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moneycut

Students, faculty and staff submit budget cutting ideas

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

Almost 190 faculty, staff and students put on their thinking caps when the university asked for suggestions to save money in the upcoming operating budget with the cut of state appropriations totaling about $9.6 million. With the state cutting resources distributed to higher education, the university is not only planning for the next fiscal year, but years to come as well.

President Ramsey said, “Our faculty, staff and students have come up with some good suggestions.”

The university wants to “see which [ideas] we can do quickly and which ones will take longer to do,” said Mike Curtin, vice president for finance. With the cuts imminently approaching, the university is taking action now.

These ideas are not expected to be realized immediately. “If we can pull it off and make some things happen, there are some things we can implement before July 1; other things will take one or two years to do,” said Curtin.

The next step, according to Curtin, is to “present ideas to the [leadership team] with the pluses and minuses, and the timeline it will take to do it.” Each aspect of every suggestion is considered before further action or implementing a policy by the university leadership team consisting of President Ramsey and Provost Willinghanz.

Through the website, “eight people suggested the university implement employee furloughs or unpaid time off.” These furloughs varied in length of time. The university replied to these suggestions that furloughs “would save a significant amount of money. However, there are a number of challenges to utilizing this approach.”

Of the many ideas offered “one that came forward was to curtail certain cell phone uses throughout the campus,” said Curtin. From this suggestion provided by a member of the university community, the university is “looking at standardizing all of the cell phone contracts in the university,” said Curtin.

As the state budget cut anticipates future cuts to higher education, the university is preparing not only for the present, but for the future as well. “We are looking into many of the ideas they brought forth as we position ourselves for the future,” said Ramsey.

The university community of leaders and outside resources, such as a recently hired consultant, are taking multiple steps to save money where needed without cutting corners in students’ education. It is important to realize that the suggestions from faculty, staff and students “is just one prong in the multi prong approach,” said Curtin.

Some of the other most popular suggestions were conserving energy by closely monitoring heating and cooling, lighting and the use of appliances, early retirement options, cutting back on administrative pay, offering different employment packages to employees, centralizing a list of vendors for catering, coffee, cleaning chemicals, stockrooms items and eliminating the Physical Plant Department or outsourcing its operations.

ccrenshaw@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo/Flickr: ImagesofMoney

footballfacility

News Briefs 4.10.12

Expansion set for football practice facility

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees gave approval to athletics officials to start fund-raising for an expansion of Schnellenberger football complex at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
According to a U of L press release, the expansion would add 11,500 square feet for a weight room and an additional 4,000 square feet for training and storage facilities. It is set to cost $7.5 million and the funds would be raised privately. The expansion still needs approval by the U of L Athletics Association and the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Alisha Ward pleads guilty

Alisha Ward, a former employee of U of L’s equine industry program, plead guilty to six counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Monday, April 2.
Ward was fired from the University after an audit accused her of forging signatures, creating fake PayPal accounts and doctoring invoices to embezzle money.
U.S. Attorney David Hale, in exchange for Ward’s plea, is recommending a sentence of three years and one month along with restitution of $461,899 to the university. She will be charged on July 9.

Campus entrance construction set for April

The entrance to the Belknap campus from Cardinal Boulevard will undergo construction to install decorative walls and add landscaping and a water feature.
The construction will begin in April and will close the parking lane and sidewalk on the north side of Cardinal Boulevard between Brook street and Second street. Delays in traffic are expected.
The project will extend over the summer, over which time road closures will be necessary. The project is scheduled for completion by mid-August.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal

newlandlease

Rising from the rubble? Board leases land to U of L foundation

By James El-Mallakh–

An old coal powered factory that was once used to build trailers for semi trucks is now an open lot full of piles of bricks and rusted heaps of scrap metal. Within the next couple years, the land will most likely be another extension of the University of Louisville in the form of a research and academic park.

On April 5, the University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved the leasing of six acres of land to the U of L Foundation for the development of an academic and research center, a press release from U of L stated. The six acres of land are to be joined by 33 acres from the U of L Foundation.

President James Ramsey, in a presentation to U of L trustee members said that the eventual goal was to combine the joined properties into one piece of property. The lease agreement will fall under the conditions of a long-term lease. President Ramsey has outlined it as a 15-20 year effort.

According to Mark Hebert, the director of media relations for U of L, the university does not currently know what will be built on the newly leased property or what tenants will occupy any buildings.

“It could be a combination of academic buildings, a research building, a private company that would use U of L as its partner,” said Hebert. “We’re kind of feeling our way along on this one.”

U of L will wait until it knows what it will allow to occupy the buildings before constructing them. The university is having ongoing discussions with companies that have expressed interest in “tying in” with the university, though it is likely that an academic building will be built.

Ramsey also said the university is working on implementing a tax-increment finance district for the property, which would help increase revenue for the university. Currently there is no plan for who will pay for whatever buildings are constructed. According to Hebert, that will ultimately depend on what buildings are constructed in the area.

The land leased by the university is on the south side of the Belknap campus, between the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. It is currently referred to as the old Kentucky Trailer property, after the U of L foundation bought the 33 acres from Kentucky Trailer.

The university’s continuing expansion is part of U of L’s long term plan of becoming a premier metropolitan research university, as mandated by house bill 1, passed in 1997, and outlined by the university’s 2020 plan.

One of the university’s goals to recover from successive budget cuts over the last decade has been to “utilize underperforming assets” or to build on property that the university has access to. The approval of the lease by the Board is just such an example.

jelmallakh@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal

graphic caitlin

Employers ask job seekers for login information, evokes backlash

By Michelle Eigenheer–

With the rise of social media has come a warning to the working public – be wary of what you put online. Numerous companies have begun to judge their prospective employees by what they see on Facebook walls. Risqué photos, evidence of drug and alcohol use and offensive language or content found on social media sites may be enough to deter a company from hiring an applicant.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Justin Bassett, a statistician in New York, was applying for a job when his interviewer tried to view his Facebook profile but couldn’t due to his privacy settings. The interviewer then asked Bassett for his login information and password. Bassett refused and withdrew his application, citing that he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information.

Now, reports such as these have become widespread enough that Facebook issued a statement chiding the practice and threading legal action, “We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policy makers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges.”

These reports have been widespread enough to elicit a reaction from lawmakers who have also scorned the practice, Two Democratic Senators, Charles E. Shumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, have called upon the Justice Department – via Attorney General Eric Holder – and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to begin an investigation on the matter. Their main concerns, shared with many people across the U.S. and even the United Kingdom, include whether or not this is a violation of privacy and of federal employment law.

Federal employment law prohibits a company from turning down an applicant based on their race, gender, religion or association with a group such as a political party. By accessing a person’s Facebook account directly, prospective employers can potentially uncover private information that can lead to a biased review of an applicant.

Further, sharing login information is against Facebook’s privacy policy. On March 23, Facebook threatened legal action against employers that request Facebook passwords. Facebook considers this sharing to not only be a privacy concern, but a security risk.

“In an age where more and more of our personal information — and our private social interactions — are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence,” said Senator Schumer in a statement.

On March 27, House Democrats proposed an amendment to a Federal Communications Commission reform package that would call on the FCC to prohibit employers from this activity. This bill lost in the House by a vote of 236 to 184, but may appear later as separate legislation.

meigenheer@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo Illustration by Caitlin Williams/The Louisville Cardinal

familyscholarhouse2alassell

Family Scholar House opens new homes, keeps on growing

By James El-Mallakh–

“I was single and I had a child… I also was a victim of domestic violence as well as being homeless,” said Terenca Hall-Juuko, a junior American sign language major at U of L and a resident of the Family Scholar House.

The Family Scholar House is a non-profit organization in Louisville with multiple branches. Their mission is to “end the cycle of poverty by giving single-parent students the support they need to earn a four-year college degree.”

“This is support like none other… It’s genuine support where they accept everybody as they are and they look at them as individuals and they help address the barriers that are keeping each individual from being successful,” said Hall-Juuko.

The Family Scholar House recently opened up their third local branch called the Stoddard Johnston Scholar House on Bradley Avenue, less than a mile away from Belknap Campus.

The organization supports single-parent families by giving them low rent housing while the parents are earning a college degree.

“They’re all below 50 percent of the area median income, they’re all coming from homelessness and – 95 percent of the time – domestic violence,” said Cathe Dykstra, President and CEO of Family Scholar House. “We have 167 families living with us with 264 children on three campuses: Louisville Scholar house, Downtown Scholar house, Stoddard Johnston House.”

The majority of student parents who are in the family scholar program attend the University of Louisville for their four-year degree and most will attend JCTC for their associate’s degree. The student parents attend a total of 11 different universities that include Sullivan University, Spalding University and Indiana University Southeast.

“It’s a natural fit for U of L to be one of the places where a large portion of our students attend,” said Dykstra.

Family Scholar house have a total of nine full time workers and depend on hundreds of volunteers to help with their case load.

“I chose Family Scholar house because I know they have a very good reputation throughout the community and they’re very well and highly respected,” said Amanda Cotton, an intern at Family Scholar and a student in the Kent School of Social Work pursuing a master’s degree.

“They’re one of the few non-profits that have been able to grow and succeed throughout this tough economy and so I knew they had a strong backing in the community so I wanted to be able to be a part of that experience.”

The Kent School has a formal relationship with Family Scholar and U of L students will often complete internships at Family Scholar. Most of Cotton’s intern work consists of work that a full time staff member would do such as case reviews, preparing clients for the housing process and helping with financial aid as well as admissions, outreach and home visits.

Last year, 884 volunteers worked for Family Scholar House, most of them being community members who support the mission of Family Scholar.

Family Scholar currently houses 167 families, but there are also 558 families on the waiting list. Hall-Juuko was on the waiting list but she says that her determination to change and improve her life let her be moved up on the waiting list.

“You can either sign up and be on the waiting list and sit around and wait for them to call you or you can be like a lot of the participants. You sign up, you go down there and participate in the workshop classes, you go down there and utilize the tools they are giving you even as a pre-residence, even while you’re on the waiting list,” said Hall-Juuko.

“I always showed up once a week and let them see my face and let them know that I was dedicated to the program. As soon as they had an opening, they chose me.”

The Family Scholar House is a growing program. They currently are planning on breaking ground on a fourth campus over the summer and the new residence halls are expected to be ready for occupancy before the 2013-2014 academic year.

“I can honestly tell you I would be dead right now or just worse off if it wasn’t for [Family Scholar],” said Hall-Juuko. “I contacted them and from day one… there’s nothing but support and everybody there loves their job.”

“I do believe we make a difference on a daily basis,” said Dykstra.

jelmallakh@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

rally

Students rally for slain Florida teen

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

Students, faculty and community members flooded the Bingham Humanities quad Monday, holding posters that read “Justice for Trayvon” and “What is a Black life worth?” The assembly was part of a walkout and rally to support and memorialize Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen killed over a month ago.

National headlines have been filled with Martin’s name since the 17 year old was shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. The rally focused on the supposed injustice of the Martin case and passed around a petition for students and members of the community to sign.

In a crowd of over 100 students and protesters, professor Stacy Brooks said, “There is no excuse for what happened,” with tears in his eyes.

Mikal Forbush, program coordinator for the Muhammad Ali Peace Institute at U of L, said, the goal of the walkout was to “raise awareness not only about Trayvon, but also the larger issues that the case highlights.” The rally at U of L was one of many occurring across the country this Monday, supporting justice for Martin.

Rallies across college campuses on Monday made the news in Virginia, Pennsylvania and California. Students at the University of North Texas organized a rally and encourage everyone to wear black hoodies in memory of Martin and 500 people signed a petition for a full investigation into Martin’s death at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

At the Million Hoodie March in New York City, Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, said, “My heart is in pain, but to see the support of all of you really makes a difference.”

Organizers passed around a petition throughout the U of L rally for students and members of the community to sign. Forbush said, “We want all involved to be informed. So the e-mails and petition is to invite everyone to be a part of the conversation and know exactly what’s happening.” Organizers will send out information of how to get involved and attend future rallies.

Many of the over 100 attendees of the rally went out of their way to come to campus. Ebony Campbell, a member of the Louisville community, said, she heard about it through Facebook and decided to come.

Tom Moffhett, who works with the Kentucky Alliance, said, he came because I wanted to come. Moffhett has been involved for over 30 years with rallies promoting social activism and encouraging change within society.

“We can’t forget Trayvon like we have forgotten so many before,” Brooks said.

An online petition on change.org started by Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s parents, has over 2 million signatures and calls to “prosecute the killer of our son.”

The Twitter account for Trayvon Martin, @TrayvonMRIP, currently with over 15,000 followers, said, “Show the public how we want justice for him.”

U of L President James Ramsey told WFPL that, in the Trayvon Martin Case, “the process needs to play out and the investigations need to play out. We totally support freedom of speech with our students and think that it’s fitting for them to express their views. We do believe that classroom time is very important.”

As students exercised their first amendment rights, Brooks said over the mass of people, Martin “has become a symbol for racial inequality that has unified people across this country.”

Forbush said, “The plan is to begin a larger conversation on campus and in the community about how race plays a part in the case and look at Louisville’s version of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.”

Another rally in support of Trayvon Martin is planned for Tuesday, April 3, outside of the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville.

Kassie Roberts contributed to this story.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal

neworleanstadium

Cards and Cats watch the game peacefully at LGBT conference

By Baylee Pulliam–

As the clock wound down on the Cardinals’ Final Four run Saturday night, U of Lers, clad in red and throwing up the “L” sign on one hand, welcomed students from their in-state rival school. They watched the game together in the Red Barn, cheering at the same big-screen T.V.
The viewing party was a part of a state-wide LGBT conference, hosted this year by the University of Louisville.
Students from colleges across the Commonwealth, like Berea College, Morehead State University and, yes, the University of Kentucky, hit campus just in time for the heated UK-U of L Final Four showdown.
“We try to be nice,” said U of L junior CIS major Scott Thompson, eyes glued to the T.V.
The Come Together Kentucky conference focuses on social justice, inequality, bullying prevention and LGBT identity. About 160 participants took part this year – over five times more than last year, said AJ Jones, Special Project Coordinator for U of L LGBT Services.
“With so many people, and this whole rivalry going on, it’s great that everybody’s getting along,” Jones said. “You’ve got red and blue joking together.”
Die-hard Cats fan Brandi Stanfield sat in a full suit of blue UK gear Saturday night. “Everybody’s been really nice,” she said.
There was an unspoken “no trash talking” rule during the weekend conference, said U of L senior women’s and gender studies and PAS double major Jyler Donovon. “There’s respect,” Donovon said.
There was respect in more ways than one. Brian Buford, director of LGBT services, said sports bars can be “really unfriendly to gay people.” The Red Barn was a safe place, where “the students can talk sports, have a little fun, and not be judged or harassed.”
And respect is the most important thing, Buford said. The students may be from rival schools, but “their LGBT identity overrides their team loyalty. They find more in common than they do differences.”
But don’t expect them to swap their red for blue – or vice versa – any time soon.
“Personally, I could never be a UK fan,” said freshman education major Dave Lingerfelt. “But I respect their lifestyle choice.”

bpulliam@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal

finalfourcelebration

A tale of two cities: Louisville experiences calm as Lexington riots

 By Baylee Pulliam–

Folks in Louisville and Lexington are still recovering from Saturday’s University of Louisville vs. the University of Kentucky Final Four matchup.

In Lexington, city offices are cleaning up after a night of Cats fans’ wild celebrations, resulting in busted out windows and fire-scorched couches, mailboxes and tree branches.

But in Louisville, the recovery is more an emotional one, as disheartened U of L fans accept the reality of their spoiled shot at the NCAA championship.

After the buzzer sounded Saturday night, a few Cards fans in Louisville tried to light a miniature UK car flag on fire. But save a few alcohol-charged fans yelling expletives, the tone on campus was somber.

“There just wasn’t a lot of anger,” said Harry Ghooray, a Resident Assistant at Betty Johnson Hall, who watched the small crowd through the lobby windows. “Just disappointment.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office posted officers in the U of L SAC and in a squad car in front of the Red Barn. Sections of Third Street were closed off, gearing up for a crowd like the one that formed after last Saturday’s victory over Florida.

“We just wanted to be prepared in case [Louisville] won,” said U of L Police shift commander, Lieutenant David James.

Officers from the Jefferson County Sherriff's Office stand on a nearby empty street in front of Cardinal Towne.

Over at U of L’s Clucker’s chicken, the restaurant floor is still sticky from beer, spilled by the over 200 basketball fans that came to watch the game.

Sarah Jones, a server who was working there Saturday, said most Cards fans left quietly after the buzzer, slowly trickling into the intersection of Cardinal Blvd. and Third St. But “there were a few who stayed. They just sat there shaking their heads,” said the senior exercise science major.

James said the roads were reopened at around 10 p.m. No injuries were reported in the aftermath of the game in Louisville.

But in Lexington, it was a different story entirely.

Ten injuries and 50 nuisance fires were reported throughout the night. Despite beefed-up security on and around the UK campus and the closing of streets, more security had to be called in.

UK student Will Finnell said he saw a girl struggling to get her car off the street, but “she had people climbing on her car and busting in her windows.” He said elsewhere fans threw glass beer bottles.

Police officers in riot gear, some even mounted on horses, were called in as back up. Officers in some locations had to use pepper spray to control the celebrating fans.

At least thirteen arrests were reported and the UK students caught will be subject to disciplinary action due to violation of the university’s student code of conduct.

Finnell said the fans didn’t mean any harm. They were proud of their team, and “everyone just wanted to party and dance and what not.”

Kassie Roberts contributed to this article.

bpulliam@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy of Tessa Lightly/Kentucky Kernel

kbritt.turkey

Former professor files suit against the University of Louisville

By Michelle Eigenheer–

Karen Britt, a former University of Louisville professor of fine arts was denied tenure by the university and is now formally suing U of L and Provost Shirley Willihnganz, individually.

Cited in the complaint are claims of gender discrimination, a heavy workload without adequate compensation, breach of contract by the university, “malicious” comments made by Provost Willihnganz “with the sole purpose of causing harm to the plaintiff and her reputation” and a denial of equal protection under the law of Kentucky.

The University of Louisville and Willihnganz filed a joint response that denies many of Britt’s allegations, stating at multiple times in the response that they “deny any wrongdoing or liability inferred or implied therein.”

In a statement by Mark Hebert, Director of Media Relations for U of L, “The University follows a process when considering faculty members for tenure.  This process was followed in the case of Karen Britt just as it is followed for other tenure candidates.”

Britt was employed by the university from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2011, leaving after her tenure was denied. In January 2012, she filed an official complaint with the Franklin County Circuit Court that names U of L, the Provost and the honorable Jack Conway, attorney general.

A website, www.uoflabuseoffaculty.com, has been created with the full complaint and list of grievances available, along with many other documents pertaining to the issue.

The popular college website www.ratemyprofessor.com has Britt rated a four out of five in overall quality, earning a 12:5 ratio of good comments to bad.

One comment reads, “I love Karen Britt. She is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about art history and it rubs off in class. She will answer any question you have and try her best to help you understand… I would take every class of hers if I could!” Another comment says, “This professor is awful! She is ridiculously hard and doesn’t really tell students what she is looking for… Avoid her if you don’t want to wreck your GPA.”

Willihnganz said of Britt in a May 4, 2011 letter to the Grievance Committee Hearing Panel, “While there is no doubt that Dr. Britt is an excellent teacher and colleague, she has not demonstrated proficiency in the area of research.”

According to university documents, a lack of creativity and research, part of the requirements to achieve tenure, are cited to be the main reasons behind Britt’s rejection. According to the letter from Willihnganz, Britt had not met the criteria for published works during her time at U of L. Britt claims in her complaint that this was because of excessive workload given to her by her department. After a lengthy grievance hearing over the issue, the former professor left the university.

According to her attorney, Al Priddy, Britt is currently doing field research in the Middle East.

“At this point, it is very difficult to know what the future holds,” said Britt in an e-mail provided by Priddy. “What has happened to me has been both heartbreaking and very damaging.”

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy insidehigherd.com

finalfour

Athletics Department rejects Mayor’s offer to host Final Four pep rally

By Baylee Pulliam–

The University of Louisville Athletics Department has rejected Mayor Greg Fischer’s proposal to host a community pep rally in advance of Saturday’s Final Four game against the University of Kentucky wildcats.

The pep rally, Fischer said, would have been held sometime this week in front of the KFC Yum! Center downtown.

The Mayor’s office told WFPL U of L officials were worried the rally might pull players, cheerleaders and band members from their classes.

bpulliam@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo courtesy Final Four