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 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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U of L trustee Nitin Sahney resigns from board Sunday, Sep 22 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

Founder and CEO of PharmaCord Nitin Shaney officially resigned from the University of Louisville’s board of trustees. He submitted his resignation from the board in early September.

U of L spokesperson John Karman confirmed that Sahney did resign Sept. 13.

Sahney’s term on the board was set to expire on Jan. 13, 2021, but chose to end his term sooner. He was initially appointed to the board in 2016 when Gov. Matt Bevin overhauled the entire board.

As a board member Sahney was involved with major decisions including the hiring of now President Neeli Bendapudi. This was a decision made by the trustees that has been well received unanimously.

He was also involved in the chaos that revolved around the firing of Tom Jurich. This ended with U of L reaching a multimillion dollar settlement with Jurich over his termination.

Before serving as a trustee Sahney was the president and CEO of Omnicare Inc., a former Fortune 500 company that deals with long-term care and specialty industries.

There has been no official reason announced as to why Sahney resigned from the board. Sahney was not available for further comment at the time.

Photo Courtesy of University of Louisville

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President releases draft of Strategic Plan Thursday, Jul 11 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen and Matthew Keck —

After six months planning, President Neeli Bendapudi has released the first draft of the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

Bendapudi emailed the University of Louisville community with the news.

“I am grateful many of you provided thoughtful ideas and feedback through the website and our open forums,” she said in the email.

The draft plan is open for revisions. All comments and suggestions should use the comment form by July 24.

The plan focuses on Bendapudi’s vision of making U of L a great place to learn, work and invest. It also enumerates Cardinal Principles.

The Cardinal Principles are care, accountability, respect, diversity, integrity, noble purpose, agility and leadership.

It is split into two three-year plans. The first year, 2019-2020, is about “Defining Our Aspirations and Building Capabilities.”

The second year, 2020-2021, is “Building Capabilities and Piloting Change Strategies.”

The final year, 2021-2022, is “Assessing Change and Scaling What Works.”

The second three-year plan will determine what has been achieved and highlight and refine those programs going forward.

Key themes are preparing students for the future, attracting successful people to the U of L community and creating an environment where all contribution is valued.

Making U of L a great place to learn, work and invest is a focal point of the new plan. Transformative, purpose-driven and engaged learning are all key factors for making it a great place to learn.

In order to make it a great place to work, personal growth and professional development take center. The plan also asks that the faculty and staff live the institutional values.

U of L’s impact on the economic, social and cultural well-being of Louisville will make it a great place to invest.

Bendapudi wants to see the university take on Grand Challenges, whether through student and faculty research or the funds that help drive the research.

After the Board of Trustees approves, U of L will implement the plan, create a Grand Challenges Committee and appoint a Cardinal Principles Committee.

The Grand Challenges Committee is charged with finding areas that impact the economic and societal well-being of local and global communities.

The Cardinal Principles Committee will ensure the university is following Bendapudi’s Cardinal Principles.

The university stated that they will spend the fall testing and reviewing many of the strategies mentioned in the draft. They want to keep U of L an institution of progressive change, substance and engagement.

An Implementation Committee will be appointed soon to move it forward in the fall and over the next three years.

“Thank you for your engagement and your support during the development of this plan,” Bendapudi said in the email. “Together, we will move forward to make U of L an even better place to learn, to work and in which to invest.”

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L won’t buy Kentucky One Health assets Thursday, Jun 13 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville announced June 11 it will not be buying Kentucky One Health’s Louisville assets. Those assets include Jewish Hospital where U of L has service lines and residencies.

This announcement came after U of L’s six-month search for a partner to help acquire the assets and fund this acquisition. U of L had until June 30 to find a partner.

“We regret ending our talks with CHI [Catholic Health Initiatives], but we must do what is fiscally responsible for the University of Louisville,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “Without a viable partner, we do not have the resources necessary to make the acquisition a reality.”

U of L stated in the press release that CHI will extend the Academic Affiliation Agreement. This ensures that graduate and resident program operations at Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab won’t cease. CHI will assign new facilities at the university’s request if operations at the two cannot continue. U of L media spokesman John Karman said this extension is open ended.

The academic agreement allows U of L’s physicians and residents to care for patients and work in leadership positions for various hospital programs. It also allows them to conduct clinical trials that offer innovative treatment unavailable elsewhere in the region.

Karman said that the university hopes that no positions will be lost as a result of this deal falling through.

CHI has additionally agreed to continue the professional services and medical directorships. These are all included in the Master Services Agreement. CHI stated they will give at least 90 days before terminating any of these individual agreements.

“Our patients will continue to receive the highest quality care, and our students and residents will continue to receive the education and training they must have to become future providers,” Bendapudi said. “That is our unwavering commitment.”

Jewish Hospital is where U of L physicians provide organ transplantation, cardiovascular medicine and neurological surgery. This hospital is the only solid organ transplant facility in the region. U of L’s clinical care and research in cardiovascular medicine and spinal cord injury are conducted at Jewish and Frazier Rehab.

Deborah Lee-Eddie, interim market CEO for Kentucky One,  said she was disappointed that U of L could not find a partner, but they will now continue discussions with other interested organizations.

Photo Courtesy of Kentucky One Health

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