College of Business receives $2 million grant for research and faculty expansion Monday, Nov 18 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville College of Business announced Nov. 14 that they received a $2 million grant from the Joseph W. Craft III Foundation. The College of Business plans to use this grant to increase research and expand faculty.

This funding will go towards the Center for Free Enterprise to continue its exploration of entrepreneurship’s advancement in the well-being of society. “This helps students see real life applications to what they are studying,” said Stephan Gohmann, director of the Center for Free Enterprise.

“The Center for Free Enterprise is tackling seemingly intractable problems with a fresh perspective and innovative solutions,” said president, CEO and chairman of Alliance Resource Partners LP, Joseph Craft. “It gives students the opportunity to work alongside university scholars to discover how the free enterprise system in the United States preserves our freedom and contributes to the prosperity needed to apply critical thinking to solve the challenges in their own lives, their communities and the world.”

The center will expand by adding two tenure-track faculty in entrepreneurship, up to five doctoral fellows plus staff for the center. Gohmann said doctoral fellows will be recruited within U of L and outside of the university.

It will also partner with the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship to examine ideas related to free enterprise through the lens of principled entrepreneurship. “We will be able to use these synergies for better programming and better classroom experiences for students,” said Gohmann. “This can occur when we bring in speakers who can give talks to the general public and also talks in entrepreneurship classes. Likewise, we often bring in authors of books that our reading groups are reading.”

Since operations began in 2015, the center has hosted speakers on topics such as criminal justice reform, transformation of China, crypto-currency and entrepreneurship in Senegal.

In addition, the center hosts reading groups throughout each semester that attract students from across the university. The purpose is to get students reading and exchanging ideas outside of the classroom. Students who attend these reading sessions also have the opportunity to receive a scholarship if they meet participation requirements.

“Our students benefit from the rich experiences the Center for Free Enterprise provides,” said U of L President Neeli Bendapudi. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to inspire our community’s future business leaders through these generous gifts.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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New interim vice president for enterprise risk management announced Friday, Nov 15 2019 

By Eli Hughes —

President Neeli Bendapudi announced Nov. 4 that Sandy Russell has been appointed interim vice president for enterprise risk management, audit and compliance. The previous vice president, Rhonda Bishop, announced in August that she would be leaving U of L for a position at the University of Central Florida.

Bendapudi made the announcement by email, briefly discussing Russell’s history with the university and an overview of the position’s responsibilities. To conclude the email, Bendapudi said, “I look forward to working with Sandy as she takes on these important responsibilities. And I hope you will join me in congratulating her on her new role.”

Russell’s new role will include overseeing the offices of audit and compliance and improving the practices used in the areas of audit, compliance and risk management. These areas are nothing new for Russell who has been with U of L for 27 years and previously worked in numerous positions related to compliance and risk management.

It is unclear whether Russell will remain in her position as assistant vice president, risk and compliance in addition to her new role. It is also unknown if she intends to keep this position short term or, if temporary, how long the appointment will last.

Russell was unavailable for comment regarding her new position.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L will be part of the new hub for healthcare innovations in Kentucky Monday, Nov 4 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve healthcare technologies Oct. 31. This grant will be used to form a Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, which includes all eight of Kentucky’s public universities along with Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges System.

“One of the things to keep in mind is that the health care sector here in Kentucky privately employs over 30,000 of our fellow citizens,” said interim secretary for the Cabinet for Economic Development Vivek Sarin. “It’s one of the top sectors driving our total economy.”

The hub will be called the “Kentucky Network for Innovation & Commercialization,” or KYNETIC, and is one of five hubs funded by the NIH. The hub is designed to speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and tools to improve patient care and enhance health, according to the NIH.

“This is not a trick but a great treat for every single person in the Commonwealth,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “This will provide innovation to improve the health of Kentuckians and people around the world.”

According to NIH, selected hubs are required to match the federal funding they receive and develop partnerships with life science and economic development organizations. The KYNETIC founding members will provide a $2.56 million direct-cost match to help with the funding.

Each university involved will also partner with the Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3), a science and technology nonprofit that supports invention and entrepreneurship across the state.

“Kentucky’s ability to win this grant — one of only a handful ever awarded nationwide — was made possible in large part because of the unprecedented collaboration between our economic development cabinet, public universities and technical colleges in creating our non-profit commercialization center, C3,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “This grant further validates the significance of C3’s public-private structure and our decision to revitalize Kentucky’s innovation and entrepreneurial support system. Together, we can have a truly positive impact on the health of Kentuckians and people around the world.”

KYNETIC aims to bring innovations such as new pharmaceuticals, therapies, devices and other healthcare technologies to the market. They also aim to address issues like lack of healthcare in rural areas.

This new hub will also be an asset in expanding U of L Health’s current research and medical developments.

“With the acquisition of Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health properties, researchers at U of L will have additional opportunities to recruit patients for clinical studies to advance research emerging from KYNETIC,” said Bendapudi. “Projects developed through KYNETIC will have the potential to further existing U of L research efforts in optimal aging, improve access to quality health care in underserved urban and rural regions, and bolster efforts to both attract and retain top faculty and students at U of L.”

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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KentuckyOne Health assets are officially owned by U of L Monday, Nov 4 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville has officially finalized the purchase of KentuckyOne Health’s assets as of Nov. 1. This ends the uncertain future of the struggling Jewish Hospital, now U of L Health–Jewish Hospital.

“This is an exciting and historic day for the University of Louisville,” said president Neeli Bendapudi. “This acquisition enables us to ensure access to quality health care for our entire community, and it strengthens our School of Medicine and our Health Sciences Center campus by allowing us to offer more training opportunities for our students and more research capacity for our faculty. It also saves thousands of jobs that could have been lost if any of these facilities closed.”

About 5,500 former KentuckyOne employees have joined U of L Health as part of this acquisition. Each hospital under this purchase has also been rebranded under the U of L Health name.

In the coming weeks the only visible differences from this purchase will be the new signs with each hospitals new name. The new names for each hospital were announced Oct. 28.

The one thing that was not finalized on Nov. 1 is the $50 million loan U of L is counting on from the state. This loan won’t be approved – if it is approved -until January 2020 by state lawmakers.

The process of this acquisition started back in January with U of L searching for a viable partner to make the purchase.

One of the reasons U of L backed out of buying the KentuckyOne assets earlier this year was due to funding. “Without a viable partner, we do not have the resources necessary to make the acquisition a reality,” Bendpaudi said earlier this year.

It was only when the state stepped in and promised a $50 million loan that U of L said they would purchase KentuckyOne’s assets.

U of L – pending the approval of the loan – is expecting half of it to be forgiven. They must meet certain criteria in terms of employment and service to underserved areas in order for the $25 million to be forgiven.

U of L will also be receiving funding from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and the Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation. The former is contributing $10 million and the latter $40 million to the deal.

“As we transfer the ownership and operations to U of L Health, I am optimistic that these facilities will continue their legacy of excellence and innovation led by the outstanding employees and providers,” said Larry Schumacher, senior vice president of operations, CommonSpirit Health Southeast Division.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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David Grissom submits his resignation from board of trustees Tuesday, Oct 29 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville board of trustees will be losing their third member this year when former board chair David Grissom submitted his resignation Oct. 28.

John Karman, U of L spokesman, confirmed this and said it will be effective as of Dec. 1.

In July of this year Mary Nixon was voted as the new chairwoman of the board, with Grissom slated to remain on the board until his term expired. Grissom also came under fire earlier this year for his comments on the 2013 basketball scandal. 

Grissom was recorded in a deposition saying that former President James Ramsey told him that a board member was the cash source behind the scandal. This raised a lot of questions of who the potential source was and why Grissom didn’t give the name of said trustee.

In January of this year Grissom was in the spotlight again for calling President Neeli Bendapudi’s voice “sexy” during a board meeting. Bendapudi dismissed the sexist claims of the comments and said that it was nothing more than humor.

During his time as the chair Grissom was part of major decisions such as hiring Bendapudi. He was also a leading force in the firing of former basketball coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich.

U of L ended up with a settlement for more than $7 million to be paid to Jurich, while Pitino ultimately settled with the university not paying him any money.

Under Grissom, the board proceeded with a lawsuit suing Ramsey for unscrupulous spending during his tenure. This lawsuit is still pending.

Grissom was appointed to the board in January 2017 when Gov. Matt Bevin did a complete overhaul. Bevin gave Grissom the longest appointed term set to expire on Jan. 13, 2023.

The U of L board now has three spots to fill, with Nitin Sahney and Dr. Fred Williams Jr. both submitting their resignations earlier in September.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Jewish Hospital will now be called U of L Hospital–Jewish Campus Tuesday, Oct 29 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

U of L has announced Jewish Hospital will now be called U of L Hospital–Jewish Campus after the sale is completed Nov. 1.

“The name respects Jewish Hospital’s history as a leader in cardiovascular services, neurosciences and transplantation while also preserving its legacy of serving the community,” said Jill Scoggins, interim director of communications at U of L Health Sciences Center. She also said that U of L Hospital’s name will not be changing.

Under this new name and acquisition the two hospitals will be united as one but with two locations. Both locations will operate under the same leadership team and direction. This unification is to help restore and support the services, research, employees, physicians and programs at Jewish.

“Health care in Louisville has grown because of the commitment made by these organizations to improve the health of patients throughout the greater Louisville community and the passion they have to serve with excellence and compassion,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “The University of Louisville and U of L Health will build on this foundation, to improve wellness for our community, by building a regional academic health care system based on treatment innovations, leading-edge research and patient-centered care.”

Since U of L can’t operate a religious entity under the Catholic faith, the name of Saints Mary and Elizabeth and Our Lady of Peace Hospitals were changed as well. Those hospitals are now U of L–Mary and Elizabeth and U of L–Peace Hospitals.

The chapels will remain. “As is the case at U of L Hospital, people of all faiths are encouraged to use the chapels as they choose,” said Scoggins. “Chaplains are on staff to support and honor the many different faiths and traditions observed by patients and employees.”

The other KentuckyOne Health properties being renamed are:

  • U of L Health–Frazier Rehab
  • U of L Health–Rudd Heart and Lung Center
  • U of L Health–Shelbyville Hospital
  • U of L Health–Medical Center Southwest
  • U of L Health–Medical Center South (Shephardsville)
  • U of L Health–Medical Center East
  • U of L Health–Medical Center Northeast

The physicians practice associated with KentuckyOne will be renamed under the U of L Physicians brand to reflect the new alignment with U of L Health.

U of L announced in August it would be purchasing the struggling KentuckyOne facilities. They will be receiving $126 million in cash, debt-forgiveness and other sources over a four-year period from KentuckyOne.

In addition, U of L has made an agreement with the state government for a loan of $50 million, which will be partially forgivable. This loan cannot be approved by lawmakers until January 2020, two months after the close of this deal.

The sign changes on each facility will take place starting this week and will continue over the next several months. U of L Health will assume official ownership over these facilities as of Nov. 1.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L now owns the downtown Cardiovascular Innovation Institute Monday, Oct 21 2019 

By Jessica Kisling — 

The University of Louisville now owns the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute after the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence handed over their $16 million share as of Oct. 7.

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi took the opportunity to thank the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence for their continuous effort and promised that the hard work would continue.

The main goal of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is to improve the research done on cardiovascular diseases that affect people’s daily lives. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death across the United States, and is responsible for about 75 percent of deaths in Kentucky alone said Toni Ganzel, dean of the U of L School of Medicine.

This research has since been declared as the most important and vital medical research for the next decade.

According to the press release, since its original formation in 2006, the institute has developed technologies and devices that will allow for advancement in cardiovascular medicine in space as well as in war. They have also developed therapeutic approaches to the diseases and their diagnoses as well as a high resolution ultrasound that can measure the heart’s structure.

Funding for the institute originally came from different health organizations in the commonwealth. Among these contributors include St. Mary’s Healthcare, Kosair Charities and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Department of Commercialization and Innovation. Senator Mitch McConnell also helped by aiding the institute in receiving federal appropriations.

Since then they have acquired almost $39 million in other grants and contracts. Most of this money has been designated for the development of the innovative cardiovascular technologies and medicine.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Dare to Care looking to improve U of L’s on-campus food pantry Sunday, Sep 29 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

Since the University of Louisville and Dare to Care announced their partnership to improve the Cardinal Cupboard, students can expect a variety of new options.

“The Cardinal Cupboard’s goal is to reduce food waste on campus by allowing students, faculty, and staff to donate unwanted food items and offer it to those in need,” states their website.

The goal of this partnership is to bring healthier options to the pantry. Cardinal Cupboard was opened in January 2019 to address the issue of food security among college students.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

As of 2018, the USDA reported that out of 114.9 million homes in America, 88.9 percent were food secure homes; this is an increase from 2017’s report that only 88.2 percent were food secure homes.

Dare to Care will be providing the pantry with frozen proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and non-perishable items. They will also be offering food safety training for those who volunteer at the pantry.

This partnership expands the offerings at the pantry from hygiene products, non-perishables and the leftovers collected on campus by the Food Recovery Network chapter at U of L.

The Cardinal Cupboard recently moved into a larger and centralized location on the third floor of the SAC. With this move the pantry got a refrigerator to expand their offerings.

Students, faculty and staff are all allowed to use the pantry. They just have to show their Cardinal Card at each visit. There are about 50 student volunteers who help run the pantry daily.

President Neeli Bendapudi helped bring this partnership to fruition when she met with Dare to Care leadership at a community function. Having more than 300 local partners, this is not Dare to Care’s first time reaching out to help the community in Louisville.

The Cardinal Cupboard is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. They have a donation bin located outside their room, W303C, for those looking to contribute.

Photo Courtesy of the University of Louisville


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President Bendapudi rolls out the 2019-2022 strategic plan Tuesday, Sep 24 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

University of Louisville faculty, staff and students filled the Middleton Auditorium in Strickler Hall on Sept. 23 for President Neeli Bendapudi’s unveiling of the 2019-2022 strategic plan.

Bendapudi kicked off the presentation recapping the past year and talking about U of L students. “I think we’ve made great strides, I hope you see that with our students,” said Bendpudi. “We’re beginning to move the needle, but we are nowhere close to where we want to be.”

She began the presentation by mentioning that the university has seen a significant uptick in the four-year graduation rate as an effect of the past year’s efforts. In addition to that she emphasized how important the Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are to U of L’s retention rates.

U of L will have two new residence halls opening in Fall 2021 and 2022. These halls will help accommodate U of L’s four new LLCs: business, sustainability, ethics and music.

Bendapudi mentioned how U of L wants to continue offering students affordable on-campus housing. She said that the administration is aware of the boost that students get from living in these types of communities.

“In my mind, the worst thing is a student who comes, stays here for a year, and drops out,” Bendapudi said.

Bendapudi shared that U.S. News and World Report ranked U of L as a top performer in social mobility, ranking them at 147 on their list. U of L is the highest ranked Kentucky public university.

She closed the recap mentioning the two percent raise that faculty will be receiving in January 2020. With that she mentioned that there will be no budget cuts in the next year. U of L will be implementing multi-year comprehensive budgets as opposed to single-year.

Bendapudi started off her discussion of the strategic plan focusing on the “CARDINAL Principles.” Care, accountability, respect, diversity, integrity, noble purpose, agility and leadership all make up those principles.

“I’m so grateful that this reflects, not my plan, but our plan to succeed,” said Bendapudi. She went on to say how she hopes that these principles will be remembered by faculty in order to promote a better institution.

A great place to learn, work and invest were the next points that Bendapudi brought up in her presentation. “I’ll be honest, on most of these, we gave ourselves big goals,” she said.

In order to make U of L a great place to learn they are focusing on supporting students through purpose-driven learning. Some examples include having students participate in Grand Challenges research, expanding LLCs and establishing experiential learning opportunities.

U of L will also be making sure students mental health is cared for. One of the ways the plan to do so is by expanding the counseling center and having a location more centralized on campus in the SAC.

“If you see someone who looks like they’re lost, struggling, reach out to them. That is the culture we want to create,” Bendapudi said.

The biggest area U of L is looking to make a difference in is need-based financial aid for first-time freshman. By 2022 they hope to increase aid from eight percent up to 20 percent.

Bendapudi said that U of L will be a great place to work because of their dedication to personal growth and development. This means supporting diversity among faculty, improving the onboarding experience for new hires and conducting compensation reviews, along with other implementations.

“If you want to be an inclusive workplace, we will be talking about these,” said Bendapudi.

She highlighted the importance of U of L improving diversity among faculty with this new plan. “I will tell you, we talk a good game, but we do far worse than most public companies,” Bendapudi said.

U of L didn’t have any baseline data for these areas, but they are working with a third-party company to help them set tht these baselines. This will give the university a better idea of where they stand and how they can improve.

Before she segued into a great place to invest, Bendapudi encouraged faculty to participate in climate change surveys. U of L hopes to raise the participation rate from 26 percent to 40 percent by 2022.

“I really hope that people will respond,” said Bendapudi. “We want them to speak up.”

In closing, Bendapudi spoke on what makes U of L a great place to invest. U of L’s impact on individual and community health, the economy, social and cultural health and the well-being of Louisville and the commonwealth are the components that Bendapudi said makes it a great place to invest.

“We are a research one University,” she said. “We cannot ever afford to ignore that.”

To make U of L a great place to invest they are strengthening their research infrastructure, providing existing and potential partners easier access to the university’s knowledge and bringing campus to people.

Bendapudi discussed how U of L is looking to increase their research expenditures with this plan. The biggest increase they hope to see by 2022 are the academic gifts increasing from $94 million to $114 million.

The presentation ended with Bendapudi sharing that Gail DePuy, associate dean at J.B. school of engineering, will be in charge of implementing this plan. “She has been in every single meeting and knows what’s happening,” said Bendapudi.

Bendpaudi closed the presentation when she said, “We’re not justing going to be a top performer. We’re going to be the top performer.”

Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal

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Vice president for enterprise risk management is leaving Sunday, Sep 8 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

The University of Louisville will be looking to fill the role of vice president for enterprise risk management.

U of L announced in an email on Aug. 27 that Rhonda Bishop, the current vice president for enterprise risk management, would be leaving. She is leaving to assume a similar position at the University of Central Florida.

Bishop was previously the chief compliance and ethics officer at UCF before coming to U of L last year. She said her reason for returning to UCF was to be closer to her family, specifically her son.

“Since coming to UofL in April 2017, Rhonda and her team have accomplished much, including cleaning up many policies and procedures, strengthening the university’s compliance with federal, state and university rules and regulations and ensuring transparency in the audit process,” Bendapudi said.

The position that Bishop’s fulfilled at U of L was created in 2017 during a restructuring of vice president audit and institutional compliance positions.

“I am currently reviewing how best to ensure the outstanding work in these areas continues,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “I will share those plans with you once we determine our next steps.”

Bendapudi said Bishop’s last day will be Aug. 30.

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