Raise for McDavis, 29 Park Place Discussed By Trustees

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Along with approving a $90,000 bonus and an increase in base salary for Ohio University’s president, the Board of Trustees approved a change to an institute name and discussed the future of the on-campus presidential home as part of their main meeting Thursday.

The trustees met on OU’s Dublin campus on Thursday where they spoke positively about the state budget approved by Ohio Governor John Kasich, which allowed them to move ahead with a 2 percent raise pool for faculty and staff. The board also approved a raise for the man at the top spot at the university.

Ohio University President Roderick McDavis received a good report and a $90,000 bonus at the end of Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. After reading a memorandum stating the board’s “unanimous” agreement that the president has “done an outstanding job this past year,” Board Chair Sandra Anderson led a unanimous vote to approve a raise in base pay and a bonus for McDavis.

Retroactive to July 1, McDavis will now receive a 3.2 percent, or $15,000, addition to his base pay, bringing his total base salary to $480,000. He also received a $90,000, or 19.35 percent, bonus this year. The increase in base salary for President McDavis was less than last year’s $33,700 increase. His bonus, however, was more than the $85,000 bonus he received last year.

According to Anderson, the board followed administrative policy in deciding on the bonus and pay increase. That included a written self-assessment from McDavis, along with comment from all trustees, including student trustees, on the performance of the president.

“Our student trustees are part of the process…and have been all the way through,” Andersen said during a meeting with media after the board adjourned on Thursday. “All of our trustees get input one way or another from folks…”

The Executive Committee, which includes Trustees David Wolfort, Janetta King, Dave Scholl and Anderson, met in public session on June 12 to discuss recommendations regarding the president’s review. Recommendations were discussed by the full board in executive session on June 26 and a summary was presented publicly on June 27 before being approved at Thursday’s meeting.

“The board continues to highly regard and deeply appreciate the work and results delivered by your senior leadership team,” McDavis’ evaluation, given to WOUB at the meeting, stated. “We believe you are leading the university in the right direction with strategic vision, boldness, energy and passion.”

In the evaluation, the board said McDavis’ ability to help “weather a tough environment” throughout his 11 years at the university was one of the reasons they continued to have confidence in his leadership.

They cited “continued success” with the Strategic Enrollment plan, improved rates of retention of students, implementation of the Ohio Guarantee, partnerships with state and local groups and “achievement under the Capital Improvement Plan” as further reasons they gave a positive evaluation to the president.

“The trustees carefully considered your continued very positive performance while also being mindful of the challenges, including financial challenges, that the university continues to face,” the board said in the evaluation.

First Lady Deborah McDavis received an increase as well, of $1,150, bringing her to an annual pay of $36,150.

In other discussion from the meeting, Anderson said the board was “continuing to deliberate” on the fate of 29 Park Place, the presidential home on campus, which was vacated by McDavis after bats reportedly infested the house. They were moved to a home on Coventry Lane which the university is leasing.

Anderson told the public that a review of the costs to repair and/or renovate the property has been done and options of using the residence as a presidential home or as another university facility are still on the table.

“We’re still gathering data, we’re still gathering information,” Anderson said.

The board unanimously passed a resolution to change the name of the Barbara Geralds Schoonover Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact to omit the Schoonover name, at the request of Geralds.