ABC 6 Investigates: Gordon Gee's New Office
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
COLUMBUS (Brooks Jarosz) – Outgoing Ohio State University President Gordon Gee is getting a new job and a new office at a hefty price.
ABC 6 requested public records and found that Gee is getting a spacious, new office to a tune of at least $190,000.
We asked around campus about the major renovation planned for the first floor of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.
ABC 6 investigators learned the plan calls for closing a corridor to create two rooms, both for Gee and his assistant. We checked and Gee’s contract says he’ll have a tenured position at the Moritz College of Law, not the School of Public Affairs.
OSU said it was unsure where the funding would come from to pay for the office, however, sources tell ABC 6 the project was approved by the Board of Trustees.
"This is a public institution. It sends a really bad message," liberal think-tank director Brian Rothenberg with Progress Ohio said.
However, many Gordon Gee lovers are okay with the cost of construction.
“He's brought in billions of dollars to the university,” one student said.
That price tag could pay for one year’s tuition for 18 in-state students. You could also buy a house for $190,000. In fact, one two-story home in Hilliard lists for $190,000, which includes a new kitchen, two bathrooms and even an upstairs loft.
For Lorna Whyte, OSU runs in the family. In her opinion, money’s tight and tuition’s high.
“My son goes here and my husband came to school here,” Lorna Whyte said. “The money is astronomical," she added.
Serious money is moving quickly and we asked to see the design plans, but they have not yet been released to ABC 6.
"Why can't he have an office that's already here?” Whyte asked. ”And maybe just needs some updating, painting and new furniture.”
ABC 6 investigators asked OSU for a breakdown of the renovation costs. Employees told us they’re working on it. We’ve requested the bids and design plans, but haven’t received them yet.
Construction is set to get underway August 1st and the new office will be completed by September 20th.
Keep checking abc6onyourside.com for the latest information on this investigation.