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U of L Trustees Meet For First Time Since June, Approve Budget

U of L
J. Tyler Franklin
University of Louisville

The “old” University of Louisville Board of Trustees met Thursday for the first time since the governor disbanded it in June.

The agenda was limited and their actions modest due to a pending lawsuit over whether Gov. Matt Bevin had the right to create a new board.

Even before Bevin’s attempted reorganization, the board was hamstrung by a different lawsuit taking aim at the racial imbalance of the group. And as the political maneuvering and legal fights played out in recent months, the board’s to-do list grew.

In past months, the trustees should have been approving decisions on tenure, promotions and new hires. A budget that should have gone into effect in July was temporarily replaced with a stopgap spending plan. The trustees took those delayed votes on Thursday.

The trustees unanimously approved a 5 percent tuition increase that includes a promised rebate for students who meet certain requirements.

The board also agreed to freeze the tuition rate for 2017-18.

At the meeting, board Chairman Larry Benz and interim U of L President Neville Pinto alluded to the confusion that pervaded through the summer. Pinto thanked the board for their commitment to the institution and noted that the people on the front lines at U of L have endured “without a doubt, a challenging period for us.”

“The true mettle of the university has shown through all of this, and we’ve started with a very successful year,” Pinto said.

Benz also promised more information and transparency about a $38 million loan the university made to its foundation in 2014 the midst of budget cuts, first reported by WDRB in May. The trustees never voted on the loan.

Benz said he’s made a complete request for all information about the loan.

“The commitment you have from me is that that information will be forthcoming,” Benz said.

President James Ramsey resignedfrom the university last month but remains head of the school's foundation.

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

This story was reported by WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.