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Posted on Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 5:50 a.m.

Rise & Fall: Mike Ball and Gordon Gee

By Paula Gardner

One is being recognized for trying to make a difference in the lives of incarcerated teens; the other is under public scrutiny for his lavish spending, as compared to others in the same position. These are's picks for a winner and loser in the news last week:

Rise: Mike Ball

The Whitmore Lake teacher turned a visit to the Maxey Boys Training School into a mission: Using the arts as a vehicle for incarcerated teens to learn how to express themselves. Ball formed “Lost Voices,” a non-profit organization that brings musicians into juvenile facilities. After a six-week workshop, the kids — killers, rapists, thugs and also, typically, victims — put on a concert. “We plant a seed of self-respect in the heart of each child,” Ball said.

Fall: Gordon Gee

Ohio State University’s president is the top-paid CEO of a public university in the U.S., according to a report from the Dayton Daily News — but the report also detailed his ‘lavish’ spending, which at $7.7 million since 2007 compare poorly to his $8.6 million salary. Key to that ‘lavish’ conclusion: Comparison to University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. She billed her state-funded university $410,235 for entertainment, travel and dining during a period when Gee’s bills in those categories totaled $1.1 million. And during those years, Coleman was raising $3.2 billion for an endowment campaign.

(Rise and Fall will appear regularly on's opinion page. To make a suggestion for this column, email us.)


Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

Perhaps a conclusion that could be reasonably drawn regarding the pay discrepancy between similarly situated men and women executives is that the problem is not that women are being paid too little, but rather, that "good ol' boys" are being paid too much. Also, rarely discussed is how OVER-COMPENSATION affects the overcompensated. Pay someone much more than they are worth and their brain will react to that by developing a rationalization to protect themselves from the self doubt and guilt they will naturally feel for not having earned such a reward, especially when there are others around who are easily measured as more deserving. Rather that simply giving back the excess compensation or working harder to actually deserve it, more often than not the over compensated will look to undermine the performance of others, whether that be their competitors (as in this case, at another university) or even those at their own university that do not voice their admiration for the emperors new clothes. Also - I think that we all love athletics, because we see individual achievement rewarded to a fairy tale level, but we feel a loss via theft by those that don't perform. And then, we see the relatively under-rewarded over-perform. I've often wondered the psychology behind athletic team owners (MEN) and university presidents (MEN) who will pay so much for a coach or player. It does say much about what they value, and much about their greatest insecurities. Chase Ingersoll