Million Dollar Bonuses For Five Ohio State University Electrophysiologists

Five Ohio State University electrophysiologists received 2011 bonus payments greater than $1 million, resulting in total pay for the year for each cardiologist of about $2 million. The news was first reported by the Dayton Daily News and subsequently covered by Heartwire.

Five out of the 7 bonuses that topped $1 million at OSU went to the electrophysiologists. The football coach and the basketball coach were the recipients of the additional million dollar bonuses. Here are the compensation figures for the seven OSU employees who received bonuses greater than $1 million, as reported by the Daily News:



Base earnings



Total 2011 pay

Steven Jack Kalbfleisch

Professor, clinical





John David Hummel

Professor, clinical





Emile Georges Daoud

Professor, clinical





Ralph Sayre Augostini

Assistant professor, clinical





Raul Weiss

Associate professor, clinical





Thad Matta

Men’s basketball coach





Jim Tressel

Football coach





The Daily News quoted Richard Vedder, professor of economics at Ohio University and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity: “I have never seen anything like this — never.”

OSU spokesman Jim Lynch told Heartwire that the compensation system at OSU is modeled on other public and private universities and colleges. The Daily News reported that OSU officials said that medical school and athletic department bonuses were “self-funded and don’t draw from tax or tuition dollars.” Lynch told the Daily News that the five electrophysiologists “were hired five years ago to build a nationally respected program in cardiac electrophysiology. Today, that program is the largest in the state and treats patients from throughout a multistate region.”

Comment: I have many thoughts about this story, but for the moment at least I’ll hold off any commentary. But I am eager to hear from my readers– particularly those who are cardiologists. Let me just raise one very small question: although this is a story about big numbers that raises many big questions, I’m intensely curious to learn why Kalbfleisch’s bonus was precisely $4 larger than Hummel’s bonus.

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  1. I have no idea how this works. I have had 2 previous academic appointments. These bonuses seem way out of line. They probably relate to a share in clinical revenues.I wish I had a deal like that. I would not have left academia for private practice!

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