The highest paid public employee in Ohio last year wasn’t Urban Meyer, who made $5.28 million. Instead, Ohio State University men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann claimed the spot with compensation package totaling $5.66 million.
Search the data: Get an inside look at the payroll numbers
Holtmann, who led the Buckeyes to a second round appearance in the NCAA 2018 March Madness tournament, received $4.7 million in bonus pay last year. University spokesman Chris Davey said much that was one-time bonus money associated with his transition to OSU.
Ohio State University on Thursday released its 2017 pay data and announced it is posting the information online.
Here are some quick takeaways from the data: total payroll hit $2.5-billion, a 6.4 percent increase over the $2.35-billion in 2016; 11 men made more than $1-million last year; 872 employees were paid $250,000 or more; the headcount was 42,670, which is 1,855 more workers than in 2016; and 86 employees have the word “president” within their job title.
Ohio State is an enterprise with a $6.6-billion annual budget, a major sports operation, a sprawling medical center, 1,288 buildings, 16,000 acres and 66,000 students.
The top 20 paid OSU employees — coaches, executives, physicians — are all men. While acknowledging the gender gap at the top executive levels, Davey said, “We are not satisfied with the gender pay picture at Ohio State but we’ve made huge progress.”
Among the top 20 are long-time employees whose bonuses are based, in part, on longevity and performance clauses in their contracts.
For example, OSU Senior Vice President Michael Eicher, the university’s top fundraiser, received a $1.8-million bonus in 2017 — a year in which Ohio State saw its annual fundraising increase 17 percent over 2016 and set an all-time record of $532-million in contributions from 267,000 individuals.
Overall, the university paid out $73.3 million in bonuses averaging $2,587 to more than 28,000 employees.
Roughly 1,600 employees work in OSU athletics, including 89 who made $100,000 or more.
While generous coaching contracts draw attention, Ohio State University is one of just 13 athletics programs nationwide that does not subsidize its athletics with tax, tuition or student fees, according to a database maintained by USAToday. In 2016, OSU athletics generated $170.8-million in revenues, according to the database.
Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake was the seventh-highest paid university employee, behind Holtmann, Meyer, Eicher, former men’s basketball coach Thad Matta, Athletic Director Gene Smith, and cancer specialist Dr. Michael Caligiuri who left OSU for a job in California.
Drake’s compensation totaled $1.25-million, which includes a $408,080 bonus. He took over as OSU president in June 2014.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that eight presidents or chancellors of public universities had total compensation of $1-million or more in the 2015-16 academic year.