In an article published in the Torch on Sept. 16, it was reported that President David Eisler used most of his longevity incentive bonus to create a scholarship for future Ferris students.
In “Eisler’s compensation package makes nationwide report” Editor-in-Chief Cora Hall reported that Eisler’s total compensation for 2019 was $819,000, which included a longevity incentive payment of $338,000 that he was promised in 2012. Eisler, in turn, used $350,000 of his one-time bonus last year to create The Norris and Irene Johnson Scholarship Endowment, a scholarship that helps orphans and foster care youth have the opportunity to attend Ferris in the future.
The Norris and Irene Johnson Scholarship Endowment was created in honor of his wife Patsy Eisler’s adoptive parents. The donation was then matched by the Ferris Foundation, through the Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge, creating a total of $700,000 for these potential students.
In a press release written last year Eisler discussed why they choose to start this scholarship.
“Patsy and I are deeply passionate about doing everything we can to give these students the hope and support to succeed and to make them feel welcome at Ferris, which, for most, is their only home,” said Eisler.
However, Eisler did not discuss why they specifically chose to use his longevity incentive bonus—which was funded by the General Fund—to do so and did not respond to a request to comment on the topic.
Some students seem to like the idea of the scholarship.
“I think if he’s using his bonus to give back to the school, it’s nice for the community as a whole,” professional tennis management freshman Abby Paramo said.
Clinical lab sciences senior Molly Oosdyke liked the scholarship as well, but wished there was something more for current Ferris students.
“I think that the scholarship is a really cool thing because a lot of times these kids don’t have the same opportunities to go to college,” said Oosdyke. “It would’ve been nice to see more scholarships for students that are already attending Ferris. I know as a fifth year there’s not a lot of opportunities for people who make it this far.”
Some of Eisler’s decisions have been questioned over the past few years. The Ferris Faculty Associations 2018 strike is one incident that gave rise to criticism.
“I have never really been a big fan of Eisler based on some of the things he’s done, specifically because of what happened with FFA,” said Oosdyke. “But I do understand that when you’re in a big position like the one he is in you’re going to get more money than you might deserve. But I mean there’s probably a reason he’s been here for 17 years.”
Eisler’s longevity bonus was reported to have been taken from the General Fund, which anyone is able to access on Ferris’ website.
The budget for the 2019–2020 school year totaled to $206,538,983. The general fund budget allocation form showed the eight different categories with various subcategories and the percentage of the total budget that this amount went to, as shown by the graph above.
The general fund’s revenue consists of five different sources, which include: student fees, investment income, departmental activities, state support and student tuition, which makes up 71% of the fund.
Upon looking at the general fund budget allocation form it is unclear which category of the budget includes Eisler’s bonus and the budgeting office at Ferris did not respond to a request to comment.