May 26, 2016

Foundation paid Ramsey nearly $3 million in 2014

James Ramsey

By Kyeland Jackson —

President James Ramsey was paid $2.8 million by the University of Louisville Foundation in 2014, $1 million more than he was paid in 2013.

Originally reported by the Courier-Journal, tax returns from the foundation revealed the compensation increase for Ramsey. The compensation is on top of Ramsey’s university pay, amounting to around $350,000. The foundation defended President Ramsey, saying the increased compensation was meant to keep him at U of L.

“Because of his vision and record of accomplishment, we worked hard to keep President Ramsey at U of L,” Foundation Chair Bob Hughes said in a statement.

Ramsey and board of trustees Chair Larry Benz declined to comment on the payments.

The forms showed the foundation also paid former provost Shirley Willihnganz and Chief of Staff Kathleen Smith, amounting to $1.1 million and around $859,000 respectively.

U of L and the foundation have been in an ongoing state audit, which was stalled by late submissions from the university three weeks ago. A motion was considered to remove Ramsey from his position on the U of L Foundation in January, but that was not pursued.

Ramsey has been in hot water with the university as faculty and staff have polled for a no-confidence vote due to negative publicity and claims of mismanagement. Faculty Senate members recently voted in confidence, lending him a vote to stay with U of L. The Student Government Association and Staff Senate, each given a representative position on the board of trustees, are still polling on the matter.

The board of trustees vote of no-confidence was scheduled for April 20, but canceled due to lack of racially representative members appointed by Governor Matt Bevin. The no-confidence vote is presumed to take place at the next meeting on June 21 if racial representation is made by then.

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