FOX19 Investigates: Perks in UC President's Contract

Published: Dec. 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2012 at 10:45 AM EST
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CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - New details are emerging about the contract UC's Board of Trustees approved yesterday for its new president, Dr. Santa Ono. The university today handed over a copy of that contract to FOX19.

As we reported yesterday, the ten year deal is worth $5.25 million, or $525,000 per year. However, that can rise over time because the contract allows the board to increase Dr. Ono's base salary and award him bonuses each year.

Former Pres. Greg Williams and the university were criticized over the $1.3 million severance deal they reached. FOX19 also recently exposed the details of that settlement and the perks Dr. Williams had enjoyed while in office. In fact, Williams still lives in the luxurious Presidential Residence and has a history of taking chauffeured cars to get where he needed to go.

The new contract for the man who replaced him, Dr. Ono, indicates he'll be driving himself around, at least part of the time. The university plans to buy Ono "an automobile that appropriately reflects his position," the contract says. University spokesman Greg Hand told FOX19 today that UC hasn't yet purchased that car, though.

Dr. Ono is choosing to live in his private residence in Cincinnati rather than the high-rise building in Walnut Hills that holds the presidential condo. In fact, the contract says UC may sell the condo at Edgecliff Place, though no plans are in motion yet. Until university leaders decide what to do with it, they'll use the condo for receptions, meetings, and fundraisers, according to Ono's contract. In the future, UC may purchase or develop a new presidential residence.

There's also an indication in the contract that the Board of Trustees will be closely monitoring how much university money the new president and his wife spend on travel, entertainment, and other expenses. The agreement says the board's audit committee will review those expenses every six months.

The contract approved yesterday shows that Dr. Ono will be allowed 22 vacation days per year as well as 15 sick days.

From all accounts, Dr. Ono is popular with students, members of the faculty, and trustees. But should there ever be a falling out, the contract allows the board to fire Dr. Ono with a simple majority vote. Meanwhile, if he decides to leave before his ten years are up, Dr. Ono is required to give the board 60 days written notice.

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