New bill could grant Bevin power to replace public university boards

By on January 9, 2017

By Kyeland Jackson —

Overshadowed by Senate Bill 12, a new bill introduced Jan. 7 will grant Governor Matt Bevin power to replace governing boards at other universities.

Sponsored by Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), Senate Bill 107 grants Bevin, or appointing authorities, powers to replace members or entire boards deemed dysfunctional in Kentucky. The draft determines a board or council is dysfunctional if it cannot: hold at least quarterly meetings, elect a chair and vice chair, establish a quorum, or reach consensus to execute its primary mandate. SB 107 also requires members replacing boards fill representation requirements. Bevin’s new appointments could fill diversity and political representation requirements on U of L’s board, left open by former governor Steve Beshear.

SB 12, approved by the Kentucky House of Representatives, removes U of L’s current board of trustees. The Council on Postsecondary Educaiton Nominating Committee elected 30 candidates for U of L’s board Jan. 13. Bevin chose 10 of those candidates, who se names will be announced Jan. 17. Nominees will officially be appointed to the board after state government approval.  Bevin tried to replace the board via executive action in June, but his orders were struck down by Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd. Shepherd agreed with Attorney General Andy Beshear, who filed the suit, calling Bevin’s act an overreach of power.

However, the Kentucky Supreme Court agreed to hear Bevin’s appeal of the case, and could decide on the order by summer.

Stivers did not respond at the time of this publication. To review a full draft of the bill, click here.

About Kyeland Jackson

Editor-in-Chief at The Louisville Cardinal.

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