By Olivia Krauth–
Some current U of L students are not happy today as U of L’s Board of Trustees voted to increase President James Ramsey’s base pay of $624,000 by three percent.
Ramsey was initially set to get a six percent increase, but the board rejected it in a 9-7 vote. After more discussion, the board voted 12-4 in favor of a three percent increase, the same amount faculty will be seeing this fiscal year. It was also recommended that Ramsey receive a 25 percent bonus, about $150,000, from the U of L Foundation.
The vote comes after a report by Verisight on Monday saying Ramsey will make $1.1 million this year. The number was corrected today to $1.67 million, after learning Ramsey is paid gross-ups, which cover money deducted via income taxes.
Junior political science major Ashley Carroll called the raise decision “utterly ridiculous.”
“The University has already given him a car, it covers all of his insurance and he already made a pretty penny before this,” Carroll said. “He has done nothing to deserve said raise. Whether it is three percent or six percent, and certainly no bonus.”
The merit-based increase was awarded after noting Ramsey met or exceeded 20 of his 23 goals for the year, with trustee Ron Butt noting Ramsey’s work in offsetting state budget cuts by fundraising efforts. While trustees notice Ramsey’s efforts, some students don’t see them.
“Seriously, what does he even do,” one student remarked after hearing about the raise.
According to the Verisight report, Ramsey’s salary comes from a mix of the U of L Foundation and from the university itself. While ULF is private, U of L’s money comes from tax-payers and student tuition.
“So they’re raising the already unreasonable price of education in order to pay for a bonus that I personally don’t feel he deserves,” English major Liz Walters said. “This is how Americans end up in crippling amounts of debt before they even begin their life.”
Walters is currently not enrolled at U of L due to the increasing cost of tuition. She disagrees with U of L raising the cost of tuition for some of it to go to Ramsey’s increase and bonus.
“It still makes it seem that the school does not need that extra money, but instead has found an opportunity to make more money,” Walters said.
U of L fans seemed to disagree with students, however. The Cardinal got tweets in response to the raise, with fans saying things like “Give him a raise and name 3 streets after him” and using hashtags like “#hedeservesit.”