Neeli Bendapudi, the 18th President of the University of Louisville, would also be considered the chief fundraiser for the school, setting the tone for the institution while responsible for UofL’s financial well-being.
Not only is she a fundraiser but Bendapudi is a generous contributor herself.
The Board of Trustees voted to give Bendapudi a $100,000 raise in May 2019, increasing her salary to $725,000 and her bonus to $150,000 for the second year of her two-year contract, which started July 1. Her annual compensation was raised to $875,000, a $95,000 increase.
Shortly afterward, Bendapudi tweeted that she was donating the increase to UofL. She pledged $100,000 to the school and through January of this year she had made good on $61,160 of her commitment through monthly donations, according to a open records response to Card Game. That’s in addition to $2,638 in outright gifts. Total giving will be $102,638 when she fulfills her pledge this summer
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Sandra Frazier and Randall Bufford, two of the top givers on the UofL Board of Trustees, will be stepping down soon.
Frazier, the founding owner of Tandem Public Relations, has pledged more than $5.7 million to the school. Bufford, the founder of Trilogy Health Services and a former Louisville basketball manager, has donated more than $519,000 to his alma mater.
They will be replaced by appointees Matthew Barzun and Sherrill Zimmerman who will serve through Jan. 13, 2027. Barzun, a Harvard grad, is the publisher of Louisville Magazine and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, a former executive with CNET, and a major fundraiser for liberal political causes.
Barzun was mentioned as a possible candidate for the UofL presidency during the search which culminated in Bendapudi’s hiring in 1918.
Zimmerman, a UofL graduate, is a former Jefferson County Public Schools employee for 30 years and served as Chairperson for the Kentucky Council for Post Secondary Education.