Money Politics Opinion: OU shouldn’t finance McDavis’ McMansion By Matt Stephens Posted on March 25, 2015 7 min read 10 0 1,319 Photo by Matt Stephens Ohio University president Dr. Roderick J. McDavis and First Lady Deborah McDavis will soon relocate to a new home. The change in location will cost the university $1.2 million. During a time where students are struggling to get by financially especially with rising tuition, the McDavis family gets a new home. The moving situation is occurring because of an infestation of bats in the couple’s current home. The president and first lady have to live on-campus in their home as stated in their contract. Now the new home will be off-campus, so why does the university have to finance this? They shouldn’t be financing this. The Board of Trustees raised McDavis salary last August to $465,000 with an additional $85,000 bonus. The real kicker is Deborah McDavis is on salary at Ohio University as well. She makes $30,900 a year after a 3 percent raise in 2013. A household income of $580,900, can easily finance a new home off-campus. The whole issue with bats will change the contract situation in general, as McDavis will not be living on-campus. So why doesn’t OU change their policy on providing housing for presidents of the university? Maybe they think he is God? This incident comes after the Board of Trustees raised tuition 1.5 percent, housing 2.5 percent and meal plans 1 percent last June. Some students of Ohio University find themselves dropping out each semester due to the cost of tuition. It is very often a student might hear of a peer being unable to return due to the cost of tuition. The situation is quite shocking seeing that the university is relocating the family after a bat issue that could be fixed with a simple call to any individual who has a Bat Conservation International certification. Yes, this certificate is a real thing. Getting rid of bats is actually a five-step process for a trained professional. No bats would be harmed in the process of the professionals doing their job. It would be only a two step process for OU, involving making a phone call and cutting a check. That check would probably not cost the university $1.2 million. Following the news of the new home, McDavis emailed students and staff an outline of his annual Presidents Report for 2014. The 19-page report outlined Ohio University accomplishments from 2014. I personally find it ironic that the report came out right after the announcement of the new home. The report detailed many accomplishments for the university last year. The report coming out after the announcement shows that OU is trying to justify their actions of making this decision. While tuition increases consistently for incoming students at Ohio University, student loan debt impacts 64 percent of the student body. The task for students financing college is a struggle now more than anytime in the school’s 211 year history. First generation college students are very dependent upon loans. Even if a student is lucky enough to obtain a degree, they are still met with the struggles of debt upon completion of college. The main reason for raising tuition typically is cuts in state funding. When we are using whatever funding we receive as well as student tuition dollars to finance a home that has no purpose for students, that is not acceptable. If the family used their salaries to finance their own home the school would be able to help eliminate the burden on students that is about to eminence if and when the Board of Trustees raise tuition again. The policy needs to change for housing presidents. However, the current policy is the president must live on-campus, that is not occurring here. The new home will be an off-campus residence. The couple does not need a home sitting on 2.86 acres of land that includes a pool, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a finished basement. While some students can’t afford McDonalds, the McDavis family gets a McMansion.