Board of Trustees’ meeting


Budget revenues are up from last year.

Sarah M. Penix / News Editor

Over the summer, the Ohio University Board of Trustees welcomed a new member and approved resolutions related to the budget. Here is what you need to know to get caught up to speed for the academic year.

Nellis and Ruthie pay raise

At the Board of Trustees meeting in June, board members approved a resolution that gave both the president and first lady pay increases, effective July 1.

President Duane Nellis received a 1.5 percent pay raise of $7,125 and a bonus of $71,250, which is 15 percent of his annual salary, while First Lady Ruthie Nellis received a pay increase of $525.

The president’s annual salary is $475,000, which is consistent with the university-wide raise pool for the year.

“The terms of Dr. Nellis’ contract, including the housing allowance, reflect national trends in higher education executive compensation,” Board of Trustees Chair Dave Scholl said in an email.

The Board’s resolution defined Nellis’ accomplishments, including his work on renewing a focus on financial sustainability, strategic pathways and plotting a new direction to make OU a leading institution in higher education.

Fiscal year 2019 budget approved

During the June meeting in Chillicothe, the board approved the university budget for fiscal year 2019.

Total revenues are up $15.3 million from fiscal year 2018 at $811 million, while $770 million in expense allocations will in part go toward university employee compensation and interest on the university’s loans and debt.

The university and the OU Foundation have $610 million in outstanding debt as of June 30, according to the Board’s budget memo; however, for the next four fiscal years, OU will pay off 11 percent of the principal debt portfolio, which is $64 million.

The 2019 budget will use $17 million in reserves, which will cover capital improvements, a new regional campus strategy and funding of strategic priorities and programs.

“We want to figure out how we can create a sustainable and more enhanced model for regional higher education as part of the system of Ohio University,” Nellis said at the June meeting.


Blake Nissen | PHOTO EDITOR

Ohio University President, Duane Nellis, opens up the Board of Trustee's meeting on January 19, 2017.

Capital Improvement Plan updates

Updates to the Capital Improvement Plan were approved by the board in June. The total budget for those projects between fiscal years 2019 and 2024 is $78.9 million.

The board approved several capital project budget updates, including the construction of several “prioritized” campus roads. OU and the City of Athens are partnering to repave sections of West Green Drive, South Green Drive, Race Street, Rufus Street and East Union Street at Jeff Hill by the end of September.

That project will cost $584,000.

The preliminary stage of the repairs are scheduled to be completed on Aug. 17, according to a university press release from the Office of Facilities Management and Safety.

“We don’t want to interfere with any of the move-in activities or anything like that,” Associate Vice President for Architecture, Design and Construction Greg Robertson said.

The repairs in August are intended to prepare the roadways for asphalt mill and overlay paving, which are scheduled to take place in September.

New trustee

Eileen M. Sheil was appointed as the newest member of the OU Board of Trustees by Gov. John Kasich in May.

Sheil works as the executive director of corporate communications at Cleveland Clinic, according to a previous Post report.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from OU and 22 years of experience in communications, Sheil aims to give back to the university through the volunteer position.

“I want to (help) the university be the best it can be and attract the best and brightest students,” she said.

Sheil's daughter, Lauren, is a sophomore studying strategic communication at OU and a Post columnist.

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

Landing Page

Special Projects

This story is part of a series of specially designed stories that represents some of the best journalism The Post has to offer. Check out the rest of the special projects here.