Wed. Dec 12th, 2018

Foundation chief promises reform

By Bailey Campagna —

Foundation Interim Executive Director Keith Sherman touted the organization’s reform and strides to increase transparency to the faculty assembly Feb. 23.

Sherman said the foundation’s legal team hired a consulting group to research the extent of overcompensation among the previous foundation members.

“Our law firm has hired the best in the world to do that analysis and we’re hopeful that in the next 30 to 45 days we’ll have an answer,” Sherman said.

He said the results from the analysis will allow the foundation to see who was overcompensated and by how much. Then they will decide what legal steps need to be taken.

Sherman said the previous foundation was spending more money than they were taking in, and the current foundation is trying to take steps to balance that.

“They spent far too much of that endowment from any given year for several years,” Sherman said. “Every month we are completely transparent. Every month we go to the board and give them the most granular of details.”

The foundation’s transparency push comes as they face drastic budget problems.

“If this were a private enterprise, it would be very concerning. You wonder about the efficacy of the business model. I hate to use the word ‘ominous,’ but it is,” Board of Trustees Chairman David Grissom said at a foundation meeting Jan. 30.

Faculty still pushed for more input in the foundation’s decisions.

“We as faculty members or as a college never had input into how the money was going to be spent,” Secretary Treasurer of AAUP Michael Cunningham said. “There’s always money when administrators want it, so the question is how are these decisions made?”

Faculty asked about the relationship between ULAA and the foundation.

“There is none. We’re affiliated with the university just like they are, but we’re independent,” Sherman said.

He said the foundation’s business dealings with ULAA are kept at arms length.

The assembly passed a resolution urging the board of trustees to reaffirm its commitment to making faculty salaries competitive.

English Professor Susan Ryan said many argue U of L professor salaries are below the benchmark because the university is cheap, but she said that isn’t true.

“That claim is never made when the university is making decisions in regard to coaches, administrators, etc.” Ryan said.

Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal

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