By Nick Amon–
**Update, 7/14, 6:30 p.m.**
It was initially understood that President James Ramsey did not offer his resignation to the board of trustees July 13. Now we know he actually read his resignation letter to the board in closed session.
There was no information on this matter until an email by Chair Pro-Tempore Junior Bridgeman late today with further details of the meeting after this article was published. The trustees have yet to act on Ramsey’s offer and he is still president of U of L.
The overall lack of transparency here is ridiculous to say the least. It’s still under further review whether or not any information was discussed illegally by the board regarding Ramsey’s resignation, but things definitely aren’t looking good on their behalf. The Cardinal is requesting the audio of that closed session and will report those results.
Nearly a month ago, Gov. Matt Bevin showed up to U of L armed with intentions of change that left the U of L community confused and bewildered. As many of us are already aware of at this point, Bevin made an executive decision to disband the former 17-member board of trustees and appoint 10 new members. The most shocking news at the time wasn’t dissolving the board, but Bevin’s announcement that President James Ramsey would no longer be U of L’s president and would soon offer his resignation.
Fast forward to mid-July, and not much has changed. Besides some some pretty idiotic tweets from a once-considered trustee Doug Cobb (stating things like evolution and global warming are hoaxes), things have been somewhat quiet. Until Wednesday when the newly-appointed board met for the first time, and the once-believed “eager” Ramsey, who planned t0 blow this pop stand, decided he was going to stick around for a little while longer.
Did he stick around to clarify why? Of course not. University spokesman John Karman said Ramsey would not return to the meeting after his exit or answer media questions.
When he wrote his resignation letter addressed to Bevin in June, Ramsey wasn’t shy about ripping off the Band-Aid and saying, “As a result, upon a legal restructure of the board of trustees at the University of Louisville, I will immediately offer, to the newly appointed board, my resignation/retirement as president of the University of Louisville.”
Interesting. Last time I checked, the word immediately means just that. It’s a pretty urgent word choice. Apparently for our leisurely president, immediately means I’ll sleep on it.
When trust between the U of L community and the governing structure behind the university is at an all time low, you would think for the sake of decency at least, transparency would be a priority for these guys. Once again, I’m starting to think I should lower my standards of what to expect from not only the board, but Ramsey himself. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? They only run our university.
It’s difficult not to be frustrated as a student caught in the middle of this situation. Things are starting to look a lot like an ugly divorce in which the parents are too indecisive to pull the trigger, and the children (or student body in this case) are the ones who ultimately get shorted in the matter, regardless of the outcome.
Unless there are alternative motives in this situation, which there could very possibly be, it’s difficult to understand the need for reluctance on Ramsey’s part. When asked about the situation, Chair Pro-Tempore Junior Bridgeman responded with, “I suggest that you give the board the time to understand everything, and then everything will become evident.”
I guess a month isn’t enough time to say goodbye to Grawemeyer Hall for Ramsey. I wish he’d embody the statue he passes every day going into work and think about not only himself, but the rest of the U of L community feeling the effects of such disinclination.