Ohio State University will provide lifetime health insurance to former President E. Gordon Gee once he no longer has a job, and he will receive $800,000 that the university promised last year, under a deal released today. But the majority of the $5.8 million, five-year retirement package OSU offered Gee last year will evaporate when Gee officially becomes West Virginia University's president on July 1.
A deal between Ohio State University and former President E. Gordon Gee will give him lifetime health insurance once he no longer has a job, along with $800,000 in retirement benefits that the university promised last summer.
But the majority of the $5.8 million, five-year retirement package that OSU offered Gee last year will evaporate when Gee officially becomes president of West Virginia University on July 1.
Gee, 70, was named the president of West Virginia in March after being hired as its interim president last year. He retired from the top job at OSU last year but had planned to remain on the faculty before West Virginia made its offer.
In an agreement dated March 26 but which Ohio State released yesterday, OSU’s chief attorney said Gee will remain on unpaid leave through June 30. His employment with OSU will terminate the next day, when he officially becomes president at West Virginia, but he will receive some benefits.
Gee will receive lifetime medical insurance from Ohio State, which was part of his retirement agreement last summer. But his coverage under the deal will be suspended as long as he has a job that offers comparable insurance.
When his contract ends on July 1, Gee also will have access to $800,000 that OSU paid to his retirement plan last year. He will keep his president emeritus title, will be able to cash out unused vacation days and will keep his life insurance.
The rest of the five-year retirement deal that OSU signed last year will end on July 1. That includes Gee’s base salary of $410,000 a year, faculty tenure, his campus office and staff, and an annual $300,000 grant for his research.
That will save the university an estimated
$4 million over five years, Gary Lewis, a university spokesman, said in an email.
Gee is now being paid $450,000 a year as interim president at West Virginia.
Since last year, Gee also has led the Quality & Value in Higher Education initiative that Gov. John Kasich started to improve education in Ohio. Gee will finish that project and submit a report before his contract ends at Ohio State, said Jeff Robinson, a spokesman for the Ohio Board of Regents.
Gee had promised to donate $1 million to Ohio State, and the letter released yesterday said he will still do so. Some of that money will go to the Center for Higher Education Enterprise, the office created for Gee when he retired.
He plans to continue scholarly work with the higher-education center, and Ohio State promised that he can keep his title as a senior fellow there.
“Although I will miss our regular interactions and your daily presence on campus, we all are certainly happy for you and wish you the very best in your new role,” wrote Christopher Culley, senior vice president and general counsel at OSU in his letter outlining the agreement.