By Olivia Krauth–
After a news-heavy school year, U of L remained in the headlines over summer break. Former president James Ramsey’s resignation and the controversial decision to remove the Confederate statue from campus were top stories in the area, with plenty of other events filling in the gaps. Here’s what you missed this summer, boiled down to the key points.
Key management changes: As announced in the spring semester, U of L switched bookstore and dining partners. The campus bookstore changed from Barnes & Noble to Follett, but the bookstore itself didn’t change much. The dining partner changed from Sodexo to Aramark, with several restaurant changes across campus to show for it.
Tuition went up – for now: Students saw a five percent tuition increase this year, but U of L doesn’t technically have a budget. Early in the summer, the board of trustees finance committee rejected a proposed budget because of the tuition increase. Since the board was abolished before they could pass a budget, U of L has been operating on a spending plan that includes the increase. If the increase is removed from the budget when the board approves it, students will be refunded.
Board abolished? Wait, what?: U of L’s main governing body, the board of trustees, got a little crazy this summer. Governor Matt Bevin kicked the board out in June, saying they were dysfunctional. He then brought in a three person interim board, later adding seven more appointees to create a full board. Attorney General Andy Beshear filed suit, saying Bevin can’t do that.
Meanwhile, Bevin’s board still meets, naming Junior Bridgeman their chair (Bridgeman was also named chair of the U of L Foundation). They didn’t decide on a budget, but accepted Ramsey’s resignation and placed then-interim provost Neville Pinto in the acting president role. An injunction then reversed Bevin’s order, reinstalling the former board and placing Larry Benz as chair. Some reports say the legal battle can go on into October – on Friday, Bevin appealed the injunction.
Basically, the board we ended the school year with is the board we have now.
Oh, but we have new top officials too: Quick recap of what you probably heard already: Ramsey resigned. Neville Pinto is now acting president. With the new president, U of L needed a new provost to fill Pinto’s vacancy – enter Dale Billingsley. An English professor and U of L official, Billingsley is now the interim provost. Pinto Billingsley 2016.
iTech closes: The tech store across from McAllister’s closed over summer. A lot of the products sold there – computer equipment and accessories – can be purchased at the bookstore.
Confederate statue is supposed to move: Ramsey and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced in early May the Confederate statue near the Ville Grill will be removed from campus. Flash forward to late August – the statue hasn’t moved.