“I could not be more excited to be joining you today,”- former Towson University president Dr. Kim Schatzel begins first day as U of L president Thursday, Feb 2 2023 

By Joe Wilson 

February 1st marks a change not only in Grawemeyer Hall but across campus as Dr. Kim Schatzel began her first day as the 19th president of the University of Louisville.

The U of L Board of Trustees first announced Schatzel’s appointment in November 2022, concluding a nearly year-long search for a permanent president after the departure of Neeli Bendapudi in December 2021.

Dr. Lori Stewart Gonzales served as the University’s interim president since Bendapudi’s departure. She now returns to her role as Executive Vice President and University Provost.

Keeping her eyes and ears opening

“I could not be more excited to be joining you today,” Schatzel said in her first public statement since assuming her new role. “I look forward to meeting with each of you in the days, months, and yes, even years to come as we support each other and work together toward U of L’s very bright future.”

Schatzel plans to hold a listening tour later this month to gather input from the university’s students, staff, and faculty. Schatzel will hold the first listening session on February 8th at the Student Activities Center (SAC). Students from the Belknap campus are invited to register for the event on the president’s website. Additional listening tour dates are planned for staff and faculty later this month

Prior to her arrival at U of L, Schatzel was president of Towson University. She also previously served as provost of Eastern Michigan University, and Dean of the College of Business at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

In the coming months, this article will be updated with information related to the initial weeks of her tenure, as well as details of her listening tour. 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal //

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U of L Dining hosts “Late Night Breakfast” event in preparation for finals week Tuesday, Dec 6 2022 

By Tate Luckey

It’s BACK! U of L Dining once again served a packed house during their 2022 Late Night Breakfast, sponsored by the SRC and SAC. From 8-10, students came in droves to fill up their plate(s) with donuts, fruit, french toast sticks, bacon, eggs, waffles, chicken tenders, and pancakes. Peanut butter/chocolate and mixed berry smoothies were provided, too.

File Photos // Tate Luckey, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Men’s basketball avoids postseason ban in NCAA IARP ruling Thursday, Nov 3 2022 

By Tate Luckey 

After five years, five coaches, four university presidents, three athletic directors, and lots of questions, the Louisville men’s basketball program received the details of its punishment from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP). The IARP is responsible for reviewing select complex infraction cases within Division I. Their Nov. 3 decision detailed what penalties the University would face for its alleged involvement with Adidas and improper recruiting practices.

The Penalties

In May of 2020, the NCAA accused U of L of committing a Level I violation dating back to 2017, in which Adidas recruited Brian Bowen in part by paying his family $100,000 if he attended U of L , and then signed with Adidas after going pro. There are additional Level II violations, that can be found here.

The IARP panel could not find sufficient proof Adidas was acting in U of L’s interests, or that the University played any role in Adidas’s actions.

According to the 105-page decision, the NCAA argued that former head coach Rick Pitino was “too strict on compliance for it to be effective.” The IARP rejected the argument, stating Pitino had fostered an adequate atmosphere of compliance.

Major penalties include a $5,000 fine, a two-week ban on unofficial visits during the 2022-2023 academic year, a seven-day reduction in recruiting days for the 2022-2023 academic year, and a two-year probationary period, in which Louisville is to develop a “comprehensive educational program on NCAA legislation designed to instruct…with recruiting responsibility.” Former head coach Chris Mack also avoids any punishment.

The full list can be found here. IARP decisions cannot be appealed.

“A step in the right direction”

U of L Athletic Director Josh Heird emphasized in a press conference Thursday to “not forget [the impact] the allegations have had on the fanbase.” He and Interim President Lori Gonzalez are focused on moving past this era of athletics, instead focusing on rebuilding the enthusiasm of the fanbase. Both consider this outcome a check off of the many items on their to-do list.

“If you’re a U of L fan and don’t feel better after today, then I’m not sure you’re a fan,” Heird said.

“You can’t forget the last five years- the millions of dollars that have been spent, the millions of dollars the program has lost, and opportunities that have been lost for our athletes to compete. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter.”

Students, alumni, and fans alike can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that this era of Louisville Basketball can finally be pushed behind them.

So…will that 2013 banner be raised?

When the IARP’s penalties were revealed Thursday morning, reactions from fans were swift. Former player and current Cleveland Cavalier Donovan Mitchell sent “BANNER UP” on his social media, and Barstool Cards tweeted a simple “Hang it.

But with this case finally resolved, does that mean anything for this important piece of University of Louisville sports history?

For context, the 2013 title was vacated due to a separate 2017 investigation that uncovered a stripper and sex-related scandal involving former players, former director of basketball operations Andre McGee, and Pitino. The now Iona Gaels head coach stated in a Zoom call Thursday that he believes in the character of the NCAA, and that the vacated 2013 National Championship banner will be hung again.

“You cannot take championships away. We won the 2013 championship. If the IARP was involved in looking at that case, that banner would still be hanging today,” he said.

“I’m not going to make any promises, but if there’s an opportunity to do something along those lines, we’re going to do it,” Heird said. “I’d have to have more conversations with the NCAA- it’s not as simple as rolling down to the arena and raising it.”

This is a breaking story, and as such will be updated.

File Photos // GoCards.com //

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Class of 2020 Honored With New Pavilion Thursday, Oct 13 2022 

By Anthony Riley–

Honoring the class of 2020, UofL dedicated a new space on campus Tuesday afternoon. Located in front of the Belknap Academic Building, the new pavilion features sitting areas and landscaping features.

”We hope our Class of 2020 will come back here to celebrate, to shoot a group photo, photos with families and remember that although they didn’t get commencement, their accomplishments were important to us,” said interim university president Lori Gonzalez.

The new pavilion has been completed since the start of the fall 2022 semester.

Photos by Anthony Riley//The Louisville Cardinal.

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U of L presidential search committee seeks input from community Thursday, May 12 2022 

By Joe Wilson —

On May 11, the U of L presidential search committee held a listening session to get community input on the university’s next president.

Jim Rogers and Alice Houston, two members of the search committee, hosted the event in the Chao Auditorium. They asked attendees about the traits, characteristics and skills they would hope to see in the next president.

Houston, explaining the importance of the community’s involvement in the presidential search, said: “We all know that great communities have great institutions as part of their foundations,” Houston said

Attendees said the next president should have research experience. In February 2022, U of L was named a Carnegie R1 Research Institution. Dr. Fran Hardin-Fanning, a professor at the School of Nursing, explained her wish that U of L remain distinguished in research. “I think it’s important that the person who will be overseeing all of the research activity at the University of Louisville be very much aware of the barriers that we face, as well as the facilitators that have been very successful in moving us forward,” she said.

The presidential search process began in December 2021 after President Neeli Bendapudi announced her move to Penn State University, where she currently serves as president. Since Bendapudi’s departure, Lori Gonzalez has served as U of L’s interim president.

The committee has held separate listening sessions for faculty, staff and students. They plan to use this feedback to create a leadership statement and job description for the presidency.

The committee will meet with candidates over the Summer and submit their recommendation to the Board of Trustees in the Fall. The school expects to announce the presidential appointment in November.

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U of L Strategic Plan update shows improvements in diversity, investment Wednesday, Feb 23 2022 

By Joe Wilson — 

On Feb. 22, U of L published an update to its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, outlining the progress the university has made in improving education, employment and investment.

The Strategic Plan Implementation Report cites changes made at the university in 2020-2021, year two of the overall strategic plan.

Among its many developments, the report highlights changes to the university intended to attract a talented and diverse student body. The report touts new academic programs such as a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies, which will be offered beginning in Fall 2022. Additionally, the report announced that enrollment in U of L’s online programs for fall 2021 increased by nearly 20 percent compared to the previous year. The report also mentions that students from Southwest Ohio are now eligible for in-state tuition.

Other achievements noted in the report include an increase in the undergraduate graduation rate from 43 percent to 61.6 percent over the past 15 years. The report further praises U of L for producing more Fulbright scholars than any other Kentucky public higher education institution. 

The report also provides an update to the university’s commitment to make U of L a better workplace. UofL’s progress in making the workplace more diverse and equitable is shown by pointing to the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) handbook and implementing mandatory DEI training for employees. The report additionally notes that the university has offered sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses and adjusted minimum qualifications for 42 job positions that have been difficult to fill.

Finally, the Strategic Plan report outlines improvements in investment at U of L. With the goal of increasing innovative research and productivity, the report highlights the $23.4 million increase in annual research expenditures compared to the 2018 baseline. The Strategic Plan update also notes the $61.8 million in total donations to U of L’s academic and athletic programs in 2021.

Originally announced in 2018 by former University President Neeli Bendapudi, U of L’s 2019-22 Strategic Plan was created to generate recommendations from faculty, staff and students to strengthen the university’s mission, vision and values.

“We are 7,000+ employees strong – each offering their personal and professional gifts to a vital ecosystem that creates thriving futures for our students, our community and our society. The gratitude I feel for all who commit their time and talent to our university’s success cannot be overstated,” said Interim President Lori Gonzalez. “Looking ahead, I am excited about a strong finish to the current Strategic Plan. Our Cardinal Community is laying the groundwork for sustainable success.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L names Provost Lori Gonzalez as Interim University President Monday, Dec 13 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The U of L board of trustees conducted a special meeting this morning at 8:30 a.m. to appoint Lori Gonzalez as Interim University President. The decision comes after the university announced Thursday that President Neeli Bendapudi would be leaving U of L to serve as President at Penn State University.

Gonzalez, who has served as executive vice president and university provost (EVPUP) since April of this year, discussed her enthusiasm in a statement to the Cardinal Community. “Since I arrived to Louisville in April to serve as executive vice president and provost, I have come to appreciate even more how special our institution is. Our students pursue their studies with passion and enthusiasm; our faculty invest time and wisdom into sharing their knowledge and dedication to the mission; our staff take great pride in supporting our mission and our students and faculty; and our supporters are passionate about their Cardinal institution.”

Gonzalez also expressed her optimism about where the university is headed. “Our university has tremendous momentum. We thank President Bendapui for her leadership in moving us forward. All strong organizations evolve, as the University of Louisville has done for more than 223 years. We are defined by our Cardinal Principles, by our actions and by our compassion for one another, not by any one individual and certainly not by others.”

Gonzalez joined the university as EVPUP after serving as vice chancellor for academic, faculty and student affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Photo Courtesy // University of Louisville

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Vaccines could become mandatory on campus Thursday, Oct 21 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

COVID-19 vaccines might soon be mandatory across campus.  The University of Louisville announced on Oct. 21 that they would be evaluating a vaccine requirement for all federal contractors to determine their next steps.  It could mean all students, faculty and staff at U of L must be vaccinated

“The university was recently informed that the federal government’s requirement for all federal contractors and covered contractors to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will apply to the university,” the email announcement said. “Because the university has numerous federal contracts that we depend on for our operation, we are seriously evaluating these requirements.”

The email came from Provost Lori Stewart Gonzalez. She said she would inform the campus community once additional information is received. It was also signed by Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation Kevin Gardner, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students Michael Mardis, Human Resources Vice President Mary Miles, Executive Director of Campus Health Services Phillip Bressoud, and Chief Operating Officer Mark Watkins.

The group continues to encourage vaccinations.

They closed the email by thanking those who are working to keep the campus community safe from COVID-19.

“We thank Campus Health Services, the Contact Tracing Team and the Business Operations COVID Support Team for the work they have dedicated toward the university’s COVID-19 response. And we thank you, Cardinal Family, for getting vaccinated not only for yourself and loved ones but also for your fellow Cardinals and the community at large. The vaccines are safe, effective and our best tool for fighting against the pandemic.”

Those interested in getting vaccinated can go to U of L’s COVID-19 protocols page for more information.

File Graphic//The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L reaches vaccination goal; resists easing restrictions Thursday, Sep 16 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

U of L recently surpassed its 80 percent vaccination rate goal but has decided to keep certain health precautions in place.

Originally, the 80 percent goal was set to serve as a checkpoint for easing restrictions related to COVID-19, including the mask mandate for public, indoor spaces reimplemented on Aug. 9. The university has changed course and decided to keep the mask mandate in place, citing increased transmission numbers in the Jefferson County area and CDC guidance related to the transmissibility of the virus.

“Additionally, our university’s public health experts tell us higher percentages of vaccination rates across campus should be reached for optimal herd immunity,” said Executive Vice President and University Provost (EVPUP) Lori Stewart Gonzalez.

Gonzalez also said the university will closely monitor the situation and will update us when they have deemed it appropriate to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Pop-up vaccination sites on campus will continue tomorrow, Sept. 17, in the Bingham Humanities lobby from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for students, faculty and staff to continue getting vaccinated. The pop-up sites will take a pause next week but will continue again starting Sept. 27., although individuals can still get vaccinated at the Health Sciences Center (HSC) Campus Health Center during that time. The locations and times of the university’s pop-up sites can be found here.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L to host pop-up vaccine centers on campus Wednesday, Sep 1 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The U of L Campus Health team is starting pop-up vaccination sites across campus this week to increase the university-wide vaccination rate to 80%. The vaccination rate currently sits at 66.2% for students and 70% for faculty and staff, based on the most recent data provided by U of L.

The pop-up sites will continue until the 80% vaccination rate goal is achieved, with locations and times of the sites updated weekly. This week’s schedule is included below:

“Any Cardinal who gets vaccinated at one of these events will receive a free university swag item and a voucher to use at campus restaurants and cafes (approximately $10 value),” said Executive Vice President and University Provost Lori Gonzalez.

Those who have already been vaccinated are able to present their vaccination card and ID at the pop-up sites to also receive a prize.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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