Sharing this from The ‘Ville Voice because it really should be a statewide matter.
Shoooo. It’s been, what, a decade of this crap?
UofL’s problems aren’t recent. But it sure is fascinating to see people like Steve Wilson FINALLY call for Jim Ramsey’s resignation.
But along with the advances and successes, the university remains dogged by public scandal, most recently accusations that a former assistant basketball coach paid a woman thousands of dollars to provide prostitutes to parties attended by players and recruits at an on-campus dormitory for student-athletes. The Commonwealth’s Attorney in Jefferson County has impaneled a grand jury in the matter, and the woman at the center of the allegations, Katina Powell, is cooperating with a parallel NCAA investigation, according to ESPN.
In October, Ramsey apologized for wearing a stereotypical Mexican costume — along with numerous members of university staff — during a Halloween party that came amid a national conversation about race and cultural sensitivity on U.S. college campuses.
On top of that, the university has been victimized by a series of financial criminals.
Robert Felner, the dean of Louisville’s school of education from 2003 to 2008, pled guilty to defrauding Louisville and the University of Rhode Island — his previous employer — of $2.3 million in federal grant funds meant for No Child Left Behind research.
Felner was a divisive figure at the school of education, drawing complaints that he was brash, rude and unprofessional — the faculty at one point took a vote of no confidence in him — but the administration routinely defended his leadership. The university ultimately looked into Felner’s handling of grant funds, and upon discovering criminal activity, reported him to federal authorities.
Felner was indicted in October 2008 on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, income tax evasion, and conspiracy to impede and impair the Internal Revenue Service. He pleaded guilty, and in May 2010, he was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $510,000 in restitution to the University of Louisville and $1.64 million to the University of Rhode Island. He was released from prison in May 2014.
The Courier-Journal has estimated that between 2008 and 2014, University of Louisville employees have been accused of mishandling at least $7.6 million.
“In my opinion, President Ramsey should resign. It’s time for a new beginning. There’s been too many scandals,” said Steve Wilson, a former member of the university’s Board of Trustees. “I think President Ramsey has been a great president over the years. His strength was in fundraising and bringing more funding into the university at the same time that the state has decreased funding, so he’s been able to bring that strength to the table. But the problems run the gamut in many areas. It boils down to leadership and accountability.”
Trust me when I say you should read the entire article.
Wilson can say these things that are based in reality about Jim Ramsey and the University of Louisville because he has money and is well-connected. He’s not at-risk for the standard brand of retaliation. He’s opening up a door that’s been bolted shut since at least 2008. Who’ll be next to cross the threshold?