General counsel announces retirement, public budget forums coming

By on April 19, 2018

By Joseph Lyell —

April 19’s board of trustees meeting was the last full board meeting for both Interim President Greg Postel and Vice President for Strategy and General Counsel Leslie Strohm.

Strohm is retiring effective May 25, after three years with the university, and a total of 37 years in the field of law. Trustee Bonita Black said the university will be conducting a national search for her replacement and is in the process of selecting a search firm.

With incoming president Neeli Bendapudi slated to take over May 15, trustees voted to retain Postel as vice president of health affairs, a role he has been filling in a dual capacity with his presidency.

His contract will last one year, beginning May 15. He was also awarded a $100,000 bonus from the board of trustees for his service as interim president.

At the conclusion of his report, Postel said it was an honor to serve as interim president for 15 months

“I couldn’t have picked a worse 15 months, because of the terrible things going on,” Postel said, adding that he was grateful to have served in such a hands-on role with the administration.

Bendapudi will join the board at its next meeting, May 17.

Postel said trustees will soon hold public workshops to discuss details of the 2018-19 budget.

“We’re going to have the budget workshops in late April and early May. Then the finance committee on this board weighs in on the 8th of May at their meeting, and that’s where a pretty significant, final version of the draft is created,” Postel said.

The budget will be tweaked throughout May and June until the board of trustees votes on the final budget June 21.

A tuition increase is one topic that will have to be addressed. At a March 7 Faculty Senate meeting, interim Provost Dale Billingsly said a tuition increase for 2018-19 is likely.

“The board of trustees will make that decision. And that’s still up for conversation. Dr. Billingsly notwithstanding, that decision has not been made,” board chair David Grissom said.

Postel said Kentucky’s Council for Postsecondary Education will announce in the next few days how much state universities can raise tuition.

U of L’s tuition and fees task force advised trustees to increase tuition. Postel said the recommendation is taken into consideration with the CPE tuition caps in determining if there will be an increase in tuition and how much.

“If I could wave a wand and still be financially responsible to this university, I’d have no tuition increase,” Grissom said.

Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal

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