University of Louisville requires new president to live at Amelia Place mansion

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  New University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi said Tuesday that she was happy to live at Amelia Place, the university-owned mansion in the Cherokee Triangle.

In fact, Bendapudi’s employment contract requires that she do so.

The 8,900-square-foot home has traditionally been a place for university presidents to entertain donors, hold dinners and events and meet with faculty and students.

Former U of L President James Ramsey held events at the home – including a Mexican-themed Halloween party for which he apologized in 2015 – but he opted to live in Oldham County.

U of L board of trustees chairman David Grissom said in an interview Tuesday that Bendapudi was likely to choose to live at Amelia Place, but he made no mention of it being a contractual requirement in the employment agreement that he and Bendapudi had just signed.

“I was pleased that that’s what she wants to do," Grissom said Tuesday. "She gets it – that there needs to be sort of a 24/7 connection with all these constituencies.”

Bendapudi’s agreement, released by the university on Wednesday, also says that U of L will pay any income taxes that Bendapudi might incur for living in the home rent-free with university-paid utilities and maintenance. So, the contractual requirement may be aimed at convincing the IRS and Kentucky that the university-provided residence is part of Bendapudi’s job and not taxable.

The agreement says Bendapudi is expected to work on evenings and weekends and to use her home for university business.

The home, at 2515 Longest Avenue, is owned by the U of L Real Estate Foundation, an affiliate of the nonprofit U of L Foundation.

Grissom said the home's second floor is "kind of dated" and in need of new wallpaper and paint -- work that will be done in advance of Bendapudi's moving in.

Bendapudi’s employment details otherwise match the description that Grissom gave Tuesday – except that her guaranteed bonus for the first two years of the job is $130,000 – not $125,000.

Bendapudi’s salary was set at $650,000, and she will be subject to annual raises at the discretion of the board.

Here is a copy of Bendapudi's contract:

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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Chris Otts reports for about business and economic topics, higher education and local / state government. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after seven years with The Courier-Journal. Got a tip? Chris is at 502-585-0822 and