Afternoon Tidbit On the Robert Felner Story

We hear through the newsie grapevine that Robert Felner has spoken to Courier-Journal reporters for a story that is likely to appear in the paper this weekend.

It’s quite the interesting development considering C-J’s tight relationship with the University of Louisville and its inability to get all the facts straight about the Felner story.

Can you even begin to imagine what interesting pieces of information Felner is likely to reveal or deny?

Keep your eyes peeled for the C-J story.

Interesting University of Louisville Tidbit

For those of you following the Robert Felner scandal at UofL, the university’s latest update email blast lists the following piece of information:

Professional Development / Workshops

2.) Audio Conference: How to Favorably Resolve Federal Grants Audits Findings, Questioned Costs, Procedural Missteps and Control Deficiencies

The offices of Industry Contracts and Grants Management will sponsor a 90-minute audio conference Monday, Aug. 25, 2-3:30 p.m., in Room 2035, K Building. It will brief you about the federal policies that affect audit resolution and identify proactive options available to address findings that show up in federal grants audit reports. It also will offer tips and techniques about strategies that have worked for others in mitigating the impact of troublesome disclosures. For more information and to reserve a seat, call Jeannine Barron at 852-1091. (Submitted By: Jeannine Barron, Office of Industry Contracts)

Anyone’s irony meter exploding?

Who Was Felner Calling on UofL’s Dime?

WHAS11’s Adam Walser has Robert Felner’s telephone records. And they’re verrrry interesting. And questionable at the very least.

Felner was assigned a cell phone that was paid for by the University of Louisville and he made extensive use of it.  Here are some of the calls he made:

  • Jennifer Taylor – 58 times, often at night and on weekends
  • Calls Comcast in Naples, FL – in Lee Co where Felner owns two homes
  • Called his estranged wife dozens of times. At one point just minutes before calling his “hugs” buddy Tom Schroeder.
  • Once instance of 100 data transmissions on his cell phone within a 23-hour period right after he learned he would be Chancelor at UW Parkside
  • And who did Felner call more than 50 times at (502) 648-7012? Anyone have information?
  • He called a local dating hotline twice last August

Interesting, eh?

As always, we’ll add a link to Walser’s story once it’s online.

Here’s the link to Walser’s story.

UPDATE: Turns out the number 502.648.7012 belongs to Natalie Stiglitz. At some point she rolled the telephone number into a UofL-paid account with AT&T. According to sources at the university, Stiglitz has initiated a number change as a result of the public revelation of Felner’s shenanigans.

Since it’s paid for by UofL, we assume we can obtain information via open records requests.

More on Felner Squandering UofL Money

This mess is never, ever going to end. The Courier-Journal (in another “exclusive” – I know, right?) is reporting that Robert Felner directed employees of the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy in Rhode Island to bill the University of Louisville for research.

The even crazier bit? He told the center to use those funds to pay salaries. Just shy of $130,000.

From Nancy Rodriguez:

Former University of Louisville dean Robert Felner directed almost $130,000 in U of L funds toward a University of Rhode Island education center he created that was in dire need of money, according to e-mails and documents obtained by The Courier-Journal.

And in at least once instance he told officials at the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy in Rhode Island to submit a bill to U of L for research work but use the money for center salaries and future work, those e-mails show.

Unfortunately for Robert Felner, telling someone to bill UofL for one thing and using the money for something else is against university policy and is probably probably illegal since federal funds are involved.

Nancy Rodriguez still perpetuates the myth of the $694,000 grant after it’s been proved time and again that the investigation goes much deeper.

And if you missed it last night, tons of other shady business is going down at UofL surrounding the Felner scandal. Heads will probably roll.

New Details About UofL-Felner-Just Solutions

It’s been the hot topic of the past few weeks: the Just Solutions report that the University of Louisville commissioned to help deal with faculty concerns at the College of Education and Human Development. We initially reported on the situation and published documents yielded from open records requests on July 14.

Earlier in the week we reported that UofL’s open records officer revealed no report was ever completed. Now we learn from WHAS11’s Adam Walser that not only was the report never completed and released, UofL never paid the $9,987.80 bill from Just Solutions. There’s no really clear reasoning for why UofL never paid the bill. It was sent three times but UofL says it was never received.

Might it have something to do with the fact that the faculty survey yielded results that were unfavorable for Robert Felner? Or a survey of students that also yielded terrible results for Felner?  Who knows.

What’s more interesting? Jim Ramsey says he knows nothing about Just Solutions. Imagine that.

We’ll update with a link to WHAS11’s story once it’s online.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to Walser’s story.

University of Louisville-Robert Felner Update

Just received some information that may calm a couple discussions that are currently quite heated.

Regarding the heavily discussed report from the Board of Overseers in the review of the College of Education — Received the following from the University of Louisville’s open records officer:

“I understand the BOT did begin a process of reviewing the CEHD earlier this year, but it has not completed its work and it has not issued a report.”

(We’ll stay on top of that one…)

Regarding the alleged report from Just Solutions — Here’s what the records officer had to say:

“A few weeks ago I identified two retainer-type contracts U of L had with Just Solutions. Each covered a particular period of time. Under those contracts there were some instances of employee mediation, sending people to workshops, other training, and so on. But these did not have anything to do with the College of Education and Human Development, nor did they cover the period of the particular engagement of Just Solutions in the matter of the CEHD. That engagement was a separate matter. There were a few memos related to the CEHD matter, and an itemized invoice for that work, but there was no report made in relation to that engagement.”

Trey Grayson & John Y. Brown III Announce $640,000 Donation to Governor’s Scholars Program

In the ongoing effort to make higher education more affordable and easier to obtain for all Kentucky students, Secretary of State Trey Grayson and former Secretary of State John Y. Brown III are announcing a donation to the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program worth more than $640,000.

PrepMe and other community partners including AT&T, Preston-Osborne, Verdiem, Ameresco, EMC and Advantage Capital are donating ACT and SAT online test preparation programs that will benefit more than 1,000 students participating in the Governor’s Scholars program. Here’s a fancy video about it.

An aside: Since Senate Bill 2 was passed last session, online ACT test prep is now required in Kentucky. Programs like PrepMe’s can be offered to every high school junior for roughy $6 per student instead of $600-$1,000 for programs offered by companies like Kaplan. (And it’s probably better– we suffered through the Kaplan programs in high school that were a complete waste of money.) And it helps students who have fallen through the cracks work on their level in order to get themselves to a score they desire on standardized tests.

There’s a press conference scheduled for 10:00 A.M. Friday at the Frazier Board Room (Lyons Brown Library) at Bellarmine University in Louisville. If you’re a media type? Show up. This is good for Kentucky. And you can pester Trey Grayson about the millions of dollars he funnels my way each and every day. (You know we’re on that gravy train and all– ha!)

In other news, we can’t find a photo of JYBIII & TG together, so we had to settle for that fancy image up top.