By Kyeland Jackson —
U of L wants to continue the audit investigation, approving $200,000 more to extend the audit.
The university’s board of trustees extended the audit Thursday, setting aside up to $200,000 to pay the firm Alvarez and Marsal to investigate more. But, board chair David Grissom did not say what else U of L wants the audit to investigate.
“We have more to do,” Grissom said. “There’s a need to refine further and glean even more information that already has been pulled together by A&M. It’s just a question of refining the audit further.”
That audit ripped into former U of L president James Ramsey and his administration for overspending, hiding information from the public and more. In response to the audit, the U of L Foundation created a committee to investigate the audit’s findings and bring governance suggestions to the full ULF board. Grissom said legal action, also urged by U of L staff and started by Kentucky’s Attorney General, will be decided by the board’s July meeting.
In the meantime, Grissom allayed concerns from students and constituents.
“This board is totally committed to getting to the bottom of all the problems,” Grissom said. “We’re going to do the best we humanly can to move towards a restoration of the university’s reputation.”
Response to the NCAA’s hammer
In response to punishment by the NCAA Grissom said the situation saddens him.
“We’re going to prosecute the appeal and do the best we can to restore the reputation of the university from the athletic standpoint,” Grissom said.
Those punishments suspend men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino from the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games and could endanger U of L’s 2013 championship win.
Grissom declined to say whether U of L would fire athletic staff, or its athletic director, to restore U of L’s reputation.
U of L budget: flat tuition, higher fees
The board approved the upcoming year’s budget, keeping tuition flat but increasing parking and housing fees. Other fees include increases to Arts and Sciences’ technology, U of L’s social work school and the school of medicine. The budget is also $43 million less than last year, decreased in part by low enrollment numbers, debt and contract obligations.
Trustee, university donor and Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter questioned the non-resident tuition costs. Schnatter says he did not attend U of L because of non-resident costs for him as an Indiana resident, and expects those costs deter students from choosing U of L.
“I’m just wondering if we’re not sending a bad signal to run people off of that from out-of-state,” Schnatter said. “If I could’ve paid in-state tuition, I would’ve gone to U of L.”
Interim President Greg Postel said the board would review those suggestions as it plans tuition costs for next year.
Student Government Association President Aaron Vance was the only trustee to vote nay on the budget.