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U of L Foundation Hires Interim Leader

University of Louisville
J. Tyler Franklin
University of Louisville

The University of Louisville Foundation hired an interim leader Tuesday following months of shake-ups and scrutiny at the nonprofit.

The board’s executive committee approved the hiring of local business executive Keith Sherman as interim director. The school’s nonprofit fundraising entity will pay him $240,000 for a 12-month term. Sherman, 52, of Prospect, Kentucky was most recently vice president of human resources at Thornton’s, Inc.

When Sherman starts Thursday, he will need to hit the ground running. A state audit of the foundation’s governance is expected to be released in the next few weeks, and the foundation has a forensic audit in the works. Just last week, the credit ratings service Moody’s downgraded the foundation’s rating, citing instability, a shrinking endowment and reputation risks. (Read "University of Louisville, Foundation Credit Ratings Take A Big Hit")

The position of interim executive director and chief operating officer was created after the resignation of former university president James Ramsey, who had a dual position leading both entities. In an emailed statement, Sherman said he is honored to take on the role.

“We have many challenges to overcome and a long road ahead of us, but this work is critical to the future success of the University, the city of Louisville, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Sherman said.

Board chairwoman Brucie Moore said in a statement that the foundation is making great strides toward increasing transparency and restoring confidence.

“The board of directors will greatly benefit from having a successful executive like Keith in the office every day driving positive outcomes,” Moore said.

Sherman will report to the foundation’s board, which will conduct a national search for a permanent executive director during his term.

Kate Howard can be reached at  khoward@kycir.org and (502) 814.6546. 

Disclosures: In 2015, the University of Louisville, which for years has donated to Louisville Public Media, earmarked $3,000 to KyCIR as part of a larger LPM donation. University board member Stephen Campbell and former member Sandra Frazier have donated.

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