Ohio State University announced Monday the terms of a $5.8 million contract that puts a new spin on the football powerhouse’s cheer, “Go Bucks!” OSU communicators outlined the new role for former President E. Gordon Gee that will keep Gee in bow-ties for eternity or through June 30, 2018, whichever comes first. OSU’s board of trustees released the terms of a new contract with Gee, outlining his ongoing role with the university following his July 1, 2013 retirement as president of Ohio State.
Gee announced his retirement from the presidency on June 4, 2013.
Under the contract, Gee will continue as a tenured member of Ohio State’s faculty at the Moritz College of Law until he elects to retire from the faculty, OSU said in a media release. The ebullient and always upbeat president will conduct research on 21st century education policy, and will serve as president emeritus. Terms of the contract reflect a total commitment of $5.8 million, with portions paid out over a five-year period.
“This agreement recognizes Gordon Gee’s distinguished service at Ohio State and underscores his stature as a national leader in higher education,” said board of trustees Chairman Robert H. Schottenstein. “His tangible contributions to our university, and to the future direction of higher education, have been nothing short of remarkable … Gordon has had, and will continue to have, a positive impact on higher education in Ohio and the nation for decades to come,” Schottenstein continued.
Contract terms include:
- Title: Effective July 1, 2013, Gee is granted the office and title of president emeritus of the university.
- Tenure: Gee shall retain tenure as a full professor in the Moritz College of Law. For each year from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018, the university will pay Gee an annual base salary of $410,000.
- Grant: For each year from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018, the university will provide Gee with an annual grant of $300,000 in connection with his research on 21st century education policy.
- Payment upon Execution of Contract: Upon execution of the contract, the university will make an additional one-time payment to Gee in the amount of $1.5 million, which releases the university from previous contractual obligations such as deferred compensation, and supplemental executive retirement plan compensation.
- Retirement Continuation Plan: The university will contribute a one-time payment of $800,000 to the University’s Retirement Continuation Plan (“RCP”), subject to the terms and conditions of the RCP.
In a letter dated March 11, Board Chairman Schottenstein wrote Gee, saying, “Every action that you take and every word that you speak is noticed by many and can have a profound impact on our entire University with a potential resonance across the country.”
Schottentein observed that even though Dr. Gee’s words may be intended to bring a “bit of levity to some significant issues … [they] have, in fact had the opposite effect.”
“There have been occasions on which your comments were insensitive and inappropriate and have offended others,” the letter said. “As a result, instead of your words promoting and uniting us, they have sometimes embarrassed and divided us.”
President Gee served OSU for two terms, from 1990-1997 and October 2007 to July 2013. During his tenure as president, Gee has been recognized as a preeminent legal scholar and a national thought leader in the area of public higher education policy. He has enhanced the university’s academic profile as Ohio State has become a highly selective, top-tier public research institution.
“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 prepared remarks. “I am also looking forward to deepening our understanding of the changing nature and role of higher education in the 21st century,” added Gee.
Gee’s leadership has contributed significantly to the strengthening of the university’s long-term financial condition, OSU said, noting that under his leadership during the past several years, the university has raised more than $1.6 billion in private funds and has developed innovative financing strategies that direct more funding to the academic core.
Widely known throughout Ohio and around the country, Gee chaired a national commission on the future of higher education. At the request of Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has often called Gee the greatest politician in Ohio, he also spearheaded two state commissions that developed new models for colleges and universities.
OSU said there are other miscellaneous costs associated with the terms of the contract, as outlined in the agreement.
Ohio State University was founded in 1870 and is a is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions, OSU public relations information advertised.
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