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Why is this news?: Ohio State track stays winning, university looking to adjust administrator pay

All your Ohio State news, in one helpful place.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

"OSU is ‘looking very carefully and systematically over a period of time at executive compensation to make sure it’s fair and transparent and accountable.’"

-Ohio State President Michael Drake, interviewed by Tom Knox

With a goal of cutting $200 million in administrative costs by 2020, the Ohio State University is taking a serious look at executive compensation in order to ultimately pass savings along to students.

Executive pay was infamously high under former president Gordon Gee, who left the university in 2013 and who received the highest compensation for any university president at a public college during his tenure. At his departure, Gee walked away with nearly $6 million, including several million in deferred benefits.

Gee had stated that it was necessary to pay people in these positions top dollar for their performance in an environment like Ohio State.  He also stated that individuals, including renowned physicians and administrators at the Wexner Medical Center, needed to be judged and compensated based on their performance as they are in the private sector.

Currently, Gene Smith is the highest-paid public official at Ohio State, with a base salary of $959,294 in 2014. With bonuses, he could earn up to $1.5 million annually. Urban Meyer is fourth on the list, with a base pay of $818,640, though he can earn an average of $6.5 million under his new contract. The remainder of the top five are top physicians from the Wexner Medical Center. President Michael Drake’s salary came in ninth.

Drake formed the Talent and Compensation Ad Hoc Committee to oversee executive compensation with the goal of placing Ohio State’s leaders in the 50th percentile for compensation among their peers at public universities.

Ohio State remains one of the most affordable schools in the Big Ten. Its $10,037 annual price tag for in-state students will also remain steady for the upcoming academic year after first being frozen in 2012, even while public university tuition increased nearly three percent last year nationally. However, a 2014 report by the Institute for Policy Studies found that state universities with the highest-paid executives also have the greatest increase in student debt.

"Having the pressure of two consecutive titles on their backs, I could not be prouder of the way everyone on the team has responded all year."

-Ohio State Women’s Rowing Coach Andy Teitelbaum

Ohio State women’s rowing championship was awesome for many reasons. First, it is the third-consecutive national title for the squad and fifth overall. It also made a statement in a sport traditionally dominated by Ivy League and west coast schools. Finally, it is the fifth national championship for Ohio State this year out of 36 varsity sports. The other champions include:

  • Football (8th championship in program history)
  • Wrestling (1st championship)
  • Pistol (2nd consecutive, 7th overall championship)
  • Synchronized swimming (29th championship)

The victory also earned the Big Ten its 10th national title of the 2014-15 academic year, which tops its previous record of nine titles from 1999-2000.

Ohio State’s squad, which entered the competition ranked third nationally, beat out perennial rowing power Brown, which leads women’s rowing with six national titles in program history. California, Washington and Virginia rounded out the top five. Michigan (10), Indiana (11) and Wisconsin (13) also placed in the finals.

The Buckeyes maintained a perfect record of 69-0 overall over the last two seasons on their way to their 16th-straight NCAA tournament appearance.

And just in case five national championships aren’t enough, Ohio State is sending 12 individuals and three relay teams to the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. June 10-13.

Ohio State competed in the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. over the weekend.  The women’s 4X400 relay was the star performance for the Buckeyes, with the team finishing with the best overall time in the East. Their 3:28:37 time broke the previous school record and was the third-fastest time in this year in Division I. The men’s 4X400 also had a strong performance, coming in second place in the preliminaries with a season-best time of 3:02:67. The last relay team qualifier, the women’s 4X100 team, clocked in with a season-best time of 43.99 to punch their ticket to the championships.

The Buckeyes won three individual Big Ten gold medals, as well as a gold for the women’s 4X400 team, at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship in May.

Check here for the full list of Ohio State qualifiers and events.

"Who doesn’t want to hire a guy who knows about selflessness, being a part of a team, commitment, time management and most importantly, solving issues in front of 30 million people on television, if that’s how many watched out game with Oregon."

-Urban Meyer, from FOX Sports

Urban Meyer is a big proponent of life after football, which is why he began hosting job fairs geared towards Ohio State football players. This year’s program, the third such iteration, brought together 57 companies from across the country to meet with members of the football team. Many, including quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett, embraced the "Plan B" opportunity:

While Meyer does not discourage his players from keeping the NFL at their number one goal for the future, he does want them to think about a future without football.

"You come to Ohio State to go to the NFL. That’s the ultimate goal," said halfback Dontre Wilson. "But you have to have something to fall back on. And having this here, it’s just a big eye opener that lets you know that football is not everything."

Joey Bosa, who came to the job fair on a scooter with a minor injury, used his injury to gain perspective on new opportunities:  "Tomorrow could be the day…that something horrible could happen and I could hurt myself and my career would be over just like that. It’s always important to know people and to get to know new people every day and have those ties and take advantage of the opportunity of being at Ohio State."

Meyer has also implemented "Real Life Wednesdays" during which speakers to talk with the team about life in the corporate world, and has been working to create internship opportunities for football players who, due to their schedules, are not able to participate in full internship programs.


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