Monday, September 24, 2012

Golly gee: The multimillion dollar bow tie traveler

As a college student I was told by my father that he wanted me to be, in the following  order, a car salesman, doctor or lawyer.  Being young and contrary - but not yet grumpy -  I figured that I  wanted something else for a day job.  What Dad foolishly never mentioned was that I should try to become the president of a megalopolis  otherwise known as Ohio State University. (He was a Notre Dame fan, anyway.)

I must confess that when I read that E.  Gordon Gee, the OSU president, could easily get by with the world's largest bow tie collection on his $8.6  million in salary and perks  in addition to the  $7.7 million that he's spent on travel in  his five years at OSU, I realized that some folks  have  checkbooks that never have to be balanced.

The OSU guardians of the fortress immediately offered to the Dayton Daily News investigative team that broke the story that, after all, the travel money was drawn from private donors and endowments to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investments.  Or as a front-office spokesman  described it, "resource generation".  Do these guys ever speak  English?

There's still one question:  Can the Ohio public retirement system really afford to have Gee retire during these lean days?   The formula for his compensation would  be a lot more than $1 million.  Until the economy improves, he should be encouraged to hang around for a little longer to add to his famous bow tie collection and bow tie cookies.  It also would give us more time to find out what the "E" in his name stands for. Ego?


Mencken said...

A little checking reveals that Gee made about half of what Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes made going back to 2007. And no Barmes didn't have a better year. For $5million this year the Bucs got a .228 hitter with hands of stone.

Gee may not be missing any meals, but at least he's responsible for a $billion budget and 100,000 employees and students. Barmes on the other hand, is responsible for about 60 feet of dirt between the third baseman and second base.

At least for their $$$$, Ohio State gets the number one university president in the country, according to Time Magazine.

In 2010, Gee donated his $300,000 bonus to a student scholarship fund.

No word on whether Barmes plans to sponsor a free bratwurst and Iron City day at PNC Park for the long suffering fans.

Grumpy Abe said...

Who would ever deny that Barmes was inept in the field and at the plate for his huge salary. But that reflects more on the stupidity on an incompetent front office that hired him in the first place , just as it did for so many others for nearly two decades that kept the Pirates comfortably buried in the basement. But one thing can be said in defense of professional athletes: Their careers generally end by their mid-30s, or sooner. President Gee is twice that age, with no sign that he is retiring. He may be the " best" college president, or not. That's a judgment call. If he should strike out with the bases loaded now ands then, as he did in the Tressel matter, well, can we argue that nobody's perfect? As they say about rape, football is football.

David Hess said...

Maybe "resource generation" is academese for "commissions" from the funds he is raising?

Anonymous said...

Check STRS pension rules. I believe there's a cap on the final highest salary calculation.