Ramsey shows public support for new board

By Kyeland Jackson —

Just hours after they were named, President James Ramsey told faculty he supports Governor Matt Bevin’s newly-appointed trustees.

Ramsey addressed faculty senators during a special meeting called by the faculty senate. Senators discussed their concerns for the U of L, which is currently reeling from Bevin’s executive order on June 17 that dissolved the previous board of trustees. Ramsey said this new board of trustees is “positive.”

“I always believe legal boards are better than boards that aren’t legal,” Ramsey said.

Asked if the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, U of L’s accrediting body, agreed with him, Ramsey said they’ve given him no indication otherwise. Ramsey confirmed he will resign as president, saying he has “no desire” to be U of L’s president beyond next year. While he said he will submit his resignation when the new board meets, that meeting has not been scheduled. In an interview afterward, he refused to say whether he will remain president of the University of Louisville Foundation.

Some faculty are concerned Bevin’s actions threaten the unversity’s academic freedom. Ramsey told the faculty he has supported and protected shared governance during his tenure. He reminded attendees that governors have always appointed at least 10 members to the board.

Ending the meeting, faculty senate chair Enid Trucios-Haynes and senators agreed to draft a statement deploring the governor’s actions. While the motion to draft a statement passed, some senators objected.

Senator Robert Barker pressed a senator’s advocacy to draft the statement, asking if she was willing to “die on that hill.”

“I’m willing to die on that hill,” Philosophy Chair David Owen responded.

Full disclosure: Robert Barker is a member of The Louisville Cardinal’s Board of Directors.

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