Buckeye fans enjoy seeing Ohio State at or near the top of rankings for a variety of things including numerous sports, academics, and research spending. Thanks to the all-around strength of OSU, we’ve gotten rather used to seeing the university we love at the top of those lists. However, not every list is one that you want to be at the top of and OSU fans and alumni had that reinforced this week when the Institute for Policy Studies named Ohio State as the Most Unequal Public University in the country; several other Big Ten schools also had the misfortune of appearing on the list as the rest of the top five were Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan, and the University of Washington. The IPS rankings were based on a combination of high pay for top administrators, high student debt, and large increases in low-wage or contingent faculty labor.
The fact that last year OSU’s Gordon Gee was the highest paid president in the country, earning over $6 million a year, meant that the university automatically was under scrutiny in the administrative pay category. Now the fact that Gee got paid a lot isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Ohio State is a huge, complex university and the job of president comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility. Gee also did a very good job according to most reports and he connected well with the students.
Gee’s high salary does become an issue though when it is coupled with growing student debt. According to the IPS report, the average student debt at Ohio State rose 46% to over $26,000 between 2006 and 2011; that was a rate that was faster than the national average. A big reason for that rising student debt is that since 2006, tuition at Ohio State has risen from $8,406 to $10,010 for Ohio residents and from $20,301 to $25,726 for non-residents (room and board was another $10,000 per year on top of that); that is an increase of 19% for in-state students and 27% for out-of-state students.
Short answer- “Of course”. Longer answer- “Now, more than one”.
We take a brief moment from our mayhem and merriment to publicly congratulate our own Eric on successfully defending his dissertation on Friday night, meaning that he now holds a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics. Yup, he’s certifiably dense.
Given that his advanced degree is from Michigan State (B!1!G!), we’re still trying to determine if his researched was centered on the particular kind of thermodynamics that East Lansing is known for.
On his behalf, I’m also going to give a shout out to Ken. As is usually the case, he was a part of Eric’s process far beyond the call of duty by serving as a reader/reviewer of dissertation. In unrelated news, Ken’s insomnia seems to have been cured. Funny that.
For those of you keeping track at home, that brings the number of PhD’s on staff to two; Eric’s in Physics joins Charles’ in Astronomy. I guess we can now fully attest that writing here sometimes is rocket surgery.
With one more staffer (cough) starting his own doctoral work in the fall, future roundtables might just be a bit more interesting.
Congrats, Eric… and thanks for using small words so the rest of us can follow along.
While the details are still coming out, I can’t stop thinking about how amazing the situation in Cleveland was yesterday. We need more folks like Charles Ramsey who would be willing to get involved when it’s easier to just mind their own business. Only one soundtrack possibility today, then.
From the beginning, we’ve been cautious about reporting or commenting on the situation involving former Penn State coach and now convicted offender Jerry Sandusky. As we’ve said before (scroll down), there are plenty of other places to read that type of coverage, and we want to be respectful as possible to the victims and all of those impacted by this situation- Nittany Lion fans included. As a fan whose team went through the wringer recently and who saw another side to their program, I understand that schadenfreude has no place in this story, particularly given the circumstances.
However, the report on CNN Friday night connected with me at a different level- one we’ve talked about here at tBBC before. If you haven’t seen the report, here you go.
Again, my purpose for posting that wasn’t to point fingers at another program; instead, I want to talk a bit about CNN’s Susan Candiotti’s final statement in that segment. She closes by reminding the viewers that,
…Several investigations remain underway here- You’ve got Penn State’s own independent investigation, run by Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI; You have the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office; You have the Justice Department; You have the NC double A; and you have the US Department of Education all looking at this.
And that’s why I want to reflect on this a bit- This situation is a chance to gain some important perspective regarding college athletics.
Weekly updates and miscellany from around the world of college sports…
“To be able to lead, you have to serve first,” Posey said. “I feel like being on scout team, helping the younger guys and being in the meeting room and telling them the little tips that I have allowed me to understand the game more and it humbled me as well. That’s what I needed going into this process and going to the next level. Through this process, everything you hear is what you can’t do and everyone’s tearing you down. Going through the draft, you’re going to hear a lot of negative things and then, when you get into camp as well, you have to be humble as well. You have to serve the team and show them you can play. I felt like I learned all those lessons this past year.”
“Every day at practice was a challenge, so I definitely think that will pay dividends,” Brewster said of Ohio State. “It really comes in the preparation the last couple weeks and really, four years of college. Now, it’s just show time and it’s time to go out there and do it. Anytime you get a chance to go against the best, you want to measure yourself.”