Tag Archives: Baylee Pulliam


U of L decides not to extend academic school year

By Baylee Pulliam–

Last semester, the University of Louisville considered adding class time or crossing through fall break to meet a new requirement from its accreditation board.

But don’t cancel your fall break plans just yet.

“The short answer: no change for now,” said Vice Provost Dale Billingsley in an e-mail.

Under authority of the 2008 reauthorization of the 1965 Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said in June 2011 it would set a minimum of 2,250 minutes of class time for a three-hour course, per semester.

That’s about 50 minutes of in-class time and two hours of out-of-class work per credit hour, over the course of 15 weeks.

Now, U of L operates on a 14-week semester schedule, equating to a two-week deficit for the academic year. It’s the only Kentucky public university in non-compliance.

To meet the standard, some suggested adding Saturday classes, adding five minutes to every class or eliminating some days the university would normally be closed, beginning in fall of 2012.

But that might not be necessary.

The Provost’s office points to a clause in the SACS mandate, that says schools can have a shorter semester, as long as they meet the 2,250-minute requirement “over a different amount of time.”

According to U of L’s revised Policy for the University Academic Calendar and Awarding of Course Credit, the university will fall in step with the SACS standard with a few tweaks:
Course catalog descriptions should clearly state the calendar and credit hour requirements, and both the catalog and course syllabi should list expectations for out-of-class instructional activities. The out-of-class activities requirement will jump to two and a half hours per week, per credit hour, to make up the missing class time.

Syllabi also need to stipulate “valid, assessable course learning outcomes.”

After hashing out the details with the faculty senate and other U of L campus leaders, the Provost decided “course objectives were being met under the present calendar,” Billingsley said.

According to a memorandum circulated to U of L Executive Cabinet, the current calendar lets students “move efficiently through their degree requirements” and allows ample time for summer terms, residence hall maintenance and a fall term break.

SACS will conduct a check of U of L in 2013, but current academic leadership expects to stay the course, Billingsley said.

In the interim, “we do have time to make a change if necessary,” he said.

For now, SGA president-elect Justin Brandt said, “Students should be glad with the decision made by the University administration to not make this change before they absolutely have to.”

“With that being said, students should also prepare for a change,” when and if it comes.

Photo: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal


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.”

Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal


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.

Photo courtesy of Tessa Lightly/Kentucky Kernel


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.

Photo courtesy Final Four


Card fans ‘go nuts’ over Florida win

By Baylee Pulliam and James El-Mallakh–

The Cardinals advanced to the NCAA Final Four, after a 72:68 comeback against the University of Florida Gators on Saturday. And fans in Louisville let the world know it, with wild street celebrations long into the night.

Kelly Byrd and Holly Babcock didn’t watch the game – they’re devoted University of Kentucky fans. But they say U of L’s win was impossible to ignore.

“It was like the whole place erupted,” said Byrd, a freshman undecided major.

From the view from her balcony on Sunday morning, the Province looked mostly deserted. “People are probably recovering,” she said.

Babcock, also a freshman undecided major, said she spent the greater part of her night listening to her neighbors cheering and honking their car horns. “The whole place just went nuts,” she said. “People just flooded out into the parking lot and stayed there for hours.”

Both Byrd and Babcock said they were more excited about Sunday’s Baylor versus UK match up.

University of Louisville professor examines college alcohol use. Photo by Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal

Clayton Usher was in his room at Bettie Johnson when the game ended. When he looked out his window, a crowd of about 20 people was standing at the intersection of Cardinal Boulevard and 4th Street.

Five minutes later, there were 50 people. Five minutes after that, there were nearly 300.

“It was crazy,” said Usher, a sophomore bioengineering major. “They pretty much stopped traffic.”

Police did stop traffic on 4th Street and Cardinal Boulevard based on their own decision to preserve public safety, according to John Drees, a spokesman for U of L.

Drees said that celebrations went off without incident, that students were peaceful and it, “seems like a lot of students just wanted to have a good time.”

In downtown Louisville, the celebrations were no less jubilant according to Officer Carey Klain, spokesperson for LMPD.

“It was a celebration all over the city that just sort of erupted,” said Klain, describing it as, “very similar to derby time on Broadway.”

She also says that the night went “pretty much without incident.” And that only one juvenile was arrested for fleeing and evading police and another juvenile was given a citation.

Police patrolled traffic in the streets from 9th to 30th on Broadway and they started their patrol just after the game ended, around 7 p.m. and ended at about 10 p.m.

Over on Greek row, victory-happy Cards fans “threw a picnic table off the back porch” of the Sigma Epsilon house, said Kelsey Fussinger, a freshman secondary education major who was there Saturday to watch the game.

Other students reported tossed futons, a speaker thrown out the window and a picnic table set on fire on the Greek row sand volleyball court.

Everything was cleaned up by Sunday morning.

U of L president James Ramsey posted on his Facebook page,
“What an amazing night, game and group of academic athletes. Congratulations to our U of L Men’s Basketball team for making it to the NCAA Final Four. What an amazing accomplishment. Thank you for all of your effort and work on the basketball courts and in the classroom. GO (academic) CARDS!”

Photo: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal


Stop, look, don’t listen: wearers of earbuds are more at risk on the road

By Baylee Pulliam–

Listen up, earbud users – It might just save your life.

A new case study done by the University of Maryland shows the number of earbud-wearing pedestrians being hit by cars has more than tripled since 2004.

Those pedestrians may not have heard the car coming. Twenty nine percent of drivers reported they sounded their horns prior to impact.

“If you are listening to your mp3 player at a high volume then this would “mask” [or cover up] environmental sounds,” said Dr. Jill Preminger, an associate professor in the University of Louisville audiology program.

The most common victim was under the age of 30 (median age, 21) and in an urban county – in other words, an average U of L student.

Parth Natarajan, a senior accounting major, says he likes to wear headphones while walking to class. “I like music, so it makes [the walk] a little more bearable,” he said.

He’s not the only music lover on campus. But to avoid accidents while listening to their mp3 players, “students need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Lt. Colonel Kenny Brown, assistant chief of police for U of L.

Brown suggests lowering the volume or only using one earbud.

According to the study, cell phones and other visual distractions may also be to blame, causing “distraction and sensory deprivation,” and “inattentional blindness.” It can also cause “environmental isolation,” where the user may become totally unaware of sounds other than the ones coming from their electronics.

Brown said he sees many students walking around campus “with their earbuds in and they’re looking down at their phone, too. They’ve made it so they can’t hear or see what’s going on around them.”
The way he sees it, “they’re asking for trouble.”

As the rate of cell phone and mp3 player ownership increases, the study concluded the role distraction plays in pedestrian-vehicle accidents warrants further discussion.

But for now, Natarajan says he feels fairly safe keeping the volume at a reasonable level and not using his cell phone and mp3 player at the same time.

“I’m careful enough. I’m good,” he said.

Photo/Flickr: pauldesu.com

Henryville Jr. - Sr. High School, along with the attached elementary school were demolished as the tornado tore through campus, scattering cars and school buses across the parking lot and Highway  31 like children’s toys.

In the aftermath of a disaster, Henryville picks up the pieces

Emergency crews from around the state banded together to sift through the aftermath.


By Baylee Pulliam–

HENRYVILLE, Ind. – On Sunday morning, the Rev. Steve Schaftlein surveyed the little chapel of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, and saw a congregation battered, tired and thankful.

About 150 people came to Mass at the 100-seat church. Without electricity, only votive candles, and sun through the multi-colored stained-glass windows lit the chapel.

He said the church, one of the few buildings left standing after a tornado ripped through Henryville, Ind. Friday, was “spared with a purpose by God – to be a symbol of hope.”

Looking out over the mangled remains of town square, Sophie Knight said it was. “It’s just a blessing that so many people survived,” said Knight, a University of Louisville rower, who caravanned to Henryville Sunday to help in any way she could.

The tornado outbreak came two days after a powerful storm tore through the south and Midwest, killing 13 people.

The latest round, 45 confirmed twisters in all, targeted southern Indiana, the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys and eastern Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills. The death toll rose to 40 on Monday.

In Henryville, Ind., a tornado with an over 50-mile track, brought 175 mile per hour winds and baseball-sized hail. The multi-vortex tornado was ranked an EF-4, the second highest on the Fujita scale of tornadic force.

Within minutes, the town of 2,000 was gone.

Henryville, just 19 miles north of Louisville, is now a twisted remnant of its former self. Mangled debris lines what was once Ferguson Street – hail-battered cars, broken plywood and scrap metal. Most homes have been reduced to a pile of rubble, the owners’ personal belongings unsalvageable.

The windshield of this car was shattered by hail and a school bus was shoved through a local business across the street from the school.

The Clark County town was put under a 6 p.m. curfew and a boil water advisory. Natural gas lines were cut off, and the few structures still standing are running on generators, if they have power at all.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels spoke to reporters Saturday, in front of the now-leveled Henryville High School, whose roof peeled back before collapsing.

“Yet all things that mere mortals can do aren’t enough sometimes,” he said.

Indiana University Southeast student Rachel Horine said her aunt, a special education teacher, bunkered down in the school bathroom when the storm hit. “She barely made it out,” Horine said.

Horine lives four miles away in Borden. But to her, home was Henryville, where she went to school and had friends.

In Borden, Horine and her family locked themselves in the basement as hail pounded their house. She said it was so loud, “it sounded like someone was breaking in.”

In Henryville, St. Francis church is one of the few buildings left standing, surviving the storm less only a chimney and some roof shingles. Since Friday, it has served as an emergency response outpost, food bank and safe haven.

Volunteers sort through donated clothes in the sanctuary of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Henryville, Ind. The sanctuary, which has a capacity of 100, was filled with 150 people and clothes on Sunday.

Victor Jett, an 18-year member at St. Francis, organized collections there. “People just keep coming,” he said, stacking cases of bottled water onto a nearly story-high pile. “The level of support is just overwhelming.”
On Sunday, volunteers unloaded dry goods and cleaning supplies in the church’s basement. Upstairs in the chapel, clothing donations layered the pews, labeled like aisles in a department store.

Louisville rowing team member, Hannah Ritter, sorts through the mountains of donations at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Henryville, Ind.

Hannah Ritter sat in the pulpit Sunday, folding children’s pants and socks.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. People are giving so much,” said the sophomore CIS major, a volunteer with the rowing team.

By nightfall, a tag-team of good Samaritans had packed every room with donations.

Knight, a freshman marketing major, hopes people keep coming. “Henryville is gone, but we shouldn’t forget there are people here who need help,” she said.

Major Chuck Adams from the Clark County Sheriff’s office said he spoke with a woman from Dayton, Ohio, who drove down and asked how she could help. Others hail from as far away as West Virginia and New York.

“The sense of good will here is just incredible,” he said on Sunday, flagging cars in the St. Francis parking lot.

The sheriff’s office is temporarily based at the church, and has had every employee working in some capacity since Friday. “We’ve pretty much been flying by the seat of our pants,” Adams said. “But 36 hours in, I think we’re doing as well as anyone could.”

In southern Indiana, upwards of 250 National Guardsmen and 100 Indiana State Police officers were deployed over the weekend, to aid local law enforcement and emergency response services in search and rescue pursuits. National Guardsmen piloted black hawk helicopters, on loan from Shelbyville, in aerial search missions.

Adams said Sunday the sheriff’s office had stopped searching, and no one was unaccounted for.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security reported significant numbers of injuries, but that medical services were not overwhelmed.

The church basement was a meeting place on Friday after the tornado hit Henryville.Less than 24 hours later, it had been transformed into a donation center.

Less than 24 hours later, it had been transformed into a donation center.

In the wake of the disaster, making contact with loved ones inside the affected communities was nearly impossible, complicated by the destruction of most cell towers in hard hit communities like Borden and Marysville.

For Tori Robbins, a sophomore undecided major at U of L, it was a waiting game. She tried calling a friend in New Perkin, a heavily damaged Washington County town, but couldn’t get through.

“I felt so helpless,” she said. Robbins’ friend’s house was one of only four houses on her street left standing.

The American Red Cross said volunteers in southern Indiana delivered food, provided emotional support and checked in on people who had been out of contact.

Over at the church, donations and volunteers keep pouring in – a sign, Rev. Schaftlein says, that they shouldn’t lose faith.

“We’re praying here, that’s our first work,” he told his congregation. “But underneath is the food, the clothing that will help sustain the community.”

As night fell Sunday, snowflakes peppered the rubble that was once Henryville. Volunteers still working at St. Francis, warmed their hands at the portable heaters outside.

While the past few days have been hard, Jett says the true test will come in the days ahead.

“A lot of these people lost everything, down to the foundation,” he said. “But we’ll rebuild. No doubt in my mind, we’ll rebuild.”

This is the view facing west from just east of Highway 31 in downtown Henryville. The tornado, which was categorized as an EF-4, flattened the town with 175 mph winds and baseball-sized hail.



With the recent hardships bought about by the tornado, those living in the affected and surrounding areas are in need of assistance. In an effort to support these communities, charities and organizations such as the Red Cross are looking for cash donations, dry goods and helping hands. Students from the University of Louisville are also looking to put together an alternative spring break group to head to Henreyville and provide services to those who need it. For more information, log on to the official Red Cross website, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.  You can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. If you know of any U of L employees affected by the storm, email EmployeeRelations@Louisville.edu, or for students, contact the Dean of Students Office at 852-5787 or via email at dos@louisville.edu


Email Editor-in-Chief Baylee Pulliam at bpulliam@louisvillecardinal.com.
Photos: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal, ngardner@louisvillecardinal.com


Good vs Evil 529x280

In food, a battle of ‘Good vs. Evil’

Anthony Bourdain rocketed to celebrity chefdom with the release of his book "Kitchen Confidential." He hosts "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel.

By Baylee Pulliam–

There’s an old tradition for properly raising, preparing and eating an ortolan, a small songbird native to France.

The bird is kept in a dark cage and forced to gorge itself until it’s round and fat, like a squishy, feathery Christmas tree bulb.

Then, when optimal plumpness has been achieved, the little guy is drowned with a lethal dose of high-proof brandy.

After the dead – or at least drunken – bird is cooked, the diner ritualistically dons a napkin-hood before devouring it wholesale – bones, innards and all. Gluttony is a sin, and you wouldn’t want your God – if you have one – to see, now, would you?

There are probably many worse ends than death-by-brandy. But one wonders if our little avian friend was ready to meet his maker. Or whether he wanted his tiny bones crunched and his insides slurped.

Then again, in the words of Anthony Bourdain, “that is one tasty f—ing bird.”

In their aptly titled “Good vs. Evil” show at the Kentucky Center for the Arts Saturday, chefs and TV personalities Bourdain and Eric Ripert tackled some of the more prominent ethical questions in food culture. Do ethics matter, when taste and tradition are involved?

Bourdain’s trademarked gaucho boots clunk against the stage floor as he circles Ripert. He interrogates the Frenchman on his immigration status, and eating endangered and threatened species, like the Bluefin Tuna, which Ripert refuses to serve in his restaurant – “on principle,” he says.

Ignoring the issue of rarity, Bourdain wonders if animal cruelty should be a factor. “Does it matter if it died screaming, if it’s provably delicious?” he asks.

Ripert and Bourdain agree it should. And that maybe, just maybe, “the Crocodile Hunter got what he had coming,” Bourdain said.

But maybe health is the bigger moral issue. And according to Bourdain, butter-addicted Food Network chef Paula Dean poses a big threat.

“Go through the cookbooks,” Bourdain said. “Which ones will kill you fastest? Of course, it’s Paula Dean.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America. And high-fat, high-salt diets, like those promoted by Paula Dean, aren’t helping.

They can also lead to obesity. In a 2011 study, The Lancet medical journal found nearly seven in ten Americans are either obese or overweight.

Ripert suggests banning things like trans fats and putting a tax on unhealthy foods.

“So a fat tax, then?” Bourdain asks. “Would you be okay with a $14 bag of Cheetos? A $24 can of Coke?”

“Absolutely,” Ripert said. He noted some companies, have set caloric limits on their food. Mars Inc. said last week their candy bars will soon be 250 calories or less.

Other companies, are phasing out the use of additives and lower quality ingredients. Earlier this year, McDonalds said they would not use ‘pink slime,’ the result of cleaning low-grade, and otherwise inedible meat with ammonium hydroxide so it can be served in their restaurants. The companies took these actions voluntarily, which leaves Bourdain wondering, “What is their market research telling them?”

“That people are waking up,” Ripert said. They’re becoming more aware of what goes into the food they eat.

Eric Ripert is the co-owner and chef of acclaimed New York City-based Le Bernardin. He hosts "Avec Eric" on PBS.

For example, he cites the growing trend of eating locally farmed food. “People are realizing when they eat food grown at local farms, they’re supporting those farms, and their own economy.”

And people are also more aware of world food culture, Bourdain said.

Ripert jokes about the global food experiences Bourdain has on his Travel Channel show, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”

In one episode, Namibian tribesmen fed their honored American guest the “best part” of a feral warthog – the rectum. “There was fur, and sand and crap in every bite,” Bourdain said. “But I’d eat it again.”

Travelers should keep an open mind about cultures and foods they’re unfamiliar with, he said. “I was a guest, and where I come from, when someone offers you something, you eat it.”

Bourdain said he follows the ‘grandma rule’ when he travels. You may not like it, but you clean your plate, he said. “It’s grandma’s f—ing house,” after all, and you should follow her rules, her traditions.

Which brings us back to the ortolan. Eating the rare bird has been outlawed in France for some time now, but its preparation speaks volumes about the food world’s moral gray area.

“It’s a very old tradition,” Ripert said.

“So is syphilis,” quipped Bourdain.

Photo courtesy KCConfidential.com


UC Riverside students propose alternative tuition repayment plan

By Baylee Pulliam–

Madison Weakley graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in political science, limited job prospects and $16,500 in student loans.

“It’s tough,” said Weakley, who plans on taking a second job to pay down her debt.

Student loan debt reached a national record high of more than $1 trillion and surpassed credit card debt for the first time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

At the University of California Riverside, students unveiled an alternative tuition payment plan in January, which would sidestep federal student loans.

The plan, called Fix UC, would see most students paying 5 percent of their annual salary to the university for their first 20 years of employment after graduation, rather than paying their tuition upfront. Percentages would be slightly higher for out-of-state students and lower for transfer students and for those pursuing careers in the public sector.

The online petition had 197 signatures on Saturday.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average salary in 2009 for bachelor’s degree holders was roughly $45,000, equating to a $2,250 yearly payment or $45,000 total, under the Fix UC proposal.

Deferring payment until after graduation would “increase access to higher education for those who can’t afford to pay upfront,” said U of L’s Dr. Steven Koven.

In-state tuition at the University of California is $12,192, an over 300 percent increase since 2001. The Fix UC proposal chalks it up to slashes in the state’s higher education budget. The University of California “cannot sustain itself through another massive budget cut,” reads the Fix UC proposal.

Cuts aren’t unfamiliar to Kentucky’s colleges and universities. Governor Steve Beshear proposed a 6.4 percent cut to higher education early this year.

Universities in Kentucky will need to explore alternative solutions as the state “continues to lower funding for higher education,” and as tuition increases across the board, said U of L Student Government Association President Kurits Frizzell.

The National Institute for College Access and Success reported graduating college seniors in 2009 carried an average of $25,250 in student loan debt. At U of L, graduating seniors average $22,777 in Stafford loans.

The repayment schedule under Fix UC isn’t so different from some salary-based federal loan repayment options, said Associate Director of Student Financial Aid Michael Abboud.

But when students pay the school directly instead of through loans, they avoid “middleman” interest payments added to their outstanding balance, Koven added.

According to Abboud, the initial payments on the average U of L Stafford loan would come to about $262 per month, making only minimum payments. With interest, the average student would end up paying a total of $31,454 — over $13,000 less than the average student’s total payment under Fix UC.

U of L Vice President of Finance Michael Curtin said the repayment plan outlined Fix UC proposal might be “theoretically possible, but not practical.”

Universities would have to front students’ tuition – at U of L, a source of over $230 million in revenue annually.

There would likely be a short-term lull in revenue, as the plan’s first generation of graduates has its tuition deferred. But Koven said such programs could provide universities with “a future stream of payments that could be sold off for immediate cash or could be retained to build and advance.”
In the interim the university would have to pull from internal funds to meet operation costs, Curtin said. At U of L, those funds “clearly are unavailable,” he said, adding the proposed plan might be more viable for private universities with larger endowments.

To avoid damming the university’s tuition revenue stream, the plan would need to be phased in over four years, said Curtin.

Weakley added universities could have trouble keeping up with students’ payments. “What if they move out of state?” she said.

Kentucky, like California, has seen what U of L President James Ramsey has called a “brain drain,” where the newly-qualified members of the workforce leave the state after graduation. Fix UC aims to keep graduates in state by offering decreased repayment for those who live and work in California.


University benefactor Bernard Trager dead at 83

By Baylee Pulliam

Bernard Trager, University of Louisville benefactor and former Board of Overseers chairman, died Friday. He was 83.

He began his career in the field of banking and finance in 1952. He was the chairman, founder and majority shareholder of Republic Bancorp, Inc.

Trager’s contributions pepper the Belknap campus and Louisville-metro.

His donations to the university include funds for the indoor football practice facility near Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the field hockey stadium, both of which are named for him.

Trager Plaza, a student sitting area with a fountain and bronze statue, opened in June 2011. Trager and his wife were in attendance at the ceremony between Lutz Hall and the Miller Information Technology Center.

Trager did not graduate from the U of L, but according to Forbes.com, he was an adopted alumnus.


Photo: Republic Bank