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Ex Post Facto: Week one is in the books

Welcome to the first edition of Ex Post Facto, a weekly blog that will recount the news in Athens from the past week. 

While you'll find deep reporting on each of the stories mentioned here, this blog will break down the biggest themes from this week's news.

Here are some of the noteworthy happenings in Athens during the past week:

The slip-up

You might remember when the much-liked former VP for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi left Ohio University last year to take a job at Cornell.

Well, during the spring OU announced it had found a new VP in Jason Pina, who was previously an administrator at a university about half the size of OU in Massachusetts. Lombardi sang high praises of Pina in a previous Post report.

But Sunday, Pina made (perhaps his first) public mistake at OU.

He did the Buckeye thing. You know, the thing where someone confuses Ohio University and The Ohio State University. More specifically, he called himself an Ohio University Buckeye while speaking to thousands of freshmen at their convocation on Sunday.

He acknowledged the mistake on Twitter the next day.

Jaywalking is illegal

Mayor Steve Patterson and Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle are concerned about the amount of jaywalking that goes on in Uptown Athens when students come back to school.

Patterson and Pyle, speaking at a meeting between city officials and student ambassadors this week, said jaywalking Uptown is primarily a safety issue, and added that officers will be warning and actively citing offenders.

A Post report captured Patterson’s message:

"For me it was to caution individuals not to play Frogger across Court Street, and to use the controlled crosswalks instead of just ambling across Court Street in uncontrolled areas — and mentioning to them that, by the way, it’s against the law to jaywalk in the city of Athens," Patterson said.

Flex loses its edge

A game changer indeed.

Effective immediately, holders of Traditional 14 and Traditional 20 meal plans can “swipe in” other people, a privilege previously reserved for those willing to dish out the extra cash for a Flex plan. That means the major difference between the two plan types is the Flex points that can be spent at campus markets.

The price difference between the Traditional 14 meal plan and Flex 14 for an academic year? According to OU Culinary’s website, it’s $1,384.

An abbreviated ‘ween’

Move your Halloween plans up one hour.

The city of Athens will likely shut down the Uptown block party’s event stages an hour early this year, a member of the committee that oversees the party said at a city council meeting this week.

That would mean the party, set for Oct. 29, would end at 12:30 a.m. instead of 1:30 a.m.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said assaults tend to pick up after 12:30 a.m. Remember when someone fired a gun at the party? That happened a little after 2 a.m.

Salary Analysis

Every year, The Post finds out who has the highest salary among OU employees for the current academic year. Often it ends up being varsity athletics coaches, followed closely by the university president. This year is no different.

Men’s basketball coach Saul Phillips will pull in $572,200 in salary this year — a raise of a little more than $11,000 from the year prior. Phillips’ team won 22 games during the regular season last year and lost 11, according to the MAC's official website. 

Frank Solich, coach of the football team, will make $507,715, about $10,000 more than his 2015-16 salary. Solich’s team won eight games last year and lost five. The team did not win its bowl game against Appalachian State.

President McDavis’ salary is $500,000 this year, his final year as OU’s president. A $20,000 raise boosted his pay.

OU had this to say about how it decides on salaries (via a Post report):

“Ohio University’s executive compensation philosophy takes into account experience, market data specific to higher education, market influences, performance factors and position criticality,” Chief Human Resource Officer Colleen Bendl said in an email.


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