I learned today through a CNN Money article that Santa Ono, the President of the University of Cincinnati has donated the $200,000 performance bonus he received from the university to fund student scholarships and other student and faculty programs. This is the third year he has turned down six figure bonuses, despite the fact that he serves the second largest university in Ohio and that his salary, at $525,000 is no where close to the top ranks of academic compensation.
This is a small but important step in addressing the bloat in administrative salaries on university campuses. The University of Cincinnati has frozen tuition costs and this leadership example is a welcome breath of fresh air that one hopes to spread across university campuses.
I also think that such a step helps challenge our state leaders. When university leadership sacrifices to make college affordable, should not our political leadership do the same? Our investment in the next generation is a measure of our moral character. Should not those who enjoy positions of privilege that have come, at least in part through their educations, be willing to invest that others may enjoy the same.
It is also a measure of moral character to see what the next generation does with that investment. Will they also, “pay it forward.” At least one university president is providing a good example of how that is done.