big enough…BONUS?

    Dr. Joe “Studies Show” Alutto has valid points. Indeed. I don’t doubt he has that capability. In his honor I shall dig up my vintage textbook, “The Practice of Social Research” by Earl Babbie (1983!!) and spend some time with it, along with fond memories of Dr. Gisela Hinkle. She was AWESOME.

    I hope The Lantern keeps up the good work! I have been impressed. My only criticism is that they come so late in the semester, when students are at their busiest studying. At least that’s what they should be doing! :)

    Karl

  21. anon says:

    I too am extremely disturbed that someone with the troubles of Chatas is now in charge of the med center’s finances.

    Readers of the Lantern: look around, ask around. What department or employee of this university is not being asked to cut something, whether it be people, salaries, materials? We have people making tons of money in the med center reviewing the “necessity” of mere student positions, people who have no connection to the front lines work of the health sciences. Ms. Essig, perhaps this is a story you should be writing in the future.

    And what happened to the students in all of this? What’s the cost to them? Oh yea, you must live on campus two years and stay in dorms and pay for food. Great. What does it mean when faculty and staff of this university question whether their own children should attend here, and not for want of good faculty?

  22. A. Nony Mous says:

    This whole series of articles has been fantastic. Kudos to Ms. Essig and the whole Lantern team. Alutto definitely seems to be no-nonsense but also knew to leave OSU on good terms and not shake things up too much. I sure hope Dr. Drake is the maverick described above. Everyone is asked to do more with less so those who had more can get even more. That’s corporate greed as seen by Wall St. That has no place in a public university. Of course, one only needs to look at the connections Gee and a few other folks have with Kasich and players in his administration like Mark Kvamme. Kasich brought the Wall St mentality to the Ohio Governor’s office even when his past at Lehman Brothers was hardly successful. So when so many people are so connected by dark money influences, it’s bound to surface at some point.

    The Gee years certainly are leaving a lasting legacy — of greed, hypocracy, arrogance, and questionable decisions.

  23. asdfdf says:

    I think articles about Miley’s genitalia would be more interesting. Bureaucrats reviewing other bureaucrats but still getting raises and/or six figure salaries isn’t anything new..

  24. No Name says:

    Anon: Readers of the Lantern: look around, ask around. What department or employee of this university is not being asked to cut something, whether it be people, salaries, materials? We have people making tons of money in the med center reviewing the “necessity” of mere student positions, people who have no connection to the front lines work of the health sciences. Ms. Essig, perhaps this is a story you should be writing in the future.

    Totally agree with above post. Our office staff went from five down to two because the “dream team” review board has decided we had too many people assisting faculty and departmental matters. Now there are some days that only one person runs a busy office answering to 50+ faculty. Don’t even think about taking a bathroom break on those days, oh and you better clock out for lunch but be expected to answer the phone if anyone calls because you better not have more than 40 hours in a week. Then in staff meetings we’re given the threat of “you all need to think of ways to work more efficiently” Are you kidding me!

  25. Most of the comments on The Lantern’s series of OSU Bigshot Behavior articles appear to be legitimate and well thought out. Many of OSU’s upper administrators seem to be riding the ultimate Gravy Train, carrying a full load of Cash Cows, to the tune of six figure incomes and five figure bonuses, with first class travel and stops at luxury hotels all over the world.

    Meanwhile, the little people who do the actual day to day work of the university can only dream of such luxuries, as student tuition continues to climb and budget cuts loom over us all.

    Keep the comments coming, and thus keep this thread in the “most commented” box at the side bar!

    Karl

  26. Anon Y Mous says:

    So, can someone explain to me why Chatas was put in charge of the Med Center if we are this concerned about him.
    The Wexner MC is what could truly cripple this University if not run correctly…

  27. Speaker of Truth says:

    But seriously,
    The joke is on West Virginia University.
    The last time that I heard Gordon Gee speak, he couldn’t form complete sentences.

  28. Ghost of Walt Seifert says:

    Well it’s graduation day at Ohio State. The pomp and ceremony. The full regalia. The tables full of diplomas handed out individually per the vaunted custom of the university from days of yore to today. The hard work. The sacrifice. The mounting debt. The traffic jams. One parking fracas after another. The gnashing of teeth over the broken English and misunderstood faculty. And that brings us to today’s guest speaker who shall remain namesless and the unilateral decision, curiously and hastily made by a learned and academic man who should know better: Joseph Steinmetz. What a poor excuse for a university administrator and leader of a world-class faculty. Steinmetz’s decision will go down in university infamy. What a learning moment for the students. Take this example and do better. It won’t be hard.

Leave a Reply