The University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved a 4 percent pay raise Friday for President James Ramsey, who rejected a higher raise recommended by the compensation committee this week.

Trustees’ Vice Chair Robert Hughes says Ramsey voluntarily rejected a 6 percent raise, despite meeting all but one of the 50 goals set by the board and the U of L Foundation–the school’s private funding arm that supports around half of Ramsey’s salary.

Hughes says Ramsey has rejected pay raises in the past when budget’s were tight and says the 4 percent raise represents the average increase received by staff this year.

“I think it was also him understanding the current economic climate that we’re in. As everyone knows the economy has still not come back yet and that affects higher education in a lot of ways,” Hughes says.

According to U of L officials, there were 72 staff members who received a 5 or 6 percent pay raise.

Earlier this year, the board of trustees cited his progress on the $1 billion capital campaign, the partnership between the school and KentuckyOne Health and progress on the Shelby Campus.

The U of L foundation will also consider a raise for Ramsey and the board of trustees recommended he receive a $150,000 bonus, which must go into his retirement account. 

Between 2008 and 2010 Ramsey turned down pay raises because staff was not receiving them. In 2011 he accepted a 5 percent raise, and donated the bonus back to the university, according to officials.

Starting next year, Ramsey will also receive a “retention” bonus of half-a-million dollars, which will be offered every other year until his contract expires in 2020.