By Joseph Lyell —

For the first time in the U of L Foundation’s 48-year history, a student will serve as an ex-officio director on the board.

SGA President Vishnu Tirumala, faculty representative Enid Trucios-Haynes and staff representative Will Armstrong will soon have non-voting roles at foundation board meetings.

After their trustee terms end, the next constituency representatives will assume their roles.

The foundation’s bylaws call for five trustee directors to serve on both boards with voting privileges. One seat is unfilled, and trustees John Schnatter, Nitin Sahney, Sandra Frazier and board chair David Grissom make up the remainder.

Previously, only four trustee directors were appointed to the foundation board. On March 29, by recommendation of board chair David Grissom, trustees amended the foundation’s bylaws to add a fifth trustee director. The fifth can be named after the amendment takes effect July 1.

ULF Interim Executive Director Keith Sherman said inviting constituent trustees is indicative of a new chapter for the foundation.

“The foundation is completely unrecognizable from what it was 18 months ago,” Sherman said.

In a letter to Tirumala, Sherman said the foundation believes he is doing everything reasonably possible to support the university.

“We believe your exposure to foundation issues will enhance the transparency of our operations,” Sherman said.

Tirumala said SGA has advocated for student representation for years because the foundation sometimes made decisions without consulting the university.

“We have seen a lot less of that under Keith Sherman’s leadership but this will formally enshrine our role in the process,” he said.

Tirumala said the other boards he serves on have listened to his voice as a student, so he expects the foundation board to do the same.

“Although I lack a vote at ULF, I will still have a vote in the (board of trustees), ULAA and of course my voice as president,” Tirumala said.

Incoming SGA President Jonathan Fuller will take over Tirumala’s role after his term ends June 30.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal