January 14, 2016

Brief: Trustees consider splitting U of L, ULF presidencies

University of Louisville Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

By Kyeland Jackson–

The Board of Trustees are considering a motion to remove President James Ramsey from his position in the University of Louisville Foundation.

Ramsey is currently president of the U of L Foundation, an organization created to manage the university’s $1.1 billion endowment and relieve the university of financial pressures from state budget cuts. Questions were leveled at the organization last year when reports of several millions that were allotted to Ramsey and Foundation members surfaced.

Ramsey opposes the considered motion, stating the financial ramifications could be irreversible.

“While I appreciate the recognition by selected trustees….I do not believe splitting the presidencies of the University and Foundation are in the institution’s best interests,” Ramsey said in a statement.

He cited the success of his office and foundation, as well as the financial ramifications of making the resolution reality. Doing so, Ramsey said, would result in “competition” between U of L Foundation and the university and it would lead to “increased administrative overhead.”

He also advised such motions be made after the completion of the state audit by newly-elected state auditor Mike Harmon.

The status of the audit, started last year by the previous state auditor, was unknown once Harmon won office. Harmon questioned the authority of the state auditor’s department on the audit, and previously stated that it might not continue under his office. He has changed his tune now however, adding that the audit was requested by Bob Hughes. Hughes is the U of L Foundation’s Board of Trustees director.

“It just isn’t prudent to put the university’s financial position at risk without letting Auditor Harmon do his important work,” Ramsey said.

The Board of Trustees  will meet Thursday morning. The current board chairman, Larry Benz, does not believe the motion will be discussed.

Updates will continue as the story progresses.

 

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