Student reaction: Ramsey and BOT pushed out

By on June 24, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

One week ago today, news broke that University of Louisville’s president James Ramsey would step down as the school’s president. Along with Ramsey stepping down, the entire board of trustees will also be replaced. This was announced by Governor Matt Bevin and came as a shock.

After a year, once again, filled with scandals Bevin decided that it was time for a new page. Bevin said the shake-up is to start fresh with U of L, saying the problems are academic, administrative and athletic.

Within the past week, questions of the legality began surrounding Bevin’s decision. This sparked Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office to investigating the legality of Bevin’s decision.

“Gov. Bevin took unprecedented actions directed at two important governing boards. Lawmakers mandated that these boards be independent. My office is therefore closely reviewing today’s actions,” Beshear said in a statement.

Since October of 2015, Louisville has taken quite a bit of negative PR. Starting with the Katina Powell scandal that provoked a NCAA investigation, then the Ramsey’s Halloween costume, followed by two U of L officials being investigated by the FBI over the potential misuse of grant money. But wait, that was only over three months.

2016 picked up right where 2015 left off. In February, Ramsey had a lawsuit brought on to him claiming he knew about the potential misuse of grant money. March began with multiple trustees discussing a vote of no-confidence in Ramsey. Soon after, Ramsey imposed a post-season ban against the men’s basketball team during the NCAA investigation.

With all this uncertainty swirling, what is it like being a student of the university? How do you react when you hear your president and board of trustees have been pushed out? Damon Quire is a junior computer information major said he can understand why Bevin pushed Ramsey to step down.

“My original reaction was that he made a sort of dictator type move. But after thinking about it, it may be for the best after all of the troubles surrounding the university recently,” Quire said. “We’ll have to wait and see if it truly benefits the university.”

Drew Miller graduated this past spring with a major in sports administration. Miller thinks the university hasn’t handled the latest scandals very well but believes the school will rebound.

“I believe that U of L has handled the last few PR hits rather poorly. The school has made rash decisions that seem to only hurt the university in the long run,” Miller said. “Their decisions have reduced faith in the university. I do believe the university will be able to bounce back from these hits and perhaps a change in leadership will help.”

U of L has had a bad year with decision making and Bevin’s latest move didn’t help. Bevin giving everyone the boot goes against the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools rules. The university is potentially facing sanctions or losing its accreditation if it can’t get its stuff together by next January’s inspection.

A 2014 graduate of U of L, Christian Rick is very concerned and sees this issue as the biggest problem to date.

“This directly affects alumni and current students. By degrading the university’s accreditation, it’s practically degrading my degree every minute,” Rick said. “As if it’s not hard enough to attain a good job upon graduation especially the one you want, throwing this in the mix would make it even more difficult.”

If the recent scandals and forcing out of the president along with the board of trustees wasn’t enough to upset students, there’s more. The university announced it will raise tuition by five percent, again.

Senior Eric Palmer isn’t a fan of the school’s latest bump in tuition.

“I personally don’t like it, considering the fact they’re making people pay the SRC fee, and half the time they don’t go. On top of that, they make the commuters pay a meal plan that they don’t even plan on using,” Palmer said. “Outside all the other fees they make people pay, they still want to increase the tuition. We don’t even have a president right now then they drop this on us.”

With everything that is going on with Louisville, saving its face on a national perspective is important. What’s more important is keeping the respect and faith from the locals.

Senior English major Bree Cameron, a Louisville native, doesn’t have an issue with the school itself but more with the people who are pulling the strings.

“I am proud of being a student at the University of Louisville because of the city of Louisville. Our city is thriving and constantly making moves to improve itself. Being a student at U of L often involves playing an active role in these goals, and I think that’s awesome,” Cameron said. “The people who run U of L though? Embarrassing, it makes me cover my face with my hand.”

In short, the vibe from current and former students is uneasy. The university is in the midst of uncertainty right now, waiting to be brought to the light so all of this can be put behind it. The school is in the early steps of fixing the mess it made.

It will take years to see if Bevin has made the right decision to shake up the university elites. For now, students will have to just take their classes and hope their degrees mean something after they walk across the stage.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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