Peter Kirstein very recently did a post to this blog titled “Universities, Penthouses, and CEO Venality” [https://academeblog.org/2015/12/21/universities-penthouses-and-ceo-venality/]
Coincidentally, the Dayton Daily News recently has published an article by Josh Sweigart on the housing provided to university presidents in Ohio. Although it includes some attention to the new residence being provided for the new president of the University of Dayton, the bulk of the attention is to the housing provided to public university presidents.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
“Central State University President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond lives in a $485,000 house purchased for her last year in a Beavercreek Twp. subdivision located 10 miles from the Wilberforce campus.
“Central State continues to pay the mortgage on the house—totaling $51,600 a year—as the school is under fiscal watch and its students graduate with more debt than any other four-year public school in the country. . . .
“Across Ohio, university presidents are the highest paid government employees living in publicly subsidized housing.
“University officials and presidential employment contracts say these houses are offered so university executives can be accessible and have a place to host potential donors and dignitaries. But this newspaper found that many of these homes are miles from campus and some are rarely used for anything but housing the president.”
The article does acknowledge that “Miami University president David Hodge’s presidential quarters, Lewis Place, is on the Oxford campus and hosted 63 events in the 2015 fiscal year attended by 4,759 people. Gardening and housekeeping is provided as it is for other campus buildings, and events were catered at a cost of $25,121 last year.”
On the other hand, “Wright State University president David Hopkins . . . lives 20 miles from WSU in a Centerville home he purchased in 2009 for $600,000. His annual pay—which surpassed $1 million last year, making him the highest paid university president in the region — includes a $50,000 annual housing stipend.
“Hopkins’ contract said this is offered ‘to help defer expenses for your private residence which will be available for University use from time to time,’ though the only event held at his private home is an annual holiday party for staff.”
At the other end of the spectrum is University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono. who “lives in his own house, a $736,700 four-bedroom home about six miles from campus in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park neighborhood . . . [and] receives no housing assistance from the university.
“Ono in 2013 convinced university trustees to sell UC’s presidential residence and create a $3 million scholarship endowment. He is paid a $525,000 salary, and has rejected his annual bonus since becoming president in 2012. This year he asked that the $200,000 be given to scholarships and charities.
“’College affordability is a top priority for families and students,’ Ono said in a news release at the time. ‘I want us to think in new ways to do whatever we can to help students achieve their dream of a college education.’ . . .”
The bulk of the article provides considerable detail on the controversies surrounding the extensive and expensive renovations of the homes provided to the presidents of Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the University of Akron–controversies covered in earlier posts to this blog:
Josh Sweigart’s complete article is available at: http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/central-state-president-lives-off-campus-in-485k-c/nphSC/