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College President's Salary & Bonus
Old 07-23-2007, 01:23 PM   #1
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College President's Salary & Bonus

The Ohio State University's President Karen Holbrook has recently retired after 5 years as the head of OSU. Her contract had called for an annual bonus of up to 25% of her annual salary. The past year's bonus would have been $95,041 (her final year base salary was $380,164).

The OSU trustees decided that instead of the $95k bonus, they would give her a $250,000 bonus. There was "really outstanding progress across the board" during Holbrook's five-year tenure as president, said C. Gilbert Cloyd, chairman of the OSU trustees. "We look at it as an earned bonus," Cloyd said. "It was not a bonus tied directly to the contract ... but the board wanted to give it for her overall performance."

By most accounts Holbrook was an outstanding president who did great things at OSU. The AG's office is looking into whether or not the trustees have the authority to give such a bonus.

All the details haven't been worked out yet for her replacement, Gorden Gee, but his contract thus far begins with a base salary of $775,000.

There have been recent tuition increases at OSU. My thoughts are that, while it might have been a necessary & reasonable bonus if it were for an endeavor for retention purposes, it seems inappropriate to escalate the bonus for a retiring president.

I am interested in how others might view this.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
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I wonder why the replacement is double her base salary? Based on that, she probably deserves an extra bonus. What chaps me are the crazy salaries the head football and basketball coaches earn. I realize the biggest chunk comes from booster donations but it just doesn't seem right considering what professors make.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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Gee had served as OSU's President for about 7 years in the 90's then moved on to a couple of other universities (Brown and Vanderbilt). He was very well thought of during his tenure @ OSU & I believe that getting him to return is considered quite the plum, a coup if you will. Hence, at least one reason for his ^ base salary.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:30 PM   #4
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In principle I'd agree it seems odd to increase the bonus beyond the specified range for someone who is leaving.

Practically speaking, the school has about 50,000 students and an annual operating budget of several billion dollars, so the amount in question is almost irrelevant. Also, her salary was very low compared to what I've heard for others running large universities.

FWIW, a quick Internet search shows that Gee was making $1.1MM at Vanderbilt and that he's getting another $225k in deferred comp from OSU in addition to the $775k.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
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I have a hard time understanding salaries like these. I also have a hard time understanding the obscene salaries that most CEO's make (even in poorly performing companies), but at least in those cases one could argue that the right leader can make the company enough money to justify the pay...its hard to make that case in non-profits and educational institutions.

Two in particular that have always burned me up (and I am sure there are many), are the CEO's of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts...they make something like $750K and $1M each....how can a non-profit organization, mostly run by volunteers, and mostly funded by selling cookies (in the case of girl scouts), possibly be getting for $750K that they couldn't get for $150K?

Don't mean to hi-jack the thread...

I agree with your original premise though...why bump up the bonus for a *retiring* president? Especially at a state-run school.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bram View Post
There have been recent tuition increases at OSU.
The large bonus won't affect tuition in the near future. The Ohio legislature just froze tuition for the next 2 years at all state schools.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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I am not sure if the bonus was earned or not...I heard an interview on NPR of a former Red Cross head that indicated that it was nearly impossible to make much changes in jobs like these and your head is on the block when **** hits the fan....Probably more rewarded for being well spoken and not making any messes....
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:49 AM   #8
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I heard an interview on NPR of a former Red Cross head that indicated that it was nearly impossible to make much changes in jobs like these and your head is on the block when **** hits the fan....
Sounds like retired admiral Marty Evans-- nobody wanted to pay for the infrastructure that the Red Cross needed to develop, and then Katrina hit.
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