Cardinal news editor wins journalism scholarship Wednesday, Jan 15 2020 

By Eli Hughes —

Matthew Keck, the Louisville Cardinal’s news editor, received the Lewis M. Conn Scholarship for College Journalism Students. Keck is a senior at U of L and has served as news editor since the summer of 2019. 

The scholarship is provided by the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is awarded annually to one college student in the Louisville area.  Keck won based on his cover letter, resume, writing samples and a recommendation letter.  

Keck discovered his passion for journalism when he took his first news writing class in the fall of 2018. He was unsure about what he wanted to do for a career but took the class because he enjoyed writing. After another semester of news writing classes, he took the recommendations of his professors and started writing for the Cardinal.

Keck plans to graduate in May and intends to use the scholarship towards tuition for his last semester. After graduating, he wants to further pursue journalism but would prefer to pivot away from exclusively news writing. “My interests are elsewhere, more in the lifestyle, fashion, and arts,” Keck said. 

Receiving this scholarship has not only helped Keck financially but has helped him feel like writing is something he can do for a career. Keck said, “I think it just reinforces the idea that I do have potential as a writer.” 

Photo by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L asking less from state loan for KentuckyOne purchase Tuesday, Jan 14 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

In August 2019, the University of Louisville announced it would be buying KentuckyOne Health’s Louisville assets. To make that purchase possible, the university asked the state of Kentucky to provide a $50 million dollar loan.

On Jan. 9, President Neeli Bendapudi announced U of L would only be requesting a $35 million loan now.

“As you know, last fall we received a commitment from the elected leadership of Kentucky for a $50 million partially forgivable loan to help with the acquisition of the former KentuckyOne Health properties, including Jewish Hospital,” she said. “After just over two months since we acquired the facilities, I was happy to tell Governor Beshear, Senate President Stivers and House Speaker Osborne that we are reducing our loan request from $50 million to $35 million with the previously agreed upon forgiveness and repayment terms.”

U of L will still pay half of the state loan back over a 20-year period. With this new restructured loan from the state, U of L will only receive a total of $61 million in support for future expenses.

Bendapudi said there were several reasons for lowering the requested amount of the loan. “For example, we are anticipating a procurement savings of more than $7 million annually, and we will make operational reductions of nearly $10 million after Year 1,” she said. “On the revenue side, Enhanced Medicaid intergovernmental transfer payments from the federal government should be higher given that more facilities will qualify for this funding more quickly than we originally expected.”

She also said that improved payer contracts have led to increased billing rates for physicians, which is another reason that led to a reduction of the loan.

In addition to these loans, the state will contribute more than $100 million annually thanks to HB320 being passed last year. This bill allows for the state to enhance federal pass-through funding for rural hospitals.

“As we have shared time and again, this loan is critical to our success,” said Bendapudi. “As it will help us address immediate cash flow and other financial needs as we continue to make important changes in the operations and infrastructure of the expanded U of L Health system during our two- to three-year turnaround plan.”

The approval of this loan is still pending as the 2020 legislative season started last week.

U of L finalized the purchase of the KentuckyOne assets last November. In this deal, U of L acquired five hospitals, one outpatient center and physician groups affiliated with KentuckyOne.

“I am so appreciative that our elected leadership is working with us in a bipartisan manner to preserve and enhance these vital health care facilities and services,” said Bendapudi.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Interim A&S College Dean is looking to make a positive impact Monday, Jan 13 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

After one week on the job, Arts & Sciences College interim Dean David Owen feels like he is already settled into his new position.

“I think she [Kempf-Leonard] left the college in solid shape,” said Owen. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t any work to be done. Owen shared his goals for his tenure Jan. 2, and one of them is keeping morale in a progressive state.

Kempf-Leonard focused on this during her five-year tenure. Owen said that although this area can be challenging, the place the College is in right now gives him a lot to work with and maintain this progress.

“They’re happy that we’re going to really do some intentional work on morale,” said Owen. “So I’m hearing feedback, positive feedback about that.”

He said he’s also fortunate that there hasn’t been any mention of budget cuts so far. “We don’t know yet exactly about [budget cuts], but everybody seems to be anticipating more or less a steady state budget, which is good news,” said Owen.

While keeping morale at a good place is a major priority, Owen wants to pass off the College to the next dean in a good place. “I need to be sure that I hand to the next dean a College that’s in as good shape as possible,” he said. “And that means having a good budget for next year.”

As the University of Louisville moves to a new budget model this year, Owen knows this is going to be a challenge he faces, but he is already praising his associate deans and staff for being helping hands along the way. “We have really great associate and assistant deans, [and] great senior staff over here,” he said. “They’ll make sure the college keeps running smoothly.”

Owen also wants to focus more on retention within the A&S College. One of the ways he plans on doing that is by becoming more visible to the students in the College. “My job is to make it so that students can flourish in their educational career,” he said.

Since he has already been serving as chair of philosophy, this won’t be as much of a challenge for him. “I do know a lot of students, and it’s nice to walk across campus and talk to students,” said Owen. “I think that’s helpful to know students, and I’m teaching this term, so getting to learn, getting to meet and get to know some newer students in my class [will help].”

Similar to Kempf-Leonard, one of the reasons he took on the role as interim dean was to help others. Along with teaching this semester, he said that he feels taking on this role will re-energize him while also making an impact on the College.

“I think we’re prepared to grow and move into the 2020s,” said Owen.

Photo Courtesy of The University of Louisville 

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