University of Louisville

Louisville Panel Holds Meeting on Confederate Monument

Jul 25, 2016
Jacob Ryan

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's public art commission is holding a public meeting about relocation sites for a Confederate monument near the University of Louisville.

The move comes after a judge last month ruled that Fischer has the authority to remove the monument.

The Courier-Journal reports the art commission has been receiving public comments on potential new sites for the stone obelisk that was built as a tribute to dead Confederate soldiers. Suggestions include the Perryville Battlefield State Park of the Pewee Valley Confederate Cemetery.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman in her ruling noted the historical significance of the century-old monument but wrote that it's also a divisive symbol in Louisville.

University of Louisville

A judge on Thursday grilled the attorney defending Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order that abolished and then reorganized the University of Louisville board.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd didn’t rule on whether to temporarily block the overhaul, as requested by Attorney General Andy Beshear, but said a decision would be forthcoming.

Beshear’s office says that Bevin had no authority to disband the school’s governing board and that state law protects university trustees — who serve for six-year-long staggered terms — from termination without cause and due process.

“[Bevin] gave them no process whatsoever in this case,” said Mitchel Denham, assistant deputy attorney general, after the hearing.

Judge Says Beshear Can Sue Bevin over U of L Board

Jul 21, 2016
Ryland Barton

A state judge says Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General can sue the state's Republican governor over his decision to abolish the University of Louisville board of trustees.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin abolished the board and replaced all of its members last month, saying the university needed a "fresh start." Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Bevin, saying the governor's order is illegal.

But last year, former Attorney General Jack Conway issued an advisory opinion saying the governor does have the authority to reorganize the university's board. Chad Meredith, one of Bevin's attorneys, argued Beshear's lawsuit directly contradicts that opinion and violates the state's code of ethics for attorneys.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Thursday morning there was no basis to disqualify the attorney general's office from suing the governor.

J. Tyler Franklin

The first meeting of the reconstituted University of Louisville Board of Trustees has ended with the job status of school President James Ramsey apparently unchanged.

Ramsey was expected to offer his resignation to the new board. But Chairman Junior Bridgeman told reporters after the meeting that Ramsey did not submit his resignation, nor was he asked to resign.

Bridgeman said the new board will decide on Ramsey’s status after it reviews the matter more.

“I would just suggest and ask that you give the board the time to understand everything, and then everything will become evident,” he said.

J. Tyler Franklin

Less than two weeks after he announced he would dissolve and reconstitute the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees, Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday received nominees for the positions. And on Wednesday, his announced his choices.

The governor’s Postsecondary Education Nominating Committee offered 30 candidates to fill 10 positions. The governor’s office did not release the names to the public, although WFPL has sought the list through an open records request.

On Wednesday, the governor’s office released the names of his 10 appointees to the board. They are characterized by people at the highest levels of business and entrepreneurship in and around Louisville.

Here they are:

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Gov. Matt Bevin for abolishing and then reinstating the boards of trustees of both the University of Louisville and Kentucky Retirement Systems, the state agency that manages the pensions of most state employees.

Bevin appointed new members and changed the number of seats on each panel. In both cases, Bevin said the moves were made to achieve a “fresh start.”

Bevin has reorganized several boards in recent months, including the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, Kentucky Racing Commission and the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission.

A group of labor unions and injured workers have sued Bevin for his overhaul of the workers’ compensation board, which nominates administrative law judges to oversee workers’ compensation cases.

Jacob Ryan, WFPL

A judge says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer can remove a confederate monument near the University of Louisville campus.

The mayor and U of L President James Ramsey announced plans to remove the statue in late April, but a group headed up by the Sons of Confederate Veterans challenged the move, saying the monument was protected as a designated historical object.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell called the group’s legal arguments “dishonest.”

“There wasn’t a single shred of evidence to support any of their allegations,” O’Connell said. “The entire thing was a sham.”

Alix Mattingly

University of Louisville’s president and its entire governing board are out.

With scandals mounting and dissent growing, Gov. Matt Bevin announced the major shake-up at the University of Louisville Friday morning. U of L President James Ramsey agreed to resign, the governor said, and Bevin used an executive order to dissolve and reconstitute the state-appointed Board of Trustees that oversees the institution.

What is going on at U of L?

Ramsey and his governing board have been at odds for months.

The U of L board has been floating a no-confidence vote for Ramsey, but a legal battle over the racial composition of the board prevented them from taking any action.

J. Tyler Franklin

A major shakeup in leadership is taking place at the University of Louisville.

Governor Matt Bevin today announced that University of Louisville President James Ramsey is stepping down and the school’s Board of Trustees is being reorganized.

Bevin said the school needs a change in oversight and a “fresh start.”

Ramsey has led U of L since 2002.

He’s come under increasing criticism as the school has faced several high-profile scandals, including an FBI investigation into its top health care executive, and an NCAA investigation into allegations that men’s basketball players and recruits were provided with prostitutes.

The Council on Postsecondary Education will nominate new trustees for Bevin to consider for appointment.

WKU Student Shot Near U of L After Party

May 31, 2016
University of Louisville

A Western Kentucky University student home for summer break has been struck at random by gunfire that broke out after a party near the University of Louisville campus.

News outlets report 19-year-old Eriaun Warrick was upgraded to serious condition from critical condition early Monday.

Warrick was shot in the mouth early Sunday, with the bullet becoming lodged in her upper back.

Warrick's friend Sasha Snardon tells the Courier-Journal that she was leaving the party with Warrick when they came across a large group of people outside, some of whom then began fighting.

Warrick's friends say they heard at least 20 to 30 shots fired.

Louisville police have not released any information about what may have prompted the shooting. As of Monday, no arrests had been made.

Jacob Ryan, WFPL

A judge has ended a restraining order that barred the city of Louisville from removing a 120-year-old monument to Confederate soldiers that sits near the University of Louisville.

A group of residents and the Sons of Confederate Veterans opposed removing the 1895 stone obelisk monument and won a temporary restraining order a few days after Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced it would be removed on April 29.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman on Wednesday presided over several hours of testimony from the monument’s supporters, who argued that the city does not own it and that it could be damaged or crumble if it is removed.

Burkman asked that the city not take any action until she issues a written ruling.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Removal Of Confederate Monument

May 2, 2016
Jacob Ryan

A judge has temporarily barred the city of Louisville from removing a 70-foot-tall Confederate monument from the University of Louisville campus.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman signed a restraining order Monday morning forbidding the city from moving the 121-year-old obelisk honoring Kentuckians who died fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Mayor Greg Fischer and University President James Ramsey announced Friday that they would remove the monument, marking the latest government to reconsider its display of Confederate symbols following the massacre of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina last summer.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans and Everett Corley, a Republican running for Congress, filed for the restraining order on Monday. The judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday morning.

Confederate Statue At U of L To Be Removed

Apr 29, 2016
Jacob Ryan

Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced Friday the Confederate statue on U of L’s Belknap campus will be removed.

Ramsey, via Twitter, said the monument would be removed immediately. “It is time for U of L to step forward in partnership with the city of Louisville to remove the monument…in respect of all people.”

Ramsey said a campus diversity committee recommended the university remove the statue.

The removal of the Confederate monument will also be the first tangible action for reworking the Third Street corridor near the entrance to the recently opened Speed Art Museum, Ramsey said.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The dean of the University of Louisville’s School of Public Health & Information Sciences is joining other university deans in urging the federal government to rethink its approach to fighting cancer.

The federal Cancer Moonshot Task Force was launched earlier this year with $1 billion to develop new ways to detect and treat cancer. But in a letter sent earlier this week to task force leader Vice President Joe Biden, U of L Dean Craig Blakely and 71 other deans said they were concerned the approach misses the mark.

“We urge you to pay careful attention to the balance between treatment and prevention-related investments,” the letter said.

Blakely said he supports the federal government investing in cancer research, but the initiative is missing a meaningful contribution to prevention.

J. Tyler Franklin

Top officials at the University of Louisville are denying a news report that President James Ramsey is considering retiring from the university.

Citing unnamed sources, WHAS-11 anchor Doug Proffitt reported Tuesday night that Ramsey held a private meeting at his home with a small group of trustees last weekend, at which he discussed a “roadmap” to retire. Proffitt’s story came after Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones reported something similar on his radio show.

Kathleen Smith, Ramsey’s chief of staff and perhaps his closest ally at U of L, said in an email to WFPL News on Wednesday morning that Proffitt’s story is “totally false.”

Reached Wednesday afternoon, U of L Foundation board chair Dr. Robert Hughes echoed Smith, saying the report is “absolutely false.”

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