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Athletic coaches and OU President McDavis top salary list for 2016-17

Although Ohio University President Roderick McDavis received a raise and a bonus at the June Board of Trustees meeting, the administrator isn’t receiving the highest salary this year.

The OU men’s basketball and football coaches again claimed the top two spots as the university’s highest-paid employees for the 2016-17 academic year.

Saul Phillips, the men’s basketball coach, will make more than $570,000 this academic year, which is about $70,000 more than McDavis will receive. Football coach Frank Solich will receive about $508,000 for the year.

The OU Board of Trustees awarded a $20,000 raise to McDavis in June for his final year as OU president, which brought his total salary for the year to $500,000.

“In summary, the Board of Trustees has determined that this past year, 2015-16, was another year of big successes,” according to the board’s evaluation of McDavis, provided by OU spokesman Dan Pittman. “We are pleased and deeply grateful for the hard work, passion and dedication that [McDavis] and Mrs. McDavis devote to Ohio University. We believe that Ohio University is well-positioned to build on the success that [McDavis has] established over the past 12 years.”

Amber Huntzinger, a junior studying social work, said McDavis’ salary was a little higher than she expected.

“I’m a little surprised by that,” she said. “That seems like a lot for a president of a university.”

Chris Baker, a sophomore studying finance, said he thought McDavis’ salary was reasonable because of his duties as president.

“Considering that it’s a huge campus, I think that’s pretty reasonable,” he said, adding that McDavis has multiple tasks to manage.

Huntzinger said, however, she wasn’t surprised that the top two earners were athletic coaches.

“I feel like they usually make more,” she said.

After the top three highest paid employees, Pam Benoit, the executive vice president and provost, and Deborah Shaffer, the vice president of Finance and Administration, make the next highest amount at $306,000 each, nearly $200,000 less than McDavis. They are the only two women on the top 10 list.

Shaffer received the biggest salary increase — about $70,000 or 23 percent of her 2015-16 salary — after she was promoted to vice president of Finance and Administration from senior associate vice president for Finance and Administration in April. Stephen Golding, former vice president of Finance and Administration, saw the biggest decrease in pay — about $43,000 or 14 percent of his 2015-16 salary — in his transition to senior vice president for Strategic Initiatives.

John Kopchick Goll, Ohio Eminent Scholar and distinguished professor of molecular biology, is the only professor who ranks inside the top 20 earners.

“I think professors should be making a little more because of all they have to do,” Baker said.

In total, the top 10 highest paid employees received $126,000 in raises from the university’s revenue, according to salary information obtained via a public records request.

“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. “The president relies on these factors when determining initial compensation as well as salary increases due to position changes or raises.”


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