U of L president rejects bonus

At his request, University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey will get the same lump-sum $700 raise that all U of L employees get in 2008-2009.

On top of that, Ramsey has rejected a bonus that probably would have added at least $125,000 to his pay.

With the $700 annual raise, Ramsey's total salary for 2008-2009 will be $456,131, of which roughly 75 percent is from the general fund and 25 percent is from the U of L Foundation.

U of L trustees were effusive with their praise of Ramsey, after they met Wednesday at Lexington's Marriott at Griffin Gate in the first day of a two-day annual retreat.

Ramsey's “performance has been extraordinary,” said J. Chester Porter, chairman of the U of L Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Ramsey and his team achieved 27 of the 28 goals the board established for 2007-2008,” Porter said. Results on one goal are pending.

Ramsey “addressed forcefully some of the most difficult issues affecting the future of the University of Louisville, and his achievements are moving the university full speed toward pre-eminence,” Porter said.

Lifetime trustee Owsley Brown Frazier, retired vice chairman of Brown-Forman Corp., went even further.

“I think by far he has done the best job of any past president, at least that I've known,” said Frazier, a prominent philanthropist and U of L alumnus and donor.

“I think the faculty will be thrilled,” said Beth Boehm, an English professor and head of the faculty senate. “He's shown great leadership.”

Rudy Spencer, a senior from Louisville and president of the U of L Student Government Association, said of Ramsey: “He's done great things.”

Spencer said he has been impressed with Ramsey's consistent support for environmental sustainability.

On June 17, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. declined $50,000 of a bonus to which he was entitled. But he did accept $95,500 of the bonus, pushing his total pay for 2008-2009 to $399,510.