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OSU to build Gordon Gee a $190K office

Ohio State University will construct a $190,000 suite of offices for former president Gordon Gee who will serve as the newly minted president emeritus this summer.

Construction on Gee’s office suite is set to begin Aug. 1 and be completed Sept. 20, according to the OSU Facilities Operations and Development project database. The office will be located at the east end of the Oval in Page Hall, which houses offices and classrooms for the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

University spokesman Gary Lewis said Gee has temporarily been working from an office in the South Campus Gateway complex alongside other university, restaurant and retail operations.

Gee, 69, announced in June he would step down from the university’s top post after disparaging comments he made last year about other university officials publicly surfaced. His retirement, which began July 1, came four years before his contract expired and while the university is in the middle of a $2.5 billion fundraising campaign.

The OSU Board of Trustees increased Gee’s annual base pay to $860,000 in November 2012. His 2012 total compensation package including bonuses and deferred pay ranked him No. 3 highest-paid university president in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual list.

Gee’s contract grants him tenure in the law school and “president emeritus” status that comes with a stipend, secretary and office for five years. Lewis said the details of Gee’s post-presidential duties and final compensation package are not yet finalized.

Gee also has not yet moved out of the Pizzuti House, the university-owned residence in the Columbus suburb of Bexley. Lewis said there is no timeline for setting Gee’s responsibilities or moving him from the residence. The Pizzuti House underwent $1.39 million in renovations plus added $673,000 worth of furniture, artwork and other decor before Gee moved there in spring 2008.

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