The Ohio University Faculty Senate met Monday evening to discuss the upcoming OU Board of Trustees meeting, as well as a resolution that sought to eliminate bonuses for administrators at OU.
OU President Hugh Sherman said the Board will meet Thursday to name a regional trustee, a position Sherman planned on proposing to the Board, according to a previous Post report. The Board will consider renaming McCracken Hall, a building that houses the Patton College of education, to Patton Hall, as well as present a list of buildings that will either be leased, sold or demolished to reduce annual operating costs.
John O’Keefe, a senator from the OU Chillicothe campus, introduced a resolution to prevent bonuses from being awarded to any college dean, vice president, president, provost, vice provost, chief financial officer and anyone in the department of athletics with a base salary that exceeds $150,000 in a year where no salary increases for faculty are available, or if faculty layoffs or program cuts take place. The resolution was met with pushback from several senators.
“Why is it (the resolution) sanctioning bonuses – at all – for highly-paid administrators?” Jacqueline Wolf, a senator in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, said. “If you want to make a statement, which is all a senate resolution is, then that’s what the statement should be: Public employees should not be getting bonuses, especially when they’re as highly paid as the people who list are.”
Bill Reader, a senator in the Scripps College of Communication, said it is not possible for all bonuses to be eliminated. However, he agreed there should not be bonuses given in times of financial struggle at OU.
“Giving bonuses at the same time that they’re laying people off ... it’s not just a matter of how it looks, it’s a matter of what it is,” Reader said. “It’s extremely unethical. It’s actually evil.”
Some senators questioned the legality of the proposal, especially if the bonus is already included in a contract. James “Mick” Andzulis, a senator from the College of Business, said removing bonuses unfairly lumps deans from colleges into one group.
“By eliminating bonuses, you’re disregarding a history of the value of variable compensation and the incentive it has in encouraging people to reach goals,” Andzulis said.
The Chair of Faculty Senate report addressed testimony delivered in opposition to House Bill 327, a piece of legislation introduced in the Ohio House that seeks to prohibit the teaching of “controversial subjects.”
Senate also passed a resolution introduced by the Executive Committee to institutionalize conducting meetings and voting through Microsoft Teams for senate business.