Who’s Who at U of L

By on August 28, 2013
By Simon Isham —
We decided to run this particular feature on our cover this week after we took a non-scientific poll of random students walking around campus, asking if they knew the names of the top university leaders and administrators and their faces. The results were very poor.At the Louisville Cardinal, we believe that each student should know not only the names and faces of these people, but also their personal and professional backgrounds. That is why we have created this handy and accessible guide as a part of our welcome-back issue. We expect it, and the issue as a whole, to be particularly helpful for the incoming class of freshmen to help kick the year off to an informed start.

Without further ado, we present the Who’s Who at U of L list for 2013-2014.

James Ramsey

Dr. James R. Ramsey is the 17th president of the University of Louisville, and has served in this capacity since 2002. Ramsey received his B.S. in business administration from Western Kentucky University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kentucky.

From 1970 to 1977, while enrolled at UK, Ramsey served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He began his teaching career in 1975 at Middle Tennessee State University, and first came to U of L in 1999. Intermittently, he held several teaching and administrative positions across the South, including State Budget Director and Chief Economist for the state of Kentucky.

During Ramsey’s time as president, the university has seen an increase in average freshman college preparedness, the university’s rate of graduation, international scholarships and fundraising efforts.

Ramsey was born in Louisville, and still lives here, in Jeffersontown. Outside of running the university, he also enjoys reading, jogging, golf, tennis and philanthropy. He has two daughters, both of whom attended U of L. His wife, Jane, has also been involved in campus beautification projects.

Shirley Willihnganz

“Provost” is not a word that many people are familiar with before they enter university, and as our informal poll indicates, many students will graduate without being familiar with the duties of our provost, Dr. Shirley C. Willihnganz.

Willihnganz has been the chief academic officer of the university since 2002, a post in which she has oversight of all academics at U of L. She is also the chief operations officer. In that capacity she works closely with the president, as well as oversees the vice presidents of the university.

Willihnganz has also taught in U of L’s communication department since 1985. Before being promoted to provost, she was also the chair of the department, and subsequently the dean of the university’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences. Willihnganz was also a reporter, photographer and public relations manager in Michigan. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Wayne State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Carrie Mattingly

Carrie Mattingly was elected last year to serve as the 2013-2014 Student Government Association student body president. She is a senior economics and political science double-major with a minor in sociology.

Mattingly has been working with the other elected SGA officials to decide on a list of her top five goals for her term. They include a nighttime transportation system, a sustainable state and federal level student lobbying program, and the expansion of student facilities on campus. She is working on improving SGA transparency as well.

Mattingly also sits on the Board of Trustees of the university, where she is able to voice student concerns directly to the body of individuals who approve university policy. As the Trustees are responsible for hiring and firing the university president, it could be said that Mattingly is the most important person on this list.

Mattingly is from Lexington, Ky., and first visted U of L in 2010. Mattingly said she was most impressed with the university’s depth in terms of academic and career opportunites, and said that it had a “small campus feel.” To help her attend, she received a Trustee’s scholarship for her completion of the Governor’s Scholars Program, and has also been awarded two Outstanding Student Awards during her sophomore and junior years. In her free time, she likes being with her friends and supporting Cardinal Athletics.

Tom Jurich

Most die-hard U of L athletics fans should be familiar with Tom Jurich, the university’s athletics director. Jurich was born and raised in California, and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in business administration. Six years after his graduation, he became his alma mater’s co-athletic director.

In 1999, he signed a thirteen year contract with U of L to become the university’s athletic director. That contract has since expired, but Jurich remains on staff, having expanded U of L’s athletics programs exponentially during his tenure. One of Jurich’s most important moves was hiring Rick Pitino as U of L’s basketball coach in 2001.

Jurich was himself an athlete throughout high school and college, and was drafted in the 10th round of the 1978 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also played with the Minnesota Vikings.

Jurich is married and has four children, one of whom, Mark Jurich, serves as the associate athletic director for development at U of L.

Michael Mardis

Dr. Michael Mardis serves as the dean of students at U of L. Mardis himself has been a student at the university, receiving all three of his degrees in education from U of L. Though he is a Louisville native, he temporarily worked at Radford University in Virginia as dean of students from 2001 to 2007 before returning to Louisville.

At U of L, Mardis oversees all facets of student life, including the Student Activities Board, the Student Government Association, Intramurals, the Disability Resource Center and the university’s population of over 300 Recognized Student Organizations.

Mardis is married and has two children. Outside of shepherding student affairs, Mardis enjoys exercising, reading and spending time with his family.

Larry Owsley

Those students who do not already know of Larry Owsley are ignorant of the executor of U of L’s development budget — the man who turns tuition dollars into new campus facilities and programs.

Owsley been the chief business officer at U of L under three presidents: Donald Swain, John Shumaker, and James Ramsey. He is responsible for human resources, affirmative action, physical plant operations, construction, university police, parking, transportation and the campus Barnes and Noble College. Owsley is also responsible for SODEXO, the campus food service behind Subway, Wendy’s, the Ville Grille et al. He has overseen 23 major construction projects at U of L, seven of which are LEED certified.

Owsley graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a B.S. in history. He also has two Masters degrees — one in public administration from the University of Virginia, and one in public policy from the University of California, Berkley. He is a Kentucky native with a wife and two children. To relax, he enjoys exercising on his elliptical machine, going to the cinema, reading, “The Colbert Report” and public radio.

Owsley has opted to take the retirement package that was first offered to staff during the spring semester, but will likely remain on payroll as business VP until the end of this school year.

Daniel Hall

Dan Hall, a Louisville native, is the university’s vice president for community engagement, and has been building connections in the Louisville area since birth. He graduated second in his class from Central High School, which took him to Dartmouth and Harvard to complete his legal education. Hall returned to Kentucky after graduation, where taught and helped U of L to help secure over $160 million in government funding.

Hall is an amateur boxer, having won the Kentucky Golden Gloves three times. In 2009, he took his M.A. in theological studies from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He is now an Associate Minister at Greater Salem Baptist Church downtown.

William Pierce

Dr. Bill Pierce is another example of a U of L administrator who actually graduated from the university. He earned a B.A. in chemistry in 1977, and also received his Ph.D. in Louisville in the field of pharmacology and toxicology. Pierce was also a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University for one year.

Before getting his bachelors degree, Pierce already showed promise in the field of R and D, which he now leads at U of L; from 1973 to 1976, Pierce was creating synthetic organic polymers for the Celanese Corporation.

Pierce’s current research interests include medicinal chemsitry, drug-targeting for bone-related diseases, use of chromatography and mass spectrometry for biomarkers and other biomedical research.

Keith Inman

Keith Inman, who was born in Elizabethtown, Ky., became the director of alumni clubs at U of L right after graduating the university with a degree in biology in 1978. After briefly returning to E-Town to take over his family’s insurance business, Inman found himself back at U of L in the athletic department, working his way up to become the executive director of the Cardinal Athletic Fund in 1986.

Inman took another temporary leave from U of L to work with Jewish Hospital, but has since returned to the university in 2006 to become the director of university advancement, in which capacity he oversees development, alumni, governmental relations, advancement services and communications and marketing.

He is married and has two children.

David Dunn

Dr. David Dunn was born and raised in Michigan, where he also received his bachelors in zoology and his medical degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He came to U of L after a stint at the State University of New York in Buffalo, replacing the former VP for health services Larry Cook, who spent over 40 years at the university.

Dunn presides over the medical and dental teaching and research at U of L, as well as the programs and hospitals that the university offers to the public on campus and at the downtown Health Sciences Campus. Dunn stepped into the role in 2010, in the midst of the hospital merger.

Dunn is a world-renowned transplant surgeon who has published over 400 articles. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and twin children, cooking, and breeding daylilies.

About Simon Isham

Simon Isham is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Louisville Cardinal, where he has worked since 2012. For his reporting at the Cardinal, he has won awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has also written for LEO Weekly and Insider Louisville. He graduated in December 2014.

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