Editorial today in the Courier-Journal (via :
“WDRB has performed a great service in revealing what appears to be exorbitant compensation and benefits given to some University of Louisville staff members and inappropriate letting of sweetheart contracts.
An independent, outside consulting /auditing firm needs to be engaged to thoroughly review their compensation and benefit arrangements and provide a comprehensive report comparing them to what exists at other similar universities and institutions. This firm should also reveal any inappropriate contracts and other questionable activities. The university should not be the one to hire this firm, but should pay for its services.
Only after a thorough, independent report is issued with complete transparency will there be any hope that the public’s trust in the university ‘s administration will be restored.”
. . . . .
This came in response to this and that report from WDRB (via @ChristopherOtts):
“The University of Louisville Foundation gave a consulting contract worth $120,000 a year to a Louisville businessman [Burt Deutsch] who served more than 20 years on the foundation’s board, including the last six years as its vice chairman.
U of L President James Ramsey, who is also president of the university foundation, offered Deutsch the paid position without advertising it for competitive bidding or bringing it to the foundation’s board for approval, Saffer confirmed [and] it’s within Ramsey’s authority as foundation president to decide whom the foundation hires.
The $1.1 billion foundation receives and invests donations to the university, providing more than $100 million in operating support for U of L every year.
“We don’t look at the deferred compensation and retention bonuses apologetically – quite frankly. We look at it as something that, if we weren’t doing those type of things, we would have been derelict in our duties,” Deutsch said in defense of the multi-million payments to Ramsey and his key executives.
In 2011, Deutsch was quoted in The Courier-Journal after the foundation approved an increase in Ramsey’s salary and an additional $2 million in deferred compensation for Ramsey through 2020.”
. . . . .
Meanwhile, Ramsey announced a 3 percent tuition increase for 2015-16 (via @ChristopherOtts again):
“The recommended increase will apply to both in-state and out-of-state students, Ramsey said.
The 3 percent hike is the maximum allowed by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Based on U of L’s current rates, the move would bring annual tuition for an in-state undergraduate student to $10,543.
Add a dorm room, a meal plan and books, and the total cost to attend U of L is almost $19,000 a year, the university says.”
. . . . .
Meanwhile, Ramsey rakes in money from Koch and Schnatter to create a hyper-capitalist institute (via @JMacNews):
“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 $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.”
. . . . .
Meanwhile, Ramsey and Mardis
lied, saying that claim they met with Cards United Against Sweatshops over grievances regarding university ties with VF (via Mark Hebert, paid spokesperson for UofL @Cardsnews & @jacobhryan, respectively):
““Our entire leadership team has been very engaged with this student organization over the past several months, meeting with them on several occasions and offering to work collaboratively to address their concerns,” Ramsey said. “Unfortunately, despite our good-faith commitment to continue this dialogue, our efforts to thoroughly examine this complex issue together have now been rebuffed. It is disappointing since we have a long track record of working closely with our students on a wide variety of issues.””
“UofL Dean of Students Michael Mardis: “We have invited them to be a part of the ongoing dialogue and committed to them we would have a definitive time period to have that dialogue and they would be at the table with the people from business affairs, contract administration who are making the decision in this process,”
He also added it’s highly unlikely the university will cancel its contract with JanSport in the coming days and encouraged students to focus on their classes.”
. . . . .
“Nothing to see here folks. Go about your business.” is the phrase du jour while Ramsey & Co. profit from overburdened students, overseas garment workers, rich donors, and their own charitable trust fund that ensures their wealth for generations to come. This is is why I must reiterate the words of Mr.
“Only after a thorough, independent report is issued with complete transparency will there be any hope that the public’s trust in the university ‘s administration will be restored.”