By Emily Curtsinger–
After the Sept. 3 University of Louisville Board of Trustees meeting, Larry Benz, the new chair, told reporters that James Ramsey’s compensation package should no longer be an issue of concern for anyone, as all questions about its appropriateness have been settled.
“If it can be analyzed in any more ways, then it’s going to be by somebody a lot more creative than you or I, because his compensation has been deliberated for months now,” said Benz. “We consider it at the current time not an issue.”
It was discovered this summer that due to tax gross-ups and vesting deferred compensation from the nonprofit U of L Foundation, Ramsey made double the income of other university presidents at peer schools.
Benz said even if the trustees wanted to make changes to Ramsey’s compensation, they are prohibited from doing so, as it is set in his contract.
“President Ramsey and the other executive senior management folks here have a contract,” said Benz. “They have an executed contract that was deliberated long before I came on this board. So there’s not any formative discussion on looking at those contracts and changing them in any substantive way, nor should there be.”
The board also approved a resolution on Thursday saying Ramsey has the “continuing full support and confidence of the undersigned Trustees in leading the University of Louisville forward to fulfilling its legislative mandate as one of the nation’s ‘premier’ research universities.”
All 20 trustees signed the document, including ones who have criticized Ramsey’s compensation.
The resolution was approved directly after their closed session, meaning reporters and others were kept outside during the meeting. This is a violation of Kentucky’s open meeting law.
University spokesman, John Karman, said this was an honest mistake, and they had no discussion of the resolution.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Governance also submitted a report, which includes the importance of using and documenting comparative compensation data when making decisions about Ramsey’s compensation.
This report is up for approval at the next full board meeting in October.