University of Louisville

University of Louisville

Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday withdrew a motion from former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear that would have dismissed a lawsuit accusing Beshear of breaking state law when he did not appoint a single African-American to the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees last year.

Bevin filed pleadings Thursday with the Franklin Circuit Court “expressing his agreement” with the group that filed the lawsuit, according to his office.

Last summer, the West Louisville-based Justice Resource Center asked then-Attorney General Jack Conway to weigh in on whether U of L was out of compliance with the racial minority requirement state law, which requires the board to have a proportional representation of minorities.

Activists said Conway ducked the issue when he released an opinion requiring that Beshear appoint at least one racial minority to the board. The governor appoints 17 of the 20 U of L trustees; by appointing one African-American, Beshear would have brought the total to two.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News)

Two members of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees publicly withdrew their support for U of L President James Ramsey during the board’s regular meeting today.

In September, all 20 trustees signed a letter affirming their support for Ramsey as the state auditor’s office began an investigation into the relationship between the school and its $1.1 billion nonprofit foundation. Ramsey is the head of both entities, and he is a voting member of the foundation’s board of directors.

Alluding to the numerous scandals that have emerged at the university over the past few months, trustee Steve Campbell interjected early in the meeting to announce he was withdrawing his support for Ramsey.

“Ever since [September], there have been material issues with the university. I’m not going to list them, you all are aware of them,” said Campbell, an adviser at financial firm Lazard Freres & Co. “And as a result, I feel that the circumstances have changed. I am happy to stand alone, and I do so with all due respect.”

Orchestra Kentucky

Orchestra Kentucky Music Director Jeffrey Reed has been named one of this year’s 12 University of Louisville Alumni Fellows.  

Reed co-founded Orchestra Kentucky in Bowling Green in 2000. He was recognized by the University of Louisville especially for growing audiences by combining classical and popular music unified by a theme.  

“We started with a traditional all classical program and found that although the public supported it, the numbers were very modest," said Reed. "And I kind of morphed into the present approach.”

That present approach has included concerts featuring the music of  Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers and Paul Williams.

“We’ve presented an Elvis concert. Of course, Elvis used orchestra in his recording, so it was a perfect concert for that," Reed said. "We just had Kenny Rogers here and Paul Williams, the Oscar winning songwriter. We have Michael W. Smith coming, the Christian artist. So we present many headliners with the orchestra, as well.” 

In honor of being chosen a University of Louisville Alumni Fellow, Reed will present a lecture to music students and receive his award at a banquet at the university.

The orchestra’s Oct. 16 concert is a Sci Fi Spectacular, with music from 2001: A Space Odyssey,  Star Wars, E.T. and Star Trek.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Aaron Vowels

A week after announcing the receipt of $6.3 million from the foundations of businessmen “Papa” John Schnatter and Charles Koch, the University of Louisville has released the underlying seven-year agreements.

The two documents affirm that the new John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise will be created by Dec. 1. It also states that the money will be spent on two tenure-track professorships, two visiting professors, center staff and expenses, up to five research grants, up to four doctoral fellowships, and classes, seminars and annual lectures.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Aaron Vowels

John Schnatter’s long-running, multi-generational ties to the University of Louisville just grew $4.64 million deeper.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the university’s College of Business, President James Ramsey confirmed a $6.3 million, seven-year grant that will fund the establishment, staffing and operation of the new John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise. Scheduled to open in the fall, the center will “engage in teaching and research that explores the role of free enterprise and entrepreneurship in advancing society.”

The source of Schnatter’s wealth, the publicly owned Papa John’s International pizza chain, is already emblazoned across the UofL campus. Through gifts exceeding $20 million, the company and John and Annette Schnatter have helped build Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for football and Cardinal Park for mens’ and womens’ sports.

“We’ve been fairly successful in business at Papa John’s and we want to share that with entrepreneurs and teach these kids how to be successful,” he said. “If we can get just one or two kids from the $6 million, it will be money well spent.” Their share of the gift is equal to the cost of 515,555 small pepperoni pizzas at Papa John’s.

The $4.64 million from Schnatter’s family foundation will be boosted by $1.66 million from the Charles Koch Foundation.The $6.3 million will go toward two tenure-track and two visiting professors, up to five research grants and up to four doctoral fellowships, as well as classes, a speaker series, seminars and salaries for center staff.

Free enterprises centers funded by the Charles Koch Foundation at George Mason University, Florida State University, the University of Kansas and other U.S. colleges have ignited controversy in their collision with dominant liberal arts cultures. Opponents have objected to contracts that give the Koch Foundation authority over hiring and curricula.

The University of Louisville’s music school and athletics department will share a $12.6 million gift from retired pilot and investor Max Baumgardner of Louisville.

The $6.3 million donation to the School of Music is the largest planned gift in its 82-year history, the university said Tuesday in a news release.

The money will be used to create the Max Baumgardner Endowed Fund for Excellence in Jazz Studies.

Michael Tracy, head of U of L’s jazz program, said the funds will support faculty positions, scholarships and other programs, including studies abroad.

Declines in state appropriations and negative financial trends have made American universities rely more on alumni and wealthy benefactors for cash donations.

The University of Louisville

One of Kentucky’s most well-known cancer treatment centers is receiving a multi-million dollar grant to find new treatments and vaccines.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville announced Friday that they have been given a three-year, $5.5 million dollar grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The Center’s director, Doctor Donald Miller, says the grant will help continue a partnership between U of L and Owensboro Health that is exploring the use of plant-based pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

“We have two vaccines--one for cervical cancer, one for colon cancer that are ready to move forward  into early phase clinical trials, and this grant will primarily support the testing of those vaccines over the next three years,” Dr. Miller said.

The grant will also seek to further develop plant-based drugs that would allow a higher concentration of anti-cancer drugs to be delivered to tumors.

The presidents of Kentucky’s two largest universities have joined opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The American Studies Association passed a controversial resolution last month that rejects Israel’s policies against Palestine and calls on members to boycott the country’s colleges and universities.

That’s drawn a sharp response from U.S. college presidents and education groups who oppose any such ban.

Last week, University of Louisville President James Ramsey said any boycott could hinder academic collaboration and prevent positive outcomes, like cures for new diseases.

This week, University of Kentucky President Eli Capiluto joined Ramsey and nearly 200 other college presidents, saying campuses should by a place for civil discourse and dialog.

“I think the opportunity to foster those discussions on a campus should be something that is precious," the UK president said.

ESPN is reporting that WKU football coach Bobby Petrino interviewed Tuesday for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Louisville.

Petrino, who previously coached at U of L and led the Cardinals to a BCS bowl game victory, recently concluded his first season at WKU.

The Louisville spot opened up when head coach Charlie Strong left the Cards for the head coaching job at the University of Texas.

University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong has interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Texas.

The Austin American-Statesmen confirms that Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson interviewed Strong at an undisclosed location Tuesday. Strong has been rumored as a possible coaching candidate at Texas after the school announced Mack Brown would not return next season as head coach following 16 years in Austin.

Officials at the University of Louisville, however, say they never granted Texas permission to speak to Strong about their opening.

A Texas spokesman says their athletic director won’t release any names related to their search until a decision is made.

A basketball star from last season’s national champion Louisville Cardinals has been kicked out of school.

U of L head coach Rick Pitino announced Monday that junior power forward Chane Behanan has been dismissed from the program for an undisclosed violation of university policy. Pitino said he was told Sunday night that the university was dismissing Behanan.

While saying Behanan is a “terrific young man in many respects”, Pitino added that he and athletic director Tom Jurich “had gone to the mat” for Behanan following his recent month-long suspension from the team for undisclosed violations of rules.

Behanan was a Cincinnati native who played his senior year of high school at Bowling Green High. He averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds a game during Louisville’s 2013 national championship season.

flickr

A row of towering concrete silos bearing the name and mascot of the University of Louisville is destined for the wrecking ball.

If you’ve ever driven on I-65 into Louisville, you’ve surely seen the row of 11 concrete silos that sit right off the interstate. The silos have been an area landmark for 94 years, but the Courier-Journal reports University of Louisville officials have reached a deal to pay $3.3 million for the property that borders the school’s Belknap Campus.

The silos will be torn down and replaced with classrooms and academic facilities. A master plan developed by U of L calls for the property just north of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to be used for unspecified academic or research purposes.

The 15-acre parcel of land where the silos sit became available for purchase when the company that owned it shut down an industrial plant in January.

gocards.com

The wealthiest men’s college basketball program resides in the Bluegrass State.

A new ESPN report puts the University of Louisville at the top of the list, with the program bringing in about $35 million in profits during last season’s title run.

The Louisville Cardinals had several things going for them last season that helped them earn the title of “wealthiest program” in the nation. They were at, or near, the top of the national rankings last season as they won the school's third NCAA championship, they had the third-highest attendance of any program in the country, and they benefited from the income generated through 71 luxury box seats at the KFC Yum! Center.

Seating a little over 22,000 fans per home game, the Yum! Center was filled to an average of 97.6% capacity last season during U of L’s home games.

One ESPN analyst wrote in the report that the Cardinals’ financial clout was enough to make “even some NBA executives envious.”

A lawsuit has been filed in the wake of a partnership announced by Kentucky's two children's hospitals.

Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville and the University of Kentucky HealthCare's Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington said last month that both institutions had signed a letter of intent to partner.

The announcement brought a quick reaction from the University of Louisville, which said the partnership could jeopardize U of L's relationship with Norton Healthcare, which owns Kosair. U of L then accused Norton of violating a land-lease agreement by entering into the partnership.

The Courier-Journal reports Norton Healthcare filed suit on Friday and requested the court "to declare (University of Louisville) threats against Kosair Children's Hospital to be without legal basis."

U of L called the filing of the lawsuit "unfortunate."

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