By Kyeland Jackson —

The University of Louisville Foundation touted reform, presenting evidence of positive change to Louisville’s rotary club Thursday.

Keith Sherman, the foundation’s interim executive director, presented. Sherman said U of L’s foundation has changed between 2016 and now, and said donors would be safe gifting money to the university.

“We spent at an unsustainable rate. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact,” Sherman said, referencing the foundation before changes began. “We’re working hard and I think we’ve done, just about undertaken, all the reforms that are necessary to put us on the right path. And I think today’s conversation, the conversation with the board meeting last week, it should be an indication to everybody that it’s a new foundation, it’s a new day and we’ve got our house in order.”

Among those changes, the foundation curtailed its spending, barred the university’s president from chairing the foundation, halted the deferred compensation program, brought new board members and hired more staff to for open records requests.

During his presentation, Sherman distanced the foundation from the University of Louisville’s athletics department. That department  is roiling under an FBI investigation which alleges coaches partnered with Adidas to bribe basketball recruit Brian Bowen into joining the program. Sherman said the issue primarily concerns the university.

“The donors that are so generous with their dollars at the foundation are really there to support the academics and we hope and trust that our donors will know that there’s great academic work going on, and they should continue to support us and continue to give,” Sherman said at the presentation.

In its June meeting, the Foundation said donor numbers and gifts dropped. Sherman said donors still want to give to the university, but are waiting for it to fix itself.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal