July 15, 2017

U of L’s top human resources officer resigning

The Louisville Cardinal News

By Kyeland Jackson —

Amid fallout from a scathing audit into the university and its foundation, U of L’s top human resources officer has decided to leave.

Chief Human Resources Officer Jeanell Hughes announced she will resign July 20, ending her two-years at U of L. According to university Spokesperson John Drees, Hughes is leaving for another opportunity.

Hughes was named human resources’ interim executive director March 2015, appearing on campus alongside Harlan Sands. Sands was U of L’s chief financial officer, overseeing finances and spearheading the $40 million Student Activity Center expansion. He resigned December 2016 for a position at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hughes isn’t the only U of L administrator to leave this summer. Vice President For Community Engagement Dan Hall and Vice President for University Advancement Keith Inman retired in the last month. Inman left for a position as Kosair Charities’ president.

“Dan, Keith and Jeanell have given great service to the university, and we will miss them. We appreciate their contributions and wish them well in the future,” University Spokesperson John Drees said.

The growing number of interim leaders in the university could further endanger accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — U of L’s accrediting agency.

In a July 5 letter, SACS said the seven interim appointments in senior leadership was “significant” and jeopardized U of L’s compliance with another SACS accreditation standard.

“A significant number of senior administrative staff, many of whom are responsible for leading the institution, providing stability, implementing and enforcing changes currently being made, and documenting compliance with accreditation standards are serving as interim,” SACS’ President Belle Wheelan said in the letter. ” I am authorizing an expansion of the scope of the special committee scheduled to visit your institution on September 19 – 21, 2017, to include review of the qualifications and stability of the institution’s administrative and academic officers.”

That standard, and another new potential violation, means the university may have broken a total of nine accreditation rules.

If accreditation is lost, it would gravely wound U of L. Degrees would lose value, students would no longer be eligible for financial aid and the NCAA would sever ties with the university. U of L’s interim president and board chair will meet with SACS officials August.

The SACS special committee, expected to finish its report by December, can either lift the probation, extend it another year or yank U of L’s accreditation.

A replacement for Hughes and Inman is expected July 20.

This story will be updated.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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