Finally, the President and Provost of the University of Louisville, Jim Ramsey and Shirley Willihnganz, have addressed the Robert Felner scandal and ongoing federal investigation. In a letter to students, faculty and staff today, the two officials spin absolutely out of control. It is becoming more and more clear that UofL has something to hide or has no clue how to handle public relations.
This multi-million dollar scandal is not something that should be brushed off and explained away with spin. It is not a matter that can be addressed with a simple email. This is a matter that needs to be taken extremely seriously. Reading comments left on Page One should more than reveal that there are painfully deep wounds at UofL and the administration needs to recognize this. And fast.
Before you read the message, we need to address a couple points made by both the Provost and President.
Money isn’t everything when it comes to education. Remember it. Having $47 million in grants and getting on a list in a magazine shouldn’t be the goal you’re publicly shooting for. That’s embarrassing and laughable coming from one of the country’s most prestigious state schools.
The media have not “second-guessed” early warning signs about Robert Felner. We have published on this website that more than four grievances were filed against Felner during his time at the University of Louisville. And we published more than 30 complaints against the man. There is absolutely NO evidence that grievances were taken seriously. And there were multiple occasions (on annual Faculty Grievance Officer reports) during which the FGO recommended UofL address concerns within the College of Education and Human Development. To say otherwise is a total lie.
Information was not “leaked” to the media. The media, including this website, have published documents obtained through open records requests and interviews with faculty, staff and students at the University of Louisville and other schools. No information was “leaked.” That’s a fabrication on the part of Ramsey and Willihnganz.
Jim Ramsey himself admitted that there were no controls in place to prevent massive fraud on the scale of which we’re dealing with here. There’s no way on earth an internal review of control structures could not reveal weaknesses, because there’s obviously a huge weakness at UofL that allowed potentially millions of dollars to be squandered.
Further, there are no legal constraints preventing the President and the Provost from informing and communicating with faculty, staff and students about the Felner investigation. It is solely up to UofL whether or not the school releases information. There’s no law preventing disclosure of information.
Read the interesting email after the jump…