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UofL President James Ramsey Gets Boost in Pay, Will Make More Than $1M This Year


University of Louisville President James Ramsey will get a significant increase in pay this year, coming in the form of a bonus that boosts his annual compensation to about $1.2 million.

At an annual retreat this week, the University's Board of Trustees recommended Ramsey receive a  performance bonus, as well as a two percent raise. Ramsey declined the two percent raise, according to a university news release.  However, pending approval by the UofL Foundation, Ramsey will be bank the bonus, which is equal to 25 percent of his current $624,000 annual salary.The bonus, which equals nearly $156,000, comes as a reward for reaching "all but two" goals that were set for the President’s office, according to the statement. What those goals were is unclear. A University spokesman declined to comment on the issue. Board of Trustees chair Robert Hughes said Ramsey's sensitivity to the economic struggles of the state, university employees and residents inclines him to decline the two percent raise. Hughes said Ramsey has turned down "close to a million dollars" in raises since 2012. Ramsey’s current salary is two parts.  Just more than half, $342,930, comes from university funds and the remaining $281,070 comes from the privately funded UofL Foundation, according to a statement from the school. The salary he receives from UofL puts him 5 th on the list of highest salaried university presidents in the state of Kentucky. Here is that list:

  • Eli Capilouto, University of Kentucky:  $525,000
  • Gary Ransdell, Western Kentucky University:  $423,588
  • Michael T. Beason, Eastern Kentucky Univesity:  $400,000
  • Geoffrey S. Mearns, Northern Kentucky University:  $355,250
  • James Ramsey, University of Louisville:  $342,930
  • Michael McCall, KCTCS:  $321,888
  • Wayne D. Andrews, Morehead State University:  $268,992
  • Thomas Miller (interim), Murray State University:  $266,086
  • Mary Evans Sias, Kentucky State University:  $244,800

This list does not factor in total compensation packages, which can include perks and bonuses. Per his 2011 contract, which will run out in 2020, Ramsey is also set to receive a $500,000 retention bonus every other year, according to a spokesman. So, with his annual salary, added performance bonus and the retention bonus that applies to the current year, Ramsey is set to make $1,280,000 this year.

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.