Some Ohio public university presidents have received million-dollar severance packages and offers of new homes even as tuition costs rise.
In Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati trustees unanimously approved paying President Greg Williams nearly $1.3 million over two years. Williams resigned suddenly from his post last month. That includes a $500,000 consulting position and $255,000 faculty salary even though he won’t actually teach, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich, D-Montgomery, says the payments “sends the wrong kind of message to students:”
“It’s really disappointing that the trustees would make such a decision while so many students and families are struggling with rising tuition costs,” Pillich said in a statement. “As the trustees vote to needlessly spend over a million dollars, the University is trying to decide how to fund $10 million for the Cintrifuse project and students are taking out more loans to pay a tuition that was increased by 3.5 percent this year.”
And at Ohio University, a donor has “volunteered” to pay for a new house for President Roderick McDavis or to renovate his existing university-owned home. That home is in “good to fair” condition, the Ohio University Post reports. It’s currently valued at nearly $1 million, according to the Post.
University trustees also awarded McDavis a 6-percent raise this year. And, as at many other Ohio public colleges and universities, trustees voted to increase tuition by 3.5 percent this year.
Ohio University’s provost told students earlier this year that the school is working to ensure college is affordable for students, the Post reports:
“We’re working really hard to make sure that students will have financial aid to support their education,” she said in April.
Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee is still the best-compensated university president in the country, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey of 2011 data. Gee made $1.9 million last year.