CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Though it’s considerably less than his past earnings, E. Gordon Gee is set to receive a two-year contract worth $775,000 annually, a West Virginia University representative said Monday.
According to a Chronicle of Higher Education survey, the former Ohio State University president earned more than $6 million last year before returning to WVU, once again making him the highest paid university president in the country.
In addition to his $851,303 base salary at OSU, Gee earned more than $300,000 in bonuses, drew $2.3 million in deferred compensation and received a generous $1.5 million severance check for resigning after making several controversial comments last year.
After his ousting at Ohio State, timing was perfect for Gee to return to WVU where he was president for four years in the 1980s.
Gee was only meant to fill the post on an interim basis, but he officially became the university’s 24th president in March when the Higher Education Policy Commission approved his appointment to full-time status.
Until he signs a contract, which is being finalized, Gee will be paid based on his $450,000 interim contract, which expires in June.
Gee’s new contract will be much less than what he earned at Ohio State. The base salaries are about $100,000 apart.
Gee’s earnings last year stand far above the $478,896 median compensation for public college presidents. About $5 million also separates Gee and the next highest earner.
If Gee’s deferred compensation payments and his severance pay are not included, he still earned more than $2 million — about the same amount he earned in 2010-2011, the last time he was the highest earning university president.