The Louisville Cardinal

Donors to help pay forensic audit’s $2.2 million tab

University of Louisville Foundation, ULF

By Shelby Brown–

The James Graham Brown Foundation and C.E. and S. Foundation pledged $1 million each to help cover costs for investigating the U of L Foundation. June’s investigative audit, released publicly June 8, now totals upwards of $2.2 million.

C.E. and S. Foundation president, David Jones Sr. called U of L “vital” to both Louisville and the state.

“The James Graham Brown Foundation is pleased with the continued progress of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees in re-engineering and revitalizing the governance, leadership and momentum of the university,” Mason Rummel, the JGB Foundation’s president and CEO said in a statement.

“Through this donation, the C.E. and S. Foundation hopes to ensure the university can conclude its thorough investigation without creating a burden for Kentucky’s taxpayers,” David Jones Sr., the C.E. and S. Foundation’s president said.

U of L’s board of trustees and foundation worked through the summer as the audit’s results brought fallout. Ad hoc committees formed to spread the workload, analyze governance and uphold the current administration’s promise of transparency.

The staggering audit results revealed overspending, excessive compensation and concealed information under former president James Ramsey’s administration. Just a week after the audit’s release, trustees asked for $200,000 to be set aside for further investigation. Board of trustees chairman, David Grissom said more work is needed. Since, that cost has ballooned to $400,000.

“Our goal with this forensic investigation has been to restore the confidence of our donors in the U of L Foundation,” Grissom said.

Donations to the university dramatically dropped last fiscal year. Gifts to the university plummeted 25 percent,  amidst university staffing cuts. In May, the U of L Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Keith Sherman said regardless of the audit’s results, he was optimistic donors would return.

“The James Graham Brown Foundation and the C.E. and S. Foundation have helped us take a giant step toward that goal with their substantial contributions. We appreciate their concern, their leadership and their financial support. We look forward to working with these two foundations, and we are committed to full transparency in satisfying the terms of these generous gifts,” Grissom said.

U of L’s board meets to discuss potential lawsuits, possibly against Ramsey and his former administrators, with the Stoll, Keenon and Ogden law firm Thursday.