Although former Ohio University President Roderick McDavis said his final farewells to his alma mater in February, new records reveal his bank account received a hefty bonus as a result of deferred compensation payments.
According to his 2012 contract, McDavis was entitled to annual deferred compensation payments in an amount "equal to 17 percent” of his annual salary, which he would be able to access following his retirement or resignation. In previous contracts, the amount was 10 percent. Overall, the amounts contained in the two deferred compensation accounts, titled 403(b) and 415(m), totaled $1.012 million.
“His ability to access these accounts is determined by IRS regulations and the terms of the retirement and deferred compensation plan agreements,” OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said in an email.
A clause in his presidential contract stipulates that in addition to the ability to choose from a number of retirement plans, McDavis would participate in a deferred compensation program arranged by the Board of Trustees. During his final year as OU president, McDavis was set to make $500,000.
Original totals in a previous Post report estimated McDavis would receive a total of $389,516 in deferred compensation by the time his contract with the university expired. The actual amount, however, is approximately $622,484 more than anticipated.
It is unclear why two accounts were used for his deferred compensation. Leatherwood noted the 415(m) account is required by IRS regulations “in some situations.”
While the amounts deposited in the 403(b) account remained fairly consistent at an average of about $44,348 per year since 2005, the amount deposited in the 415(m) account increased on a yearly basis, with only one exception from 2011-2012.
In 2008 when the account was opened, for example, $5,886 was deposited in the 415(m) account. By 2016, the amount had steadily increased to $86,000.
Meanwhile, incoming OU President Duane Nellis is set to earn even more than his predecessor. Nellis will begin his time at OU with a $475,000 salary and will receive deferred compensation in a similar way McDavis did.
Unlike McDavis, however, a clause in Nellis’ contract further specifies the deferred compensation terms, saying the university will provide the president with “an amount of deferred compensation equal to the maximum amount allowable under the law for that year” to the 403(b) Tax Deferred Plan. That amount, according to the contract, will be “in addition to, and will not reduce," the base salary paid to the incoming president.
The contract between Nellis and the university contains a number of stipulations that will likely set his presidency apart from that of McDavis.
Nellis and his wife, for instance, will not be required to live at 29 Park Place — the residence McDavis left following a bat infestation in 2015. Instead, they will be accepting a stipend of $5,000 per month to live in the house of their choice, provided it is located in Athens County.