Butler High School Dress Code Suspended Amid Controversy, Confusion Friday, Jul 29 2016 

The controversial dress code policy banning certain hair styles at Butler Traditional High School is being temporarily suspended.

The suspension was approved Friday by the Butler School-Based Decision-Making Council during a special meeting.

William Allen, the principal at Butler, said he would seek community input on the policy in the coming weeks. And the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission plans to assist in facilitating those conversations, said Executive Director Carolyn Miller-Cooper.

“There needs to be some clarification,” she said.

The policy led to outrage earlier this week, after Kentucky Rep.-elect Attica Scott, whose daughter attends Butler, posted a photo on Twitter of the policy that bans dreadlocks, cornrows, braids and twists in students’ hair.

Scott called the policy racist because the hairstyles banned are natural styles worn by African-American students.

But on Friday, the outrage was coupled with confusion. While some parents and students who attended the meeting thought the policy applied to all students at the school, some Butler students said the policy applied only to male students. Jefferson County Public Schools officials confirmed that.

Kameko Cospy is an incoming senior at Butler. She said the controversy could have been avoided if residents would have first asked school officials about the policy.

“That rule has always been for males,” she said.

Still, Miller-Cooper said dictating the length or style of male students’ hair is inappropriate and infringes on certain religious beliefs, like Rastafarian students.

“It’s clearly insensitive,” she said.

JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said district officials would conduct a review of all school policies approved by individual School-Based Decision-Making Councils.

“If we have any policy or practice that is not in line with embracing diversity as a strength, then we need to actually look at that and that is a great conversation to have,” she said.

Outrage From Faculty, Shrugs From Trustees After U of L Pay Revelations Friday, Jul 29 2016 

Revelations about lucrative perks doled out to former University of Louisville president James Ramsey’s top deputies brought outrage Friday from faculty members and taxpayers, but was of no concern to two top trustees.

WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting revealed earlier in the day that many of Ramsey’s top administrators were given pay packages and perks that compensation experts called exorbitant. (Read “Ramsey Leaves Top U of L Deputies With Extraordinary Perks“)

One such benefit: $1,000 per month car allowances for Ramsey deputies. The assorted benefits enraged communications professor Michael Cunningham, who pays $600 a year to park on campus.

“We just feel exploited, and we feel like we’re chumps,” Cunningham said. “They’re getting rich, we’re getting poor.”

The latest slight comes amid university budget cuts, a series of scandals besmirching the school and a spate of bitter public quarrels among institutional leaders and politicians.

Cunningham said the university’s administration resembles a corporation more than a university. Resources are pulled from faculty and staff and students are shortchanged while administrators see their fringe benefits grow, he said.

History professor Mark Blum has been with U of L for 40 years.

“When I retire, which might be in a few years, could I ask for a golden parachute?” Blum said. “You know I’ve dealt with thousands and thousands of students, so the rank unfairness of it is something that sticks in my mind and I think the public should really think about that.”

The aberrant benefits and salaries were meted out by Ramsey while faculty and staff went without raises, noted professor Nancy Theriot.

University of Louisville President James Ramsey during a 2014 Board of Trustees meeting.

University of Louisville President James Ramsey during a 2014 Board of Trustees meeting.

“He doesn’t care about the university,” Theriot said. “He cares about himself and his buddies and power and prestige and that’s all he cares about.”

Some of Ramsey’s superiors on the Board of Trustees don’t share the faculty sentiment.

Bob Hughes previously served as board chairman and was on the board up until Gov. Matt Bevin’s dissolved and reconstituted the group in June. Hughes said he agrees the university is like a corporation — and it needs to pay its leaders accordingly.

“If you look at $300,000-some dollars, that’s a lot of money to probably 90 to 95 percent of people and I understand that,” Hughes said. “But you pay a lot of money for good talent. I didn’t think those perks were way out of line and I was not surprised by those.”

The university is a $1.3 billion business, he said, and it takes a lot of talented people to run it.

He said board members should have known about the perks extended to the administrators, and if anyone didn’t, they could have asked.

KyCIR examined university contracts for eight top administrators, finding extraordinary perks like the car allowances, bonuses, paid family health care and free spouse travel. These perks, as outlined in agreements signed by Ramsey, would be difficult, if not impossible, for the next president to roll back.

Two administrators have a potentially costly provision: U of L must keep them on the payroll through 2020 if they’re let go within two years of Ramsey’s departure last week.

Hughes said presidents tend to pick the people they want to work with. The next president can weigh the cost of paying out those contracts against hiring new leaders with the board, he added.

“I think that would be a real good healing process, too, between the administration (and the board) to work together on that issue,” Hughes said.

Junior Bridgeman, chairman of Bevin’s newly appointed Board of Trustees, said there was “nothing to say” about the contracts.

“I don’t know if there’s even really a discussion to be had… if it’s a legally binding contract, I’m sure (the university) will uphold their end of it,” Bridgeman said.

Similar issues at Kentucky Community and Technical College System brought calls for legislative hearings earlier this year.

Senate President Robert Stivers, Sen. Christian McDaniel and other lawmakers in March initiated an investigation following a KyCIR report about a secret $348,000 payment to a retired community college president in Northern Kentucky. The lawmakers demanded more scrutiny of the compensation packages afforded to top state universities and college leaders. (Read “Lawmakers Decry Community College President’s Payout Following KyCIR Report“)

On the Senate floor, Stivers, a Manchester Republican, decried “golden parachutes” given to outgoing officials during a time of education budget cuts and belt tightening.

Stivers’s office declined to comment Friday about the latest U of L revelations. Spokesman John Cox noted that the legislature had already tasked a committee to study the issue.

“Until we’ve seen the results of that study, we won’t have a full picture,” Cox said. “That report should serve as a good guide.”

The findings should be presented in January, when the legislature reconvenes, he noted.

Kate Howard can be reached at khoward@kycir.org and (502) 814.6546. Will Wright, KyCIR’s summer fellow, can be reached at wwright@kycir.org and (724) 344.6945. 

Judge orders temporary injunction on Gov. Bevin’s executive orders recreating UofL Board of Trustees Friday, Jul 29 2016 

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd | Photo by Joe Sonka

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Friday ruled in favor of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s request for a temporary injunction on Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive orders abolishing and recreating the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. Shepherd’s ruling stated that the attorney general’s request for an injunction was granted because he sufficiently demonstrated that Bevin’s […]

Judge Blocks Bevin’s U of L Board Appointments Friday, Jul 29 2016 

A judge has temporarily blocked Gov. Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. 

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd issued the ruling Friday morning. The effect of Shepherd’s ruling is to restore the version of the U of L board that Bevin abolished by executive order in June.

It also affirms that there was no conflict in the new board decision on Wednesday to accept President James Ramsey’s immediate resignation and provide him a $690,000 settlement.

Although the ruling is not a final judgment on the legality of Bevin’s reorganization of the board, it does show that the court is questioning the move.

“The record here is devoid of any legal or factual precedent for a Governor to abolish and recreate an entire board of trustees of a public university,” Shepherd wrote. “Such an action would seem to destroy statutory requirements for boards such as tenure of office, staggered terms, and institutional continuity.”

Shepherd also questioned the manner in which Ramsey apparently came to an agreement with Bevin to resign from his position. The judge wrote that powers like the “appointment, suspension or removal of the president” are reserved for the school’s board, not the governor.

“The actions of the Governor in connection with the submission of the ‘resignation/retirement’ of Dr. Ramsey … would also appear to have been inconsistent with those statutes,” Shepherd wrote.

According to a letter sent to the governor from Ramsey on June 16, the two had a “conversation” in which they discussed the “fresh start” for the university. Ramsey officially resigned in an agreement with the newly constituted board late Wednesday evening.

Over recent years, divisions had emerged on the board between supporters and detractors of Ramsey.

Ramsey has been under fire for numerous scandals over the past several years. The NCAA is investigating the basketball program after a former escort alleged an ex-coach paid for strippers and sex for players and recruits. Last October, Ramsey apologized after he and his senior staff posed for a photograph at a university Halloween party wearing stereotypical Mexican garb.

More recently, Ramsey has been criticized for his dual role as president of the University of Louisville Foundation, for which he received $2.8 million in compensation in 2014.

The order restores the previous version of the board, which was led by Chair Larry Benz. IN a statement Friday, Benz said the board would affirm Ramsey’s settlement.

“We respect Judge Shepherd’s ruling and also have a great deal of respect for Gov. Bevin,” he said. “I believe our current Board of Trustees will move to immediately ratify all actions taken in the past week by Gov. Bevin’s appointed Board of Trustees. I will be working with board members to schedule a meeting early next week. We will have further communication following that meeting.” 

The relationship between the foundation and the university is the subject of an ongoing investigation by state Auditor Mike Harmon.

In his ruling, Shepherd said that the governor’s accusations of “dysfunction” on the board need to be tried in a public hearing.

“The Governor’s charges of dysfunction were not tested before the Governor acted,” Shepherd wrote. “The fact that there is disagreement among board members is not necessarily a sign of dysfunction. To the contrary, a board that always is in agreement and acts as a rubber stamp may be dysfunctional.”

Shepherd also said that it was “significant” that Bevin overhauled the board without consulting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The attorney general’s office argued that the organization could pull U of L’s accreditation for having “undue political influence” on the management of the school.

Shepherd said the legal issues in the case “go to the heart of the democratic process” and that the court had to intervene to “preserve the proper checks and balances governing executive action and legislative delegations of power.”

“While Governor Bevin’s motives here may be laudable, there is no guarantee that others would not wield such unilateral and unchecked power for improper motives, political advancement, or private economic benefit,” Shepherd wrote.

Amanda Stamper, press secretary for the governor’s office issued a written statement on Friday:

“The circuit court ignored binding precedent from the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the plain language of the statute at issue, and a recent opinion from the Office of the Attorney General, that the Governor has authority to propose and temporarily implement the reorganization of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. The Court’s abrupt altering of the status quo, just as the newly constituted University Board has begun to take constructive steps to put the University on a solid path forward, is neither in the best interest of the University nor the public.

“We are very confident that this temporary injunction is just that – temporary – and will be reversed on appeal.”

Attorney General Andy Beshear challenged Bevin’s reorganization of the board, arguing that state law protected trustees from being fired without proper cause. Trustees serve for four-year terms; there were two vacancies on the board before Bevin’s executive order.

In a statement issued on Friday, Beshear called the ruling a “win” for Kentucky students, their families and the state’s public universities.

“The governor does not have ‘absolute authority’ to ignore the Constitution and Kentucky law,” Beshear said. “I will continue my job of enforcing our Constitution’s separation of powers so that no one branch of government, regardless of who leads it, has absolute power.”

Bevin’s office argued that the governor has authority to reorganize any state board while the legislature isn’t in session, and that General Assembly would have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue when it reconvenes in January.

During court proceedings, the governor’s office also argued that the overhaul was necessary to put the board back into alignment with state law that requires university boards to reflect the racial and political makeup in the state. The board had too many Democrats and too few racial minorities before the revamp. 

Junior Bridgeman, chairman of the board created by Bevin, said he doesn’t know what the implications of the ruling are. Bridgeman said he has not read the ruling and so far has only seen headlines.

“It’s not in our hands,” he said. “It’s in the governor’s or judges, or whoever. We’ll know when we know.”

Bob Hughes, a former board chair, said he is in “wait and see mode.”

“Legally this is going to have to play out as to which board is going to ultimately be the board of trustees,” said Hughes. “The main thing, regardless of which board, is that it needs to hopefully be expedited so there can be stability restored at the University of Louisville for the students, the faculty and the staff.”

Avery Kolers, U of L philosophy professor and president of the local American Association of University Professors chapter, said some faculty are looking for new jobs amid concerns that U of L will lose its reputation.

“People have lost faith that the university is going to be a major research institution or serve the community the way it’s supposed to,” Kolers said. “People who can leave, I think, many of them will.”

The decision Friday did bring hope, but Kolers said a lot of the university’s future will ride on the final outcome of the case, and whether U of L considers faculty, staff and student voices in its search for the next president.

Susan Jarosi, an associate professor of art history and vice president of the American Association of University Professors at U of L, said faculty are concerned that Bevin’s shrinking of the board of trustees will hurt its reputation, especially in relation to the University of Kentucky, the state’s other major research university.

The executive orders are also troubling because it could set a precedent that the governor could do this again or to other universities, Jarosi said.

“A lot of faculty just, including myself, just breathed a very deep side of relief that the statutory board will be back in place,” Jarosi said.

But Jarosi said she is hesitant to be too hopeful. The new board’s struggles over past few weeks have exemplified for her how hard it will be for them to transition into their new roles.

Kate Howard and Will Wright contributed to this story.

LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Hopcat, Hair Policy and Finally, Ramsey is Not U of L’s President Friday, Jul 29 2016 

The end of July 2016 will go down for a few big things in Louisville — it was the time when the giant Hopcat opened at Bardstown and Grinstead, officials argued over a hair policy at a local high school, and while it wasn’t pretty, it was the week James Ramsey was finally ousted as the U of L president. And, also, America’s Democratic Party nominated a woman, Hillary Clinton, to be President of the U.S.

2016-07-28 10.13.02Sneak Peek at Hopcat: The folks from Michigan seem to have everything figured out as they launch their $5 million restaurant in the Highlands. It opens to the public Saturday. On a preview tour, there was amazing art featuring rock and roll icons, art made from vinyl records, a wall of classic albums and a tribute to Muhammad Ali. But the most amazing site is one guests won’t see — the keg room where 132 beers will always be available on tap. More than 200 staff are ready to go. If you go, use the valet or use Uber/Lyft.

Ultimate Ouster: How long have we been dealing with trying to get rid of James Ramsey as U of L’s president? It finally happened after a seven-hour closed door meeting that most of us can’t figure out. Here’s part of the C-J’s story:

JamesRamseyBridgeman said the board rejected his proposal to serve for up to one year as interim president with his current salary and benefits. Bridgeman indicated that at one point the board considered firing Ramsey outright.

Bridgeman and the board’s lawyer said the settlement was reached in part to avoid potential litigation. Ramsey had a contract through 2020.

So why did no one on this new Board have the guts to pull the trigger on an outright firing? And does the board really think it’s worth $690,000 (2 years of salary) to avoid the possibility that Ramsey would sue the school, especially after all the money he’s earned there, and the fact that he’s still hanging on to some unclear relationship in which he’s getting paid by the U of L Foundation?

Decision-makers over at U of L seem really afraid of former employees, so much so that it seems every one that leaves employment gets a giant exit package. Was Steve Kragthorpe the last guy to get fired there?

Who’s the Racist Making Policy at Butler HS?:  A new policy at Butler seems to target African-Americans — it says cornrows, braids, twists and dreadlocks are no longer accepted on the top of students’ heads. WHAS-TV’s Renee Murphy posted a video in which she explained how her natural hair might not comply with the policy. I understand that traditional schools like Butler want to restrict student freedom, but this one goes too far. They’re having a meeting Friday and my guess is that the policy will be modified.

Idiots and Guns: Twice this week, dumb criminals stole vehicles (one a Corvette) for the purpose of ramming them into the front of a gun shop to steal firearms. WHAS-TV

RS160KevinMooreSounds of the Season: A new season at Actors Theatre is just around the corner, and I got to talk with the new managing director, Kevin Moore, just as he settled in to his new job. Also, I’ve been a long-time critic of bottled water, so I chatted with Channa Newman of the Louisville Water Co. to help affirm my theory that the industry is a farce foisted on gullible consumers who could get the same stuff for free from their faucets. Listen in:

Eatin, Drinkin, Talking: There’s plenty of interesting news over at EatDrinkTalk.net, including a discussion of the new normal in food media — Steve Coomes writes that hard-core reviews are a thing of the past, and that we’ve all gone along with the idea that being invited to soft openings and being treated to free food comes with an unsaid understanding — no harsh criticism of the food or service, since they’re letting you in on a practice run.

There are similarities, I think, to the coverage of sports, where every major event includes a nice spread of hospitality for media. No one says publicly that in exchange for the nice buffet that you won’t criticize the event, but it’s certainly a lot different than covering politics.  Media covering this week’s U of L Board Meeting, which took seven hours, meant a lot of hanging out and waiting, and the hosts would be much happier if no media showed up.

Listen to that one here:

The post LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Hopcat, Hair Policy and Finally, Ramsey is Not U of L’s President appeared first on Louisville KY.

Ramsey Leaves Top U of L Deputies With Extraordinary Perks Friday, Jul 29 2016 

The University of Louisville’s next president will be saddled with more than just baggage from James Ramsey’s tenure.

The new president will inherit Ramsey’s top deputies, many of whom were given lucrative compensation packages and perks that experts say go far beyond the norm. Ramsey’s own buyout is $690,000, but the cost of his pledges to top executives could be millions more from school coffers.

Ramsey has ensured U of L keeps — or at least keeps paying — two of his vice presidents after he’s gone, via special contract clauses tied to his exit. Meanwhile, several other administrators have contracts with extraordinary perks that would be difficult, if not impossible, for the next president to roll back.

“It’s totally inappropriate for one university president to try to dictate the way his or her successor runs the shop,” said Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, D.C.

WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting examined university contracts for eight top administrators. Among the perks afforded to the executives:

  • Two administrators have contracts that promise them a full-time salary through 2020 if they are let go within two years of Ramsey’s departure this week.
  • Five have $1,000-a-month car allowances; the athletic director gets two automobiles.
  • Seven can bring their spouses — and sometimes children — to travel on the university’s dime for official business or athletic tournaments.
  • Three were offered a full month’s base pay for relocation costs — which for one administrator could be up to $80,000 in reimbursements.
  • Seven are promised eligibility for bonuses of up to 20 percent of their base pay.
  • U of L has pledged a full ride for two administrators’ children through reimbursement for tuition, room and board and some additional costs for children attending the school. The standard offer to other staffers is tuition only.

These U of L contracts stand out among the perks typically lavished on top public university leaders, several experts told KyCIR. The total compensation alone puts U of L administrators in the upper echelon of public school executive pay — even when compared to university presidents.

Pay records show that the lowest-paid of Ramsey’s contracted deputies, William Pierce, grossed $334,000 last year, though his total compensation is likely more. U of L officials refused to disclose the payout of all employer-paid benefits, such as car allowances, country club memberships or health insurance premiums.

Meanwhile, the median base pay for public college presidents last year was about $400,000, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

University of Louisville

University of Louisville

Judith Wilde, chief operating officer for the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government, reviewed the contracts at KyCIR’s request. She said that many of the perks offered to U of L’s senior administrators wouldn’t raise eyebrows individually. But taken as a whole, she’s never seen anything like it at a public university.

“It’s the entire package that makes it really look like these people are getting much, much more than anyone else among the Kentucky public [workforce],” Wilde said.

A school spokeswoman said Ramsey, who continues to serve as president of the University of Louisville Foundation, would not grant an interview Thursday. None of the top contracted administrators responded to calls or emails for comment.

These perks are a byproduct of the “CEO-ization” of U of L’s leadership, said James Finkelstein, professor emeritus at George Mason University and an expert in university compensation.

He called it unusual for more than one or two of the leadership team outside the athletics department to be under contract. U of L has at least seven current employees under contract outside athletics.

“As presidential contracts become more sophisticated, we are beginning to see a trickle down,” he said. “In the past they simply would have had an employment letter that said, ‘As provost your salary is,’ and that would be it.”

Ramsey was under contract through 2020 but signed a settlement agreement with the U of L Board of Trustees Wednesday that voided his contract. To avoid potential litigation and move the university forward, trustees agreed to pay him a $690,000 settlement.

The university’s two newest senior administrators — vice president for strategy and general counsel Leslie Chambers Strohm, and senior vice president for finance and administration Harlan Sands — have contracts that outline termination for “good reason,” which is defined as being let go within two years of Ramsey’s departure. In that case, they’d be paid full salaries through the end of their contracts in 2020 in exchange for consulting.

Finkelstein said he’s never seen a contract payout that was so open-ended and didn’t cease once an administrator got a new job.

Sands’ contract also gave him unspecified “transition assistance” for his spouse in relocating her career to Louisville.

Neville Pinto, the former dean of engineering, was named interim provost last October. His employment agreement notes that if Pinto isn’t named permanent provost and decides not to return to his former dean role, he could work as a professor and keep his $334,000 provost base pay.

Neville Pinto pay

Vedder, an academic who examines college cost issues, also questioned why administrators without extensive travel responsibilities would need a car allowance, let alone such generous offers.

“How often does a general counsel need a car strictly for business purposes?” Vedder said. “I hope the IRS is taxing them because it’s clearly compensation for these employees.”

Strohm car allowance

While most presidential contracts include provisions to pay for spouse travel and sports tickets, they almost always specify that private dollars would cover those costs. The university contracts instead call for “departmentally budgeted funds” to be used on spouses — who aren’t state employees — to go to conferences and sports tournaments.

“That suggests their attendance is being paid for by the citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky,” Finkelstein noted.

Ramsey’s signature adorns each of the agreements with his deputies. In some cases, the employment letter dictates a bonus structure controlled by Ramsey. The three compensation experts told KyCIR that the Ramsey-offered bonuses of 15 to 20 percent were unusually high.

Among the contracts and employment agreements reviewed: interim provost Neville Pinto, CFO Harlan Sands, vice president for university advancement Keith Inman, interim executive vice president for health affairs Gregory Postel, general counsel Leslie Chambers Strohm, athletic director Tom Jurich, executive vice president for research William Pierce. Executive vice president David Dunn’s contract is expired and he’s on paid leave while under FBI investigation, but university officials continue to honor the contract’s terms.

Documents show Ramsey also instructed some administrators to bring their requests for spouse travel reimbursement directly to him.

“These contracts give the president of the university enormous discretion and latitude in negotiating the terms of employment for those people who directly report to him,” Finkelstein said. “That kind of ability to reward can buy loyalty.”

Vedder said it appears Ramsey tried to determine the next university president’s cabinet.

“The terms are so onerous that it becomes extremely costly to change the leadership at the top,” Vedder said.

Under Ramsey, U of L had filed for more patents, seen its endowment grow and joined the Atlantic Coast Conference. It also moved to invest in and develop real estate as a way to offset stagnant state funding.

But Ramsey’s tenure has been beset by scandal and controversy in recent years. He faced intense scrutiny for his hefty compensation and dual roles as U of L president and head of its billion-dollar foundation, which pays a portion of his salary, as well as bonuses and deferred compensation.

David Dunn, U of L’s executive vice president for health affairs, is on paid administrative leave while he’s under FBI investigation for possible misuse of federal funds. The NCAA is investigating the men’s basketball program over allegations a former employee paid for strippers and sex for players and recruits. And in 2014, a handful of university officials went to prison on charges of fraud and embezzlement that totaled more than $7 million in university funds.

Kate Howard can be reached at khoward@kycir.org and (502) 814.6546. 

This story was reported by WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Disclosure: In October 2014, the University of Louisville, which for years has donated to Louisville Public Media, earmarked $10,000 to KyCIR as part of a larger LPM donation. Former trustee Stephen Campbell has donated to KyCIR.

Jane Ramsey: Ex-U of L President Deserves Better Thursday, Jul 28 2016 

Former University of Louisville President James Ramsey has been fairly quiet since the Board of Trustees accepted his offer to resign Wednesday night.

Ramsey was paid a $690,000 settlement to avoid potential litigation. His contract included a non-disparagement provision, which stated he not “say or do anything that would diminish or disparage the reputation or professionalism” of U of L.

But some members of James Ramsey’s family are being more outspoken.

At the family’s home on Thursday, his wife, Jane, said she’s not happy with how she believes U of L treated her husband at the end of his tenure as president. She said her husband has done a lot for the school.

“I don’t think they were very appreciative or realize how much he has done,” she said. “But I can’t be too upset because he gets paid for two years and he doesn’t have to work.”

The embattled former president has made only one comment since the news of his departure. That statement came in a news release Thursday afternoon announcing Ramsey would continue his work on the U of L Foundation — the entity that manages the university’s endowment. It’s also been the primary source of Ramsey’s pay for the past several years.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as university president over the last 14 years,” Ramsey said in the statement released through his lawyer, Steve Pence. “[My wife] Jane and I are proud of the progress the school has made and grateful to all within the university community for their support over the years.”

Daughter Jenny Ramsey said Thursday that while some people questioned the amount of power her father held as president, she thinks he earned it and will continue to have “some pretty significant control over what goes on at the school” through his continued work at the U of L Foundation.

“When you’re the person that’s there at 3:30 in the morning, you’re at activities ’til 10 o’clock at night and you are the one that truly knows what’s going on, then you deserve to have that much power because you’re the one that’s there working,” she said.

As president, Ramsey headed a $1 billion capital campaign, tripled the number of on-campus students and increased the graduation rate. Yet, his tenure is also marked by employee embezzlement, financial fraud and the more recent sex scandal involving the men’s basketball team.

Jane and Jenny Ramsey both said they are unhappy with the attention paid to the scandals.

“With a school that size and that many employees, I think they’ve done very well with the amount of trouble they’ve had with the employees,” Jane Ramsey said.

Along with a change in president, the university is also facing a recent change in its Board of Trustees, with 10 new members appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin. Jane said this change in leadership, combined with many positions currently being filled by interim appointments, doesn’t leave many experienced university leaders.

“Only two people [on the board] have an affiliation with U of L,” she said. “The rest of them have probably never been on campus before. They knew nothing about the academics. They knew nothing about the school. It was just, ‘Get rid of Jim. Get rid of Jim.’ That was the main mission.”

JCPS Dress Code Policy Draws Ire From Parents, Students Thursday, Jul 28 2016 

Cassia Herron braided her daughter’s hair in to cornrows Wednesday night as the two watched President Barack Obama on TV address the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in Philadeplhia.

It was a powerful moment, Herron said, to see the country’s first African American president give a speech to a crowd of delegates who earlier this week nominated Hillary Clinton as the first woman ever to represent a major political party as a presidential candidate.

Then, Herron logged on to social media.

Online, she saw a storm of posts criticizing the dress code of Butler Traditional High School. The code bans dreadlocks, twists, braids and cornrows — the very hairstyle she’d just given to her own daughter, Bella, a Jefferson County fifth grader.

Herron and other parents, students and residents are blasting the dress code, calling it racist for it’s intent to ban natural hairstyles worn by African American students.

Superintendent Donna Hargens. said the policy is under review by district administration. Hargens said the policy appears to exclude certain groups of students.

“That obviously concerns me,” she said.

William Allen, principal of Butler Traditional High School, is calling a special meeting for Friday to discuss the school’s dress code.

The social media firestorm was sparked by a tweet from Kentucky state Representative-elect Attica Scott. Scott’s daughter, Ashanti, attends Butler High. Upon learning of the policy at her daughter’s school, Scott took to Twitter to disavow the policy. She held a press conference Thursday alongside her daughter and other Jefferson County Public School students.

Scott said she wants the policy at Butler and other, similar, policies she considers rooted in institutional racism to be suspended from all district schools.

“I don’t want our kids’ hair to be policed,” she said.

Hargens said all district schools have been instructed to review their dress code policies. Such policies are approved by school-based decision making councils. Hargens said those policies must adhere to district policy.

The district-wide student code of conduct does not specifically mention acceptable hair style or length.

Ashanti Scott, who will be a sophomore when school begins next month, said her school’s dress code suggests the notion naturally styled African American hair is “not clean or not neat,” due to the policy’s language mandating all hair to be “clean and neat” while also banning certain styles worn by many African American students.

The policy suggests such styles are “extreme” and “distracting.” Yet Ashanti considers herself a standout student — she’s on the A and B honor roll.

“My hair doesn’t affect my grades, it doesn’t have anything to do with my grades,” she said.

For Herron, the idea of a school system trying to control her children’s sense of identity is upsetting.

As she drove her young daughter to day camp Thursday morning, she tried to explain there are certain schools that won’t allow her to wear the cornrows she’d got just the night before.

Her daughter asked why, but Herron, who wears her hair in a tall Afro with trimmed sides, couldn’t answer.

James Ramsey intends to remain as president of UofL Foundation Thursday, Jul 28 2016 

James Ramsey

One day after James Ramsey resigned as president of the University of Louisville, effective immediately, Ramsey issued a statement indicating he intends to stay on as president of the UofL Foundation, the university’s nonprofit that has shelled out the bulk of his multi-million dollar annual compensation in recent years. “I intend to continue my service to the University […]

UofL Board of Trustees accepts President James Ramsey’s resignation, effective immediately Wednesday, Jul 27 2016 

UofL President James Ramsey spoke with reporters after leaving Wednesday's Faculty Senate meeting | Photo by Joe Sonka

University of Louisville President James Ramsey and Board of Trustees chairman Junior Bridgeman presented to the board on Wednesday the conditions in which Ramsey would resign from office, and after more than six hours in closed executive session, the trustees accepted his resignation. Though one of the conditions sought by Ramsey was that he be hired back […]

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