Takeaways from board of trustee’s January meeting

By on January 19, 2018

By Joseph Lyell —

Here are the highlights from the U of L Board of Trustee’s Jan. 18 meeting:

Board treasurer’s term expires

Treasurer Diane Medley said she will not seek another nomination to serve on the board. Her trustee term expired Jan. 13. She will continue her role as chair of the U of L Foundation Board of Directors through June 30.

University spokesperson John Karman said it is not uncommon for a trustee’s term to expire before a successor is named. He said often, the trustee will continue to serve until the governor fills the position.

The university’s agreement with the foundation says its chair must be a trustee. To fill Medley’s position, Grissom said he intends to draft a one-time waiver allowing a non-trustee to take the position.

“Diane and I have conferred, and we would like to name Earl Reed as the new chairman of the foundation,” Grissom said.

Reed is a foundation director. After Medley’s term, foundation directors will elect its next chair.

Trustees hope to avoid 2018-19 tuition increase 

Interim President Greg Postel said Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed 2018 budget would cut the university’s state appropriations by 6.25 percent.

“I hope that when the question of tuition increase is addressed, it will be addressed keeping in mind the hope for some of us that there will be no tuition increase,” Grissom said.

Bevin released his budget proposal Jan. 16, outlining cuts across the state and the elimination of 70 programs.

Previous administrators accounting missteps corrected

During the finance committee report, Vice President of University Advancement Bryan Robinson described an accounting practice Grissom called “bogus.”

In the past, some revenue from services performed by university-partnered hospitals was labeled “philanthropic,” under a category called “campus priorities.”

“A considerable amount of credit was taken for the philanthropic activities of the university that was not truly philanthropic. In some cases it amounted to 50 percent of the total philanthropy,” Grissom said.

Robinson said this categorization did not meet IRS guidelines and the practice will not be continued in future budgets.

KentuckyOne Health negotiating sale of Jewish Hospital, Frazier Rehab Institute to private company

Postel told the board KentuckyOne Health is negotiating with a potential buyer, BlueMountain Capital.

“In Jewish and Frazier, our programs are about half of the total medical activity,” Postel said.

U of L is the largest care provider in these buildings.

Trustee Nitin Sahney urged Postel to pay close attention to the deal and its potential effects on the university.

“If this goes wrong, we’ll be left in the lurch,” Sahney said.

“We’re going to have to be sure that any kind of support agreements that we craft have real careful language,” Postel said. “They could buy it and then they could sell off pieces of it, and that would not be at all to our benefit.”

Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal

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