UofL meets goals for 2010-2011
The University of Louisville leadership team met all 27 of its 2010-2011 goals, prompting the institution's board members to give President James Ramsey high praise and a sterling performance review at Wednesday's Board of Trustees meeting.
Board members review the university's goals each year and base their evaluation of the president's performance on goal achievement. Targets reached for 2010-2011 included boosting the graduation rate to 48.6 percent and the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to 2,603. Both numbers, while preliminary, represent a significant uptick compared with 1998 when the graduation rate was 30.1 percent and 1,694 degrees were awarded. The university also surpassed new milestones in areas such as philanthropic giving, campus diversity and research grants.
Ramsey said he was pleased with the progress despite the challenge of declining state funding. "Our mission is to be a premier metropolitan research university and it's very gratifying to see that we are moving the university forward by achieving all of our goals," Ramsey said.
Several board members spoke favorably about Ramsey's performance citing accomplishments such as the creation of a tax increment financing district to encourage economic development and bringing together community leaders for a proposed merger of area hospitals.
Board chair Owsley Brown Frazier said, "Dr. Ramsey and his leadership team have had an extraordinary year. We have the right man as president."
Board member Robert Curtis Hughes added, "(Ramsey) has put in an extraordinary amount of work. These are challenging times and every time, he has risen to the occasion. It's been a remarkable performance. "
Board members voted to give Ramsey a 5 percent salary increase which will bring his university pay to $329,509. The trustees also recommended that the University of Louisville Foundation give Ramsey a 5 percent salary increase as well as a bonus of $114,033. The foundation is expected to vote on that request at its next meeting. Ramsey's current total compensation is $456,132, which is comprised of $313,818 from the university plus $142,314 from the foundation.
Ramsey, who has declined bonuses and salary increases for the past three years, was reluctant to discuss what action the foundation might take regarding his bonus. However, he indicated that if foundation board members decide to give him a bonus he will donate it back to the university. He plans to accept the salary increase since faculty and staff also received raises this year, including merit raises of up to five percent.
In other business, the trustees:
- Authorized the university president to move forward to secure financing for a new student recreation center. University officials will raise funds for the facility by issuing tax exempt bonds. They hope to open the new center by fall 2013.
- Approved storm water construction projects near the College of Business and Ekstrom Library. UofL is collaborating with the Metropolitan Sewer District, who will fund the projects.
- Approved a new diversity plan for 2011-2015 that is more closely aligned with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education's diversity plan.