Our school is spending too much money.

New buildings, corporate partnerships, and a $30 million athletics subsidy are making our administrators rich, while students and faculty are being left in the dust. 

This trend is happening nationally, and is shifting Higher Ed's focus from education, to revenue-generating projects.

Administrative Bloat

In 2009, the administrative budget was $16,553,039, but by 2016, it had risen to $29,618,276, almost doubling its budget in a 7 year period [1].

Meanwhile, the College of Arts and Sciences had their supply budget slashed to $0 for the 2019-2020 school year [2]

This means all money you thought went to chalk, paper, and staples went straight to the administration.

When more money goes to the administration, it is taken away from the academic experience.

Meet the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the University of Cincinnati. Trustees are appointed by the governor to a 9 year term, and have the final say in all degrees granted, faculty hired, and money spent at UC.

Of the 9 non-student trustees, only 1 has a background in education, and they have no legitimate accountability to students or faculty.

All bios were taken directly from UC's website [3], and donations from opensecrets.org [4].

Phil D. Collins

  • Collins is the founder and Managing Director of Orchard Holdings Group, a private equity investment firm, and serves on the board of several privately held companies. He was Carl H. Lindner’s assistant many years ago. He is currently the chairman of the Investment Committee that oversees the University’s endowment.

  • He attended Harvard Business School

  • Political Donations:

    • $31oo Mike DeWine (R)

    • $2700 John Kasich (R)

    • $2500 Mitt Romney (R)​​

Thomas E. Mischell

  • Mischell is a retired Senior Vice President from American Financial Group (owned by the Lindner family).

  • Political Donations:

    • $1000 Steve Chabot (R)

    • $1000  Bill Martini (R)

    • $1000 Rob Portman (R)

William C. "Wym" Portman III

  • Portman is the Director of Sustainability for Pon North America, which distributes industrial vehicles such as commercial vehicles and construction equipment (an industry that is inherently unsustainable). He was also CEO of Portman Equipment Company. This guy loves development! 

  • He’s a graduate of Kenyon College and received his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

  • Political Donations

    • $500 Rob Portman (R)

    • $1000 Steve Chabot  (R)

    • $250 John Boehner (R)

Geraldine B. "Ginger" Warner

  • Warner is a retired attorney that practiced private and corporate law in New York, Maryland, California, and the District of Columbia (not Ohio). She is now the government relations specialist for Hunt Development Corporation

  • She’s a graduate of New York University of Law and did her undergraduate work at Cornell University.

  • Political Donations:

    • $2100 Mike DeWine (R)

    • $2800 Brad Wenstrup (R)

    • $4600 Steve Stivers (R)

Ronald D. Brown

  • Brown is a retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Milacron Inc., a leading supplier of plastics processing and industrial fluids technologies. 

  • He is the chairman of the Steering Committee for Leadership Cincinnati, a program under the Chamber of Commerce in Cincinnati (tasked with attracting business investment in the city)

  • Political Donations:

    • $750 Rob Portman (R)

    • $500 Jean Schmidt (R)

    • $1,000, $500 Steve Chabot (R)

Kim Heiman

  • Heiman is a former institutional equities and options trader with Paine Webber in New York City and a brokerage firm partner in Jerusalem. She is Managing Director at Standard Textile Co., and President and owner of SK Textile, a Los Angeles based textile fabricator for the hospitality industry.

  • Political Donations:

    • $2000 Mike DeWine (R)

    • $5000 Promoting our Republican Team PAC

    • $1250 Rob Portman (R)

Margaret K. "Peg" Valentine

  • Valentine is the Vice President of Valentine Research Inc., a privately-held company that designs, manufactures and markets consumer electronics. And get this- she’s the only trustee with a background in education! Way to go, Peg!

  • Political Donations:

    • $2500, $2700, $2400 Steve Chabot (R)

    • $800 Donald Trump (R)

J. Phillip Holloman

  • Holloman was with Cintas for 22 years and held multiple high-ranking positions. He was recognized by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America” in 2009. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, better known as 3CDC.

  • Political Donations:

    • $2700 OH Democratic Party (D)

    • $2500 Sherrod Brown (D)

Monica Turner

  • Leader for P&G Sales in North America. 

  • Graduated from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Political Donations:

    • $400 Michael Ray Thompson (R)

And, the top paid administrators and athletic staff.

Even more people taking your tuition money away from your education.

All UC employee salary's [5]

Neville Pinto

  • President

  • $660,000 salary (not including bonuses)

  • 50% higher salary than previous president

  • Gave himself a $50,000 bonus in 2019 after the BOT decided to raise tuition by 6%

    • This raise in tuition funds scholarships (mandated by the state) as well as the Next Lives Here strategic initiative (vague, but essentially a marketing strategy to increase student population and therefore bring more tuition revenue),

  • Acts as the face of and primary benefactor of the university's marketing tactics.

Kristi Nelson

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • $489,600 salary (not including bonuses)

  • VP of academic affairs' job is to maintain a distinctive academic vision (commitment to education).

  • Provosts oversee the bulk of the budget and administrative personnel, notably responsible for revenue-generating business operations like sports events, corporate sponsors and overall marketing strategy.

  • These two jobs rarely align, as the core academic mission cannot be upkept by sports and Pepsi sponsorships.

Karl Scheer

  • Chief Investment Officer

  • $438,600 salary (not including bonuses

  • According to a 2017 article, the endowment lost $9.3 million on hedge funds between 2015-2017.

  • Despite losses, UC’s general counsel’s office declared the holdings' content to be trade secrets exempt from the Ohio Public Records Act, which means UC students aren't allowed to see who their own school invests in.

  • Check out this CityBeat report on his money-losing investments

As of 2017, UC’s athletics program faced a $102 million deficit over 4 years: meaning athletics has lost that money, and UC has to make up for it [6]. 


Also as of 2017, about $1,200 of each full time undergrad’s tuition was going towards covering this deficit, and that number has only increased [6].


Athletics is supposed to make money for the university, but is instead directly taking away from education. Athletics are believed to be worth the money since it attracts potential students- but it’s certainly not making $102 million in student tuition.


Many blame Title IX for universities' high athletics budgets. Meanwhile, compensation for the 71 coaches at UC makes up ⅓ of Athletics’ $66.8 million in expenses each year- with $33 million spent on salaries, bonuses, benefits, and severance pay [7]. Meanwhile, financial aid among 400 student athletes makes up a mere $9.8 million [7].

Title IX “requires that female and male student-athletes receive athletics scholarship dollars proportional to their participation.” It does not require an equal amount of financial aid for male and female athletes [8]. In 2019, female student athletes received a total of $3,826,218, while male athletes received $5,378,741 [7].

Luke Fickell

  • Football coach

  • Yearly salary of $2.4 million plus bonuses [10]

  • Attempted to leave for Michigan State and a salary of $5-6 million [11]

John Cunningham

  • Athletic Director

  • Yearly Salary of $475,000 [12]

  • Up to $50,000 a year in performance-based bonuses [12]

The Knight Commission increases transparency of spending by universities and their athletic programs, with the intention of increasing the quality of education for student athletes. This report is based off of data reported by UC. It not only outlines our excessive spending on facilities and paying coaches, but the fact that money spent on students has dropped significantly over the past few years.

See first and second chart for The News Record's data on athletic subsidies [6].

See third chart for The Knight Commission's report on academic spending compared to other universities [9].

John Brannen

  • Men's Basketball Coach

  • Yearly salary of $1.5 million [13]

Corrupt administrative spending fucked you over too?
Tell us about it.