Ramsey does not offer resignation to new board

By on July 13, 2016

By Kyeland Jackson —

Less than 24 hours later, The Cardinal learned president James Ramsey did read his resignation to the trustees in closed session. Story here.

James Ramsey is still the president of the University of Louisville, despite telling faculty last month he would offer his resignation the first time the new board of trustees met.

The new board met Wednesday afternoon, heard a progress report from Ramsey then went into an one-hour executive session. Governor Matt Bevin, who appointed 10 of the 13 trustees June 29, attended the meeting and said he has “absolute confidence” in them. He said he would leave decisions on leadership changes to the new trustees.

As Bevin spoke, a former student interrupted saying both the governor and board were illegally seizing power. Tyler MacKay called Bevin’s acts “a devastation for the students and the teachers.”

“As a former student of the university, I cannot recognize this illegitimate governor and the board that he has appointed,” MacKay said before being escorted out. “I am concerned that this dictatorship of the bourgeoisie has no interests for the working class.”

Chair Junior Bridgeman said afterward Ramsey’s resignation was not discussed in the closed session. Ramsey said he would resign at the board’s first meeting during a special faculty meeting weeks ago.

During the board’s executive session, Ramsey left the meeting for his office. University spokesman John Karman said Ramsey would not return to the meeting or answer media questions.

Bridgeman admitted some discussion during executive session could have been illegal as they discussed matters regarding Ramsey.

“We were discussing all the personnel issues with him and the direction we all feel the university needs to go,” Bridgeman said.

Kentucky state law requires trustees only discuss hiring, terminating or penalizing an employee, member or student in executive session. U of L general counsel Leslie Strohm says the board was compliant.

“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.

Ramsey told the board he feels state policy makers regard higher education as a problem instead of a solution. He said a majority of the population don’t have degrees, and defended the performance of the university during his tenure.

Students, faculty and staff have questioned the legitimacy of the new board since it was appointed. Among concerns of conflict of interest and accreditation, legal questions abound as Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit against Bevin’s order.

Members of U of L’s American Association of University Professors advised the new board to take the advice of students, faculty and staff and urged trustees to rebuild confidence in governance.

“We are of course eager for the quick resolution of urgent issues such as outstanding personnel cases and the determination of tuition rates,” AAUP’s statement said. “We believe that trustees have no duty more important than rebuilding confidence in the governance practices of the board of trustees, the foundation and the university administration.”

Questions why Ramsey did not offer his resignation were not immediately answered at the time of this post.


Photos by Phillip Lentsch / The Louisville Cardinal

About Kyeland Jackson

Editor-in-Chief at The Louisville Cardinal.

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