Little Sisters of the Rich

September 24, 2012 at 11:27a    by Ramzy Nasrallah    


tommrkr's picture

Gotta spend money to make money.

burkmon's picture

So typical for my hometown paper.  I guess they don't mention all the good President Gee has done for our university, or how he keeps the alumni and donor money pouring into our school and medical facilities.


LouGroza's picture

Comparing Gee to other university presidents is like apples to oranges. Think of the difference in presence alone between Gee and Holbrook. He is a rock star prez like him or not.

Doc's picture

WOW!  That was eye opening.  I know EGG has done wonders at OSU, but spending 7.7 mill in what five years?  Is ridunculous.  Especially when his nearest equal is doing it under 1 mill.  I wonder what good that other 6 million would have done for the University itself.  One person living in a 9600 square foot house is over the top.  I know the university owns it, and Gordon doesn't need to bring in room mates, but that seems like a real waste of resources.  I like gordon and hope he stays at OSU for a long time.  It seems like his spending needs to be curtailed a bit.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

hodge's picture

Disagree, I think that you can't quantify the measurable amount of money into the university that Gee has attributed to over the last five years.  With his initiatives to improve dorms (to make students live on campus for their first two years), and campus as a whole, as well as improving the university's academic standing (though begun by Holbrook, OSU Main Campus is now the most exclusive public university in the state) and the university's public footprint as a whole; he's done enough to account for far more money into the university than out.  Take, for example, his public tour of all Ohio's counties: how many students did he convince on that tour (and future generations of the people he met) to one day pay tuition at Ohio State?  I agree that a 9600 sq. foot house is over-the-top, but it is worth mentioning that his annual salary is 1/4 that of Urban's.
Goodwill and PR does a lot to improve the equity of Ohio State's "brand".  If that costs $7.7 million over 5 years, I can live with that if it makes my alma mater better in the long run.  I also wonder how much Ohio State's football staff has accumulated in "expenses" over the past five years; private jets that criss-cross the country on recruiting trips don't pay for themselves.
As an aside, I don't think the above comment merited a downvote.

wside buck's picture

If the spending does not come from tax dollars then this is a non issue for the public. This article only serves to make donors less likely to contribute general donations, which the university can spend as it sees fit. Most donations stipulate the money must be spend on scholarships, research, departments, etc.

William's picture

Gee has done a lot for the university in terms of fund-raising, as well as academic growth, but $7.7 million is a bit extravagant. Also his administration has utterly failed at putting together any effective effort at making campus safe. He's done wonders for the school academicaly and as a student I think he should stay for as long as OSU can keep him, but there are certainly some problems I have with his administration.

wside buck's picture

How has he failed at making campus safe? If you are referring to the off campus robberies those were a result of the Columbus police failure rather than the University. Recently the Ohio State University Police and Columbus Police Department reached a joint jurisdiction agreement that allows OSUPD to take immediate aciton offcampus. I think that qualifies as increasing campus safty.

William's picture

The 30+ crimes within the University district as well as an armed robbery directly outside Hitchcock Hall rates as a complete failure in my book. You do realize that as a student I was informed of 3 of the crimes that occurred during our first week back, when 30+ occurred? That is a tremendous failure on the university's part. "Recently the Ohio State University Police and Columbus Police Department reached a joint jurisdiction agreement that allows OSUPD to take immediate aciton offcampus."- CPD and Campus Police routinely patrolled together previous to this agreement. Sure it might give Campus Police the ability to react faster, but then again wouldn't it be better as a student to have the means to prevent crime in the first place, instead of just being able to report it and have it responded to faster? 

wside buck's picture

I am a student too and it is alarming that so few of the crimes are actually reported. How exactly do they choose? Most crimes occur offcampus which is the responsibility of CPD and they simply do not patrol enough in that area. I think that the widened jurisdiction of the OSUPD will help decrease crime. So I do think they are trying to improve safty, it will just take time to see if this new measure works. However, I understand and I am with you on empowering students to prevent crime too.

RC's picture

Would you rather have Karen Holbrook back?  I didn't think so.  Gee is worth the money.  The ROI with him is huge.  
When I was a freshman (in 1992), I was in line to pay tuition and in came Gee who proceeded to go through the line greeting each student.  That is not a huge deal but he didn't have to do that.  The point is he is personable and a great spokesman for the University (even if he isn't always PC).  
Also, Richard Vedder sounds a little bitter.

William's picture

I don't think anyone here has said Gee needs to go, just that $7.7 million is a bit extravagant. 

RC's picture

And my point is that if he gets results (and he is not using public funds) then I don't see a problem with it.

Doc's picture

The endowment has decreased, so maybe he isn't getting the results he should.  I think we all like EGG, I know I do, we are just saying he needs to realize he is working for a public institution and maybe should reel in the extravagance.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

William's picture

I was unaware that the endowment has actually decreased. 

tommrkr's picture

Of course, it could be that a lot of endowments are tanking in a so-so economy, and we could argue that without Gee it may have decreased even more.

bwh's picture

My litle brother, an OSU alum, was slated to get commissioned as an officer of the USMC at the horseshoe not too long ago.
The old coot showed up, complete with gifts. When he found out that we were locked out, he grabbed his phone, made a few calls, and BAM took care of it. Wouldn't have happened without him.
Couldn't stay due to time comittments, but took the time to stop by and glad hand with everyone. Meant the world to him (and the 50 people there). Took pictures with EVERYONE.
Still cited by my little brother as one of the best things that ever happened to him.
7.7Mil is fine with me as long as he keeps being that kind of a President.

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

I have no problem with Gordon Gee.  I just wish he would stfu sometimes, especially when speaking with reporters. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Gee is the new Limousine-ridin, jet-flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun.  WOO!

Class of 2010.

E2Brutus's picture

This 6 years of spending? I don't think 7.7 mil is all that bad... for a school like Ohio State. I'd be willing to bet this comprable if not less than a lot of other big-time programs.

BuckeyeW's picture

Report: Ohio State spent $64,000 on Gordon Gee bow ties and bow tie branding

William's picture

Or that they pay for him to send flowers/gifts to politicians and faculty members. The dude makes over $1 million. That stuff can come out of his own pocket.

rampageripster's picture

No... it is $64K ovr 5 years... so roughly $12.8K a year... that is NOTHING in the grand scheme of the entire tOSU budget
Not only that, but the large majority of this was for giveaways.  The university gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crap every year as "branding" and "student life" reasons.  The bowtie is a popular symbol because of Gee's popularity, so the university has logically decided to use it in it's give aways.  This is important because it begs the conclusion that the money would have been spent anyway on giveaways, just with a different logo/theme.

Cause I couldn't go for three

rampageripster's picture

This is the biggest non-issue ever.... 7.7 million is over 5 years... so 1.54 million a year... that's not an entirely large nuber considering the sort of traveling done by President Gee (which is completely needed)
ZERO dollars of this come fromt axes.  ZERO dollars of this come from tuition.  I fail to see why this is raising a stink.
Go ask the trustees if they think Gee should cut back, they'll laugh you out of their meeting.

Cause I couldn't go for three

Pam's picture

When Les Wexner gave tOSU $100M, he said "If not for Gordon Gee...."

Jdadams01's picture

This. Let's compare that 7.7 mil to the amount raised by Gee. Or the improving academic view of OSU since Gee came on. Small potatoes compared to the hundreds of millions.

Denny's picture

... but BOW TIES!


southbymidwest's picture

Ehh. 7.7 mil sounds a bit much, but then again, I also know that accounting can make big things little and little things big. The job of a large state university president is like walking multiple tightropes at the same time. You have to manage the functions of the university (but in all probablility, you have the provost dealing with day to day operations). You have to keep the politicians, board of regents, and governor happy so that they won't decrease state funding next year. Then you have to keep the staff, professors, and deans happy. You have to recruit the rock star profs who are rainmakers when it comes to grants, and then keep them happy while they are on campus and fend off the other universities and consortiums who try and entice them, and their big money research grants away. You have to keep US News and World Reports happy, so that they will move you up the charts. You have to work the PR so that OSU is seen as the hot place to go, both for in state and OOS students. You need to shmooze with corporate recruiters so that they will gladly hire your graduates. Then you have the parents and students who are dealing with pretty big tuition dollars as compared to what my parents dealt with. Big time D1 coaches need some love too. And last but certainly not least, donors need lots of love and atttention.  I think Gee does a pretty damn good job balancing it all.

Bucksfan's picture

Sixty five-THOUSAND dollars?  Just for bow ties?  "Excessive" is a word that doesn't even begin to describe that.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The Dayton Daily reports that Gee has raised 1.6 BILLION since 2007

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches