Nellis and other OU officials

From left, OU officials during a media availability at Walter Hall in January 2019: Deborah Shaffer, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer for the Board of Trustees; President Duane Nellis; OU Trustee Chair David Scholl; and former Provost and Executive Vice President Chaden Djalali.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees today (Friday) approved a resolution granting a $72,000 bonus to OU President Duane Nellis, and a $7,000 raise to his annual pay for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

In total, Nellis' base yearly salary will now be roughly $489,000. Nellis – who was hired in June 2017 – also was granted a $71,000 bonus last year and a similar raise last year by the Trustees.

Trustee Chair David Scholl introduced the resolution granting the pay raise and bonus after noting that the Trustees had conducted an annual comprehensive performance evaluation for Nellis. The resolution offered a glowing evaluation of Nellis' performance since starting at the university. Scholl cited a number of his accomplishments during that time. He said Nellis has helped the university continue to pursue multiple presidential "pathways" toward success that he introduced in 2017, centering around values of "dialogue, civility, inclusivity and diversity."

He noted that Nellis has been a staunch defender of the "transformational value of public education."

Scholl added that the resolution will direct the university's general counsel to update OU's contract with Nellis to increase the level of performance bonus he's eligible for. Normally, the maximum is 15 percent of his base salary (which resulted in the $72,000 bonus above). The new maximum will become 20 percent of his base salary.

Nellis' wife also was granted an approximate $500 raise, raising her salary to roughly $36,000 a year.

These raises come amid ongoing budget difficulties at the university, with OU's individual Athens academic colleges being asked to cut $19.3 million from their budgets over the next four years.

We'll update this story in the coming days with more information from the resolution and comments from other Trustees.

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