On Friday, Ohio State University finally released public documents related to the school investing $50 million in a venture capital fund involving Mark Kvamme, former director of JobsOhio and pal of Gov. John Kasich and Gordon Gee, until recently the Ohio State president. No surprise that the email messages and other records reflect the chumminess at work, the deal turning on the relationships in play.
In March, the university investment directors offered their assessment. They didn’t think the proposal met “our traditional underwriting standards.” Yet, eventually, the investment would be made — in the summer, after the university altered its rules to allow top school officials more independence in such decision-making.
Then there is a smaller yet revealing item involving Gee seeking a $1.5 million contribution from Kvamme to help fund a higher education policy center at the university. A university spokeswoman noted to the Cleveland Plain Dealer last week that the pursuit of a donation from Kvamme came long after the $50 million investment was made. Yet isn’t that just what troubles so, the element of coziness, first Gee carries the ball for Kvamme and then he seeks support in return?