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State Audit Of U of L Foundation To Be Released Wednesday

Eleanor Hasken

A long-awaited special state audit of the University of Louisville Foundation will be released Wednesday, according to the state auditor.

The investigation focused on governance issues at U of L’s nonprofit fundraising arm, which has been plagued with controversy over excessive salaries, big executive bonuses and unapproved loans from the university.

The audit, requested by a former trustee and launched last April, was prompted by media reports about massive bonuses for top U of L officials — most notably former president James Ramsey — from the foundation.

In the months since, numerous outlets have uncovered more financial problems at the foundation. Moody’s downgraded the foundation’s credit rating last month. The university is funding a special forensic audit of the foundation after several big-dollar donors threatened to withdraw their support.
( Read KyCIR’s coverage of the University of Louisville)

State auditor Mike Harmon reported this spring that U of L Foundation leaders were delaying the audit by dragging their feet in providing needed documents. Ramsey, who held a dual role as president of the university and its foundation for 14 years, resigned both positions by September.

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.

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.