The Louisville Cardinal

Faculty senate no-confidence vote to be public after opposition

By Kyeland Jackson —

Today’s faculty senate discussion of a vote of no-confidence in President James Ramsey will be public after opposition of the proposed closed session.

U of L’s chapter of American Association of University Professors sent a letter blasting the proposed closed session to trustee Pamela Feldhoff and all 65 members of the senate. Feldhoff has decided the matter will be held in open session.

The senate is scheduled to discuss President James Ramsey’s vote of no-confidence this afternoon. The vote will help determine if Feldhoff, as the faculty trustee, will vote against confidence or not.

The choice to enter executive session was revealed after senate meeting minutes were opened to the public. A motion for the session is due to be passed at today’s meeting, citing a Kentucky law which allows executive session in the case of appointments, punishment or dismissal of an employee, member or student. The legality of the motion was called into question, as attorney Jon Fleischaker told the Courier-Journal only organizations with the authority to make such judgements may call the session. The faculty senate does not have the power to remove Ramsey.

The committee will have to vote on if the matter goes into executive session. AAUP has implored they reconsider, saying secrecy would “feed ammunition” towards those who want to deter public support from the university.

“For even when justice is done, if it is not seen to be done, suspicions and accusations will remain,” AAUP said in the email.

Divisions among U of L faculty and staff have risen since board members tried bringing a motion of no-confidence in Ramsey on March 1. The Arts and Sciences survey showed 75 percent of the full-time faculty wanted to vote no-confidence in the president. For part-time, that was 80 percent. The Law School survey showed 68 percent of survey respondents want a vote of no-confidence in Ramsey.

The student government association has also weighed in on the discussion, asking representatives to survey to their schools about the issue. SGA has given their executive board two days to create an open poll for student responses on Ulink. The link will close on April 12, helping finalize SGA’s decision on the confidence vote.

While the board of trustees is almost evenly divided, votes by Feldhoff and SGA president, Victoria Allen, could turn the tides.

The vote of confidence by board of trustees members is scheduled April 20, but it may not happen if Governor Matt Bevin has not named two new minority members to the board by then.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal