By Kyeland Jackson —
UPDATED: 9:53 p.m.
Governor Matt Bevin picked 10 new U of L trustees Jan. 13, announcing their names will be released Jan. 17. Bevin’s appointments will be vetted by the state government for final approval, fulfilling Senate Bill 12’s statutes which also dissolved U of L’s current board.
“I have been in communication with the university throughout this process, and they too are grateful for the fact that there is going to be the ability to transition as properly as possible in the days and weeks ahead,” Bevin said in the announcement.
The Council on Postsecondary Education nominating committee, possibly unduly constituted by race, gender and partisanship, announced member changes hours before meeting Jan. 13 to select 30 nominees to send to Bevin. Insider Louisville reportedly asked Bevin’s spokesperson clarify the committee’s racial and gender makeup for months, but received no response.
Attorney General Andy Beshear said if Bevin changed the U of L board like he did CPE’s, University of Louisville’s probation by its accrediting body could have been prevented.
“Gov. Bevin’s last minute actions show how a board can and should be brought into compliance – through resignations and new appointments,” Beshear’s statement said. “If he had taken similar actions with the University of Louisville, he would not have caused its accreditation to be put on probation.”
Actions by Bevin and state legislators could affect the university’s accreditation, controlled by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. SACS blamed Bevin’s executive orders for landing the university on probation, but SACS Vice President Patricia Donat believes passage of Senate Bills 12 and 107 shows progress towards compliance. SACS President Belle Wheelan said that does not matter.
“It doesn’t matter what Donat or I think because the decision is not ours but the decision of our board,” Wheelan said.
A special SACS committee will check the progress of compliance sometime before September. U of L must submit a report to the committee at least four weeks before it arrives, and before Sept. 8.