Dear Friends - UofL Foundation
May 24, 2016
Because of his vision and record of accomplishment, we worked hard to keep President Ramsey at UofL. Over the years, professional recruiters came after him (some sent private jets with their trustees) because they saw the same things in the President that we did – a leader who gets results in a rapidly changing environment for higher education. We devised a strategy to retain Dr. Ramsey and key members of his executive team through 2012. Our efforts were successful, and Jim and his leadership team continue to achieve results for the University today.
Recently, as required by law, the UofL Foundation submitted its 990 tax filing to the IRS. The document includes information about the Foundation’s finances, including compensation amounts for President Ramsey and his team. Part of the way we retained Jim and his team was through a retention incentive that vested over more than a decade, and through a special retirement program spread over 40 years for Kathleen Smith, Chief-of-Staff to the President, who has been instrumental in raising nearly $150,000,000 in state, federal, and private funds.
The 990 data are NOT reflective of a single year of compensation nor are they just salaries. This data is from FY14 and has been previously publicized. The incentives we used to retain our management team included retirement (like 401k), retention (deferred compensation), earnings on the previous categories, miscellaneous non-cash benefits (e.g., health insurance, disability, long term care, life insurance, car, etc.) and tax indemnification. They reflect contracts that span more than thirteen years of committed service by the President and his team.
Because compensation for President Ramsey and his executive team have been a flashpoint in the news media as it relates to the future of the University, we felt it important to communicate directly with you about the compensation package, why we did it, and, most importantly, whether we achieved the desired results by retaining the Ramsey Administration.
What is absolutely clear is the University’s return-on-investment has been stellar during the Ramsey Administration, and what we paid to keep it in place was well worth it. Here are some of the results achieved, even in the face of dwindling state funds (over $323 million in cumulative reductions):