U of L to raise tuition by 2 percent for 2020-2021 Monday, Jul 6 2020 

By Madelin Shelton–

In response to the financial strain on the University of Louisville by the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has announced it will raise tuition rates for students by 2 percent.

The financial fallout of the coronavirus was predicted to create a $39,000,000 shortfall for U of L’s 2020 fiscal year . As a result of swift action, including employee furloughs, salary decreases and other cost-saving techniques, the university was able to achieve a balanced budget for the fiscal year.

However, COVID-19 is expected to cause a potential $82,000,000 negative budget impact in the next fiscal year. Among other strategies for making up the financial shortfall, U of L has decided to implement a 2% increase on tuition prices.

This comes as universities across the state have chosen to issue tuition freezes to further protect students from the drastic financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kentucky universities who have chosen to freeze tuition include: Northern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

John Karman, U of L’s director of media relations, said that tuition will rise $117 from the 2019-2020 rate of $5,866 per semester to $5,983 per semester.

“The university has been forced to use a number of levers to address the significant financial crisis caused by COVID-19. For fiscal year 2020, those levers included salary cuts, furloughs and reductions to employees’ retirement funds,” Karman said.

“For fiscal 2021, levers include the modest tuition increase and continued reductions to employee retirement contributions, among other cuts,” he continued.

When asked if the university’s administration was concerned with how this rise in tuition would impact students already struggling with the financial strain of higher education, Karman said that they were. He said the university plans to continue expanding its financial aid pool while dropping the cost of online courses to match the cost of in-person instruction.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L’s Black Student Union addresses demands in letter to university officials Tuesday, Jun 2 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

The University of Louisville’s Black Student Union released a statement on May 31 calling for U of L and the University of Louisville Police Department to discontinue its partnership with the Louisville Metro Police Department. This comes after days of protests in Louisville for the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.

“The relationship between ULPD and LMPD was described as ‘fruitful,’ and while that may be the case in regard to ‘safeguarding the assets of the university’–that is not the case when it comes to students, faculty and staff,” BSU President Maliya Homer said. “Nothing about being in closer proximity to state sanctioned violence makes us any safer.”

ULPD Police Chief Gary Lewis said the relationship between the two departments has gone back as far as the 1970s.

“As the years have gone by, the personnel strength of ULPD has grown which has enhanced the ability to handle all law enforcement related duties on our campuses,” Lewis said.

One of the resources Lewis said the partnership with  LMPD provides is the Real Time Crime Center, or RTCC. “Information gathered can be shared with law enforcement agencies across all of Jefferson County, to include ULPD,” Lewis said.

The student union is also calling for the university to rename the Overseer’s Honor’s House. Homer told the Cardinal she called for the renaming because the word “overseer” was once used as a term to refer to the middleman in plantation hierarchy.

U of L Director of Communications John Karman said the word is being removed from the building’s name.

“The University changed the name of its Board of Overseers last year to the President’s Council for the same reason,” Karman said. “Overseers is being removed from the Honors House name.”

“We’re demanding that the university respond with the same swiftness that they protected the ‘Free Speech Zone’ for people not affiliated with the university to taunt and harass students, staff and faculty for hours on end,” Homer said.

U of L has yet to respond to the BSU’s demands; however, Karman said the university and ULPD are aware of the BSU’s demands and are currently reviewing them.

“We will not settle for a flippant response filled with superfluous excuses and platitudes–we deserve so much more than that. Breonna deserves so much more than that,” Homer said.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Bendapudi announces classes will return on campus in the fall Thursday, May 7 2020 

By Madelin Shelton–

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi announced in an email on May 3 that the University of Louisville is expected to return to regular campus operations for the fall 2020 semester. This includes students living on campus and attending in-person classes.

Bendapudi said that U of L never did close during the Spring 2020 semester and that it continued to serve the 2,700 students who remained in campus facilities or affiliated housing.

She also said that U of L’s research and healthcare infrastructure and recent experience of moving swiftly from in-person to online classes has well prepared the university to respond to future rises in COVID-19 cases.

Bendapudi said that the principal concern is the health and wellbeing of the Cards community.

In preparation for the fall semester, U of L is employing several strategies, including having the Executive Vice President for Research, Kevin Gardner, work with U of L researchers and Campus Health Services to ensure quick testing of students, faculty, staff and contact tracing.

In addition, Executive Vice President and University Provost Beth Boehm is leading a work group to help U of L students get the best education in the fall and to support faculty and staff.

Bendapudi said that the university will continue to consult with local and state health officials and U of L experts as the situation progresses. She also addressed the still-present uncertainty with a situation like this.

“We know there are many questions that we need to answer between now and the start of the Fall semester. We will be providing a more comprehensive update on our path forward by the first week of June,” she stated in the email.

U of L Executive Director of Communications John Karman said that the university will be prepared to switch back to online only instruction if there is another spike in COVID-19 cases.  But he also made it clear that there will be measures taken to try to prevent an outbreak at U of L.

“The university will have significant health and safety protocols in place for students returning to campus this fall. Details of those measures should be revealed in early June,” Karman said.

Bendapudi ended her announcement with words of encouragement.

“What I have seen of our U of L family is that we are uniquely able to rise to a challenge and overcome it. This global health situation is no different. I have full confidence that the U of L students, staff, and faculty I interact with each and every day are ready for anything, and that is true in this situation as well,” she said.

Graphic by Alexis Simon //The Louisville Cardinal

 

 

 

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U of L takes further action to address the financial effects of COVID-19 Saturday, May 2 2020 

By Madelin Shelton and Eli Hughes

President Neeli Bendapudi has announced the actions that the University of Louisville will take to help alleviate some of the financial effects of COVID-19.

According to Bendapudi’s email, U of L is expected to lose $39 million by the end of the fiscal year. The athletic department is expected to add another $15 million to that loss. 

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our University, hometown, state and nation has created a great deal of uncertainty for all of us,” said Bendapudi.

 “From the very beginning, I have expressed to all of you that my utmost responsibility is to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff during this unprecedented time.”

Some of the actions already implemented include pay reductions for senior leadership and athletics administrators, a hiring freeze and various spending reductions. However, Bendapudi went on to detail the necessity of further action to cut university costs due to the financial havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among these, the university retirement contributions for all employees will be stopped from May 1 through July 31 and some staff members will be subject to a temporary furlough at the discretion of their unit’s vice president, dean or vice provost. The furloughs could be for varying amounts of time dependent on the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, all faculty and some staff members earning between $58,000 to $99,999 will see a 1% pay reduction for the months of May and June.

Bendapudi emphasized that deciding to suspend the retirement match program was not an easy one, but one that is common among institutions of U of L’s size when facing financial crises. The university hopes to reinstate the match program by August 1.

John Karman, U of L director of media relations, said that there is a chance the missed retirement contributions could be made up at a later date. “There is a hope that these contributions can be provided to employees at a later time if our financial picture improves, but there are no guarantees,” Karman said.

To help mitigate the financial impact on furloughed employees in the meantime, the university has decided to cover the full cost of their health insurance, including both employer and employee premiums. These individuals will also maintain access to their tuition remission and are able to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

Bendapudi also included resources available to employees facing financial difficulties, specifically encouraging those facing hardship to apply for the Staff  Help Assistance Relief Effort program. 

Bendapudi noted that the new actions are based on projections of returning the university back to normal operations on June 30. The lingering effects of COVID-19 could force the budget to be altered and further adjustments to be taken.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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Student arrested for starting fire in dorms Thursday, Mar 12 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

A University of Louisville student was arrested  Feb. 29 for starting a fire in Miller Hall. Antonio Spuria, 18, was the student arrested and charged with arson and wanton endangerment.

John Karman, U of L spokesman, said that he is still enrolled at U of L but has not returned to the dorms since the incident.

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. on Feb. 29, on the second floor of Miller Hall. ULPD’s report stated that Spuria had set fire in a 55 gallon garbage that set off the sprinkler system.

During the time of the fire, the dorm was full of students that had to be evacuated. After the fire was put out and the dorm was entirely evacuated, crews had to come in and clean up and replace the sprinkler.

Karman said that the only damage caused by this incident was a broken sprinkler. There were no reports of anyone being injured because of this incident.

 

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U of L issues no-contact order to student Monday, Feb 17 2020 

By Maggie Vancampen — 

The University of Louisville issued a no-contact order to the student who passed out anti-LGBTQ+ literature in a classroom Jan. 28.

U of L spokesperson John Karman said it was issued Feb. 13.

The no-contact order prohibits a person from having communication with another person.

Ricky Jones, head of the Pan-African Studies department, posted on Facebook that the student is not allowed to talk to the professor or students, and is not allowed near the classroom.

To further address the controversy, University Provost Beth Boehm said she is gathering a committee to review the current Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the U of L Code of Conduct and other free speech policies with the Kentucky Campus Free Speech Act of 2019.

She wants a mix of students, faculty and staff on this committee.

Professor Kaila Story, who teaches the Intro to LGBTQ Studies class, is glad this is over and can’t wait to get back to teaching. The U of L community expressed their dislike of the way the university initially handled the situation.

Boehm is planning a forum dedicated to exploring how to balance everyone’s right to free speech.

“We need to learn from this incident so that we can all do a better job of affirming our LGBTQ students — and all our students, faculty and staff,” Boehm said.

Interim Arts and Sciences dean David Owen said there is a list of things to implement. They are:

  • Plan a townhall meeting for the A&S community to campus community members affected.
  • A U of L police officer will be posted outside of the classroom for the remainder of the semester.
  • Priority counseling will be provided to affected students.
  • Review the Student Code of Conduct to make possible revisions.

“I am very proud – and we all should be – of the care and support many in the A&S and U of L community have shown for the students and faculty who have been impacted by this,” Owen said. “I also am proud of the critical analyses and passionate advocacy we have seen, which I am confident will continue and will lead to man[y] fruitful discussions and actions in the future.”

Jones hosted a forum Feb. 10 to discuss the situation.

Photo by Haeli Spears // The Louisville Cardinal

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University phones malfunction across all three U of L campuses Monday, Feb 10 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

Across all three campuses, University of Louisville staff phones displayed a warning message that alerted staff and faculty to evacuate buildings immediately. The message came late afternoon Feb. 7.

A RAVE alert was sent out to students and staff at 4:36 p.m. informing them of the false alarm.

“U of L phone systems experienced a malfunction,” the RAVE alert read, “Please disregard any notice about immediate evacuation.”

John Karman, director of media relations for U of L, said normally the type of message U of L phones displayed only appears during emergency situations.

“We don’t know what caused the phones to malfunction,” Karman said.

Even though the message was just a malfunction, campus employees and students reacted as if the unknown threat was real.

In the Student Activities Center, the Campus Bookstore’s managers evacuated its customers and employees. One employee, Emma Betancourt, a senior exercise science major, told the Cardinal how she was worried about the situation.

“I was concerned about what we needed to do in order to get out of the building in a timely manner,” Betancourt said.

Betancourt was hopefully that others got out of the SAC in time in the event the strange message was a real warning. “I didn’t want to go back into the building since nobody seemed to know what was going on.”

Meanwhile on the other end of the Belknap campus, the Student Recreation Center’s staff members took a similar response.

Brooke Dotson, a freshman dental hygiene major, was working at the front desk of the SRC when she was told to evacuate the building.

“I was alert and alarmed,” Dotson said.

“My first thought was of what to do right away because you never know what those messages are about or what is going on,” Dotson said, “I immediately just knew to get everyone out of the building so they could find safety.”

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L community upset over anti-LGBTQ literature Sunday, Feb 9 2020 


By Maggie Vancampen and Eli Hughes — 

The tension between First Amendment rights and students’ right to feel safe on campus exploded into controversy Jan. 28 when a student passed out copies of Ray Comfort’s “God & Sexuality” to an Intro to LGBTQ Studies class. University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi emailed the U of L community Feb. 6 after meeting with the class and said the university must find a balance between upholding the First Amendment and fostering inclusivity.

She said resources and opportunities to educate the community will be made available with the help of Provost Beth Boehm and interim-dean David Owen. There will apparently be no formal action taken against the unnamed student who passed out the information.

After the class found the pamphlets on their desks, the student waited outside the classroom where the students and professor Kaila Story found him.

Story asked him to leave and he did.

Students from the class report he returned Jan. 30 and campus police escorted him from the classroom.

U of L spokesperson John Karman said administrators met with all faculty that raised the issue Feb. 3. Other administrators met with the student Feb. 4 and report he said he only wanted to raise awareness, not intimidate.

“The university values diversity in all its forms, including diversity of opinion. That said, student safety is our top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation and will take steps to ensure an environment that supports the highest level of learning,” Karman said.

Dean of Students Michael Mardis said that the office has had a Student Care Team for years that is made up of professionals in law enforcement, mental health, campus health and student health. He said team members assess students based on their previous and current behavior, facts and circumstance of the situation, in-person observation, in-class behaviors and on and off-campus behaviors. “Without the ability of its members to freely hear, express, and debate different ideas and points of view, the University would lack the culture of free inquiry that lies at the foundation of the academic enterprise,” Mardis said.

Story said she is disturbed by how the Dean of Students office originally treated the incident. “In these terrifying times of school shootings and public displays of violence, I would like to think that a university office would be just as alarmed as me and my students were regarding this issue,” she said.

Junior Alexander Vernon, who is in the class, said, “The last thing I would want is anyone else who holds hateful or harmful bigotry towards anyone on this campus targeting any other minority groups or the LGBTQ students again.”

Ricky Jones, chair of the Department of Pan-African Studies, said there is something wrong with both the law and university policy if this type of behavior is allowed. Jones said there was no reason for the student to return to the class because he already passed out the literature.

Dawn Heineken, head of the department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said Mardis did not seem to understand why students, faculty and the chairs of two departments found this scary. “I think the university needs to look long and hard at its internal processes,” she said.

“It definitely needs to ensure that folks making decisions about questions related to student learning, safety and well-being need to be better educated on, and take more seriously, the concerns of all students – especially students from marginalized groups who already have to struggle every day to feel safe and respected in the wider world.”

The president of a a student organization for LGBTQ + students of color and their allies said the university did not address the issue properly. Shades President Luke Moore said that they were disappointed in the response from the university.

“They need to ask themselves whether or not free speech is more important than the lives and the safety of their LGBTQ+ students, who they love to use to promote our university and talk about how LGBT-friendly it is and how young LGBT students should be coming here,” Moore said.

Bendapudi wrote, “I learned today from my conversation how frightening and painful the experience was for the bright, passionate, and engaged students in Dr. Kaila Story’s Introduction to LGBTQ Studies class. I also learned we have much work to do to make sure that all students (and faculty and staff) feel welcome and supported on our campus. There are clearly areas where we need to improve in terms of caring for our campus community, communicating appropriately, and responding swiftly.”

Jones said the class has written letters of complaint to the administration, talked to reporters outside of the university and refused to hide their names. He said, “I’m very proud of them for doing that in an age where silence is rewarded more than being brave.”

“I think those students and the professor have every right to do everything under the sun to not only protect their lives and protect their right to learn, but also protect their dignity and their right to exist in this place and in this world,” Jones said.

Jones scheduled a forum at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 to discuss the issue publicly. See Louisvillecardinal.com for updated info, as this meeting is after our deadline for this issue.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy from Kaila Story

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U of L plans to rename Jewish Hospital once deal is finalized Wednesday, Oct 23 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville is planning to rename Jewish Hospital once the purchase closes on Nov. 1. The new name of Jewish has not been finalized at this time.

“We are awaiting review and approval from the Board of Directors of the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence,” said Jill Scoggins, interim director of communications at the U of L Health Science Center.

U of L said back in August that the name of Jewish was not going to change in this deal. “As was the case when CHI originally purchased Jewish Hospital, U of L Health is not changing the name of Jewish Hospital,” stated a U of L Hospital FAQ.

U of L announced in August that it would be changing the names of two other hospitals in the KentuckyOne deal. Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital and Our Lady of Peace were the two hospitals slated to receive new names.

The Archdiocese of Louisville requested that religious affiliations be removed since U of L would not be part of the Catholic Health Initiative system. This will include the removal of crosses from the former Catholic facilities.

Those hospitals are now named U of L Health–Mary and Elizabeth Hospital and U of L Health–Peace Hospital.

“U of L is a public institution that receives taxpayer money. We cannot follow the directives of the Catholic Church nor can we be seen as promoting the beliefs of any particular faith tradition,” said U of L spokesperson John Karman.

Jewish Hospital’s name change will not be because of religious reasons since it is not managed under the Jewish faith. “While the hospital has not been managed by Jewish faith, U of L Health will honor the traditions and culture of Jewish Hospital,” stated the FAQ.

Every facility that will be acquired with this deal will be branded under the U of L Health name after the Nov. 1 closing date said Scoggins.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L hosting national education fellow for 2019-2020 academic year Monday, Sep 23 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

The University of Louisville will be hosting American Council on Education Fellow Rashmi Assudani for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Assudani is one of 39 ACE Fellows this year and currently a management and entrepreneurship professor at Xavier University.

“She will be working with the president and provost on projects related to the plan,” said U of L spokesperson John Karman. “Specifically, she will work with Gail DePuy, associate dean for academic and student affairs, by offering her expert opinions on the plan’s implementation.”

Assudani chose U of L as her host for the ACE Fellow program. Assudani was not available for comment.

The ACE program allows participants to immerse themselves in the studies and practices of another institution’s culture. Their goal is to make sure that higher education has future leaders who are ready to take on real world challenges.

Since 1965 the ACE Fellows program has helped develop more than 2,000 faculty, staff and administrators. Of those 2,000 more than 80 percent of the ACE Fellows have gone on to serve as senior leaders at colleges and universities.

What the Fellows do:

  • Observe and participate in key meetings and events, and take on special projects and assignments while under the mentorship of a team of experienced campus or system leaders.
  • Participate in three multi-day seminars, engage in team-based project and case studies, visit other campuses and attend national meetings.
  • Develop a network of higher education leaders across the US and abroad.

By requiring a rigorous workload ACE condenses years worth of job experience into a single academic year.

The ACE Fellow must be nominated to participate in the program. Universities who host must be ACE members and remain in good standing throughout the duration of the fellowship.

There is a $16,000 program fee that is paid to ACE and a minimum $10,000 budget supplied to the fellow. These fees are split between the home and host universities. The $10,000 budget is used to aid the fellow’s travel, lodging and retreats required by the program.

This year’s class is proud to boast a diverse group of leaders. Out of the 39 participants more than half are female and and close to half are members of a minority group.

Photo Courtesy of U of L

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