The Louisville Cardinal

Brief: Ramsey offered to resign

By Kyeland Jackson —

President James Ramsey offered his resignation to the new board of trustees. Board chair Junior Bridgeman revealed Ramsey’s resignation offer via a news release today.

“During the Board of Trustees meeting on 7/13/16, in closed session, Dr. James Ramsey offered to the board his resignation. Then Dr. Ramsey departed the meeting,” Bridgeman’s email read.

“The Board of Trustees discussed its options. There was no action resulting, as was stated yesterday.”

Since no action was taken, Ramsey is effectively the president until the board decides otherwise.

Yesterday’s meeting ended with questions of Ramsey’s resignation and the legality of the executive session unanswered. Bridgeman seemed to confirm talks during the session were illegal, but the board’s lawyers said otherwise.

“Our general counsel is confident that today’s meeting was compliant with open meetings law. We have no further comment on this subject,” spokesman John Karman said.

Karman clarified that Ramsey read his resignation letter sent to Governor Matt Bevin, intending for that to be his offer of resignation to the new board.

“Mr. Bridgeman didn’t realize yesterday when he talked to you that Dr. Ramsey considered reading the letter to be an offer to resign,” Karman said.

Avery Kolers, president of U of L’s American Association of University Professors, said the board must act with transparency.

“I am puzzled about why this could not be stated yesterday or, indeed, why the board’s discussion of its options had to be behind closed doors,” Kolers said about Ramsey’s resignation.

“I’m frustrated that the board took no action on tenure and promotion cases, perpetuating the state of limbo that numerous faculty members find themselves in. It should go without saying that if this Board is to act at all it must do so as transparently and collaboratively as possible, and it must take care of the most urgent business, the business that supposedly justified the Governor’s excessive haste, such as personnel matters and the budget.  Unfortunately it seems to have done neither of these things yesterday.  ”

Ramsey stated he intends to resign June 21. He later clarified he would offer resignation once the new and legally constituted board meets.

This story will be updated.