Reassuring to see three of the community’s most influential leaders reaffirm their support for Jim Ramsey as the University of Louisville President in a letter to the Courier-Journal on Monday. Shouldn’t have been necessary in light of what has been accomplished at UofL under his leadership since 2002.
The letter was signed by Jim Patterson, founder of Rally’s and Long John Silver’s, David Jones, Sr., co-founder of Humana, Inc. and Bill Stone, president of Louisville Plate Glass. All three have served as members of UofL boards and have been active in many leadership roles in the community. They cited some examples of UofL’s progress during Ramsey’s administration:
— More Fulbright scholars than Harvard.
— Record ACT scores.
— 5,000 students living on campus.
— Admission into the exclusive Atlantic Coast Conference.
— A vastly expanded campus.
— A foundation worth $1 billion.
Some of these accomplishments were considered totally unrealistic when Ramsey was named President. They have been accompanied by major capital projects and beautification efforts while the University has assumed a dynamic leadership role in the community.
“Jim Ramsey has been the driving force behind this record growth of the most meaningful asset in our community, our hometown university,” they wrote, while acknowledging the university has some issues, as does “any complex organization with thousands of employees and hundreds of departments.”
The reason for the letter stems from criticism of Ramsey by Steve Wilson, a member of the Board of Trustees who has called for an audit of the University of Louisville Foundation, suggesting that the foundation should be administered by the university.
Jim Patterson, the major benefactor for the University of Louisville baseball stadium, obviously had some concerns about his team’s offensive prowess during the NCAA Louisville Regional. Not a happy camper in the press box watching Louisville lose 3-2 to Vanderbilt. His wife, Dot, was not happy either.
When the highlight of an evening at a baseball game is meeting the manÂ in the stadium that bears his name, one has to have been looking high and low for the positive in the University of Louisville’s 8-4 loss to Vanderbilt.
Jim Patterson was at Jim Patterson Field, agonizing with fellow U of L fans about lethargic hitting and inadequate fielding in a drawn-out affair that consumed three hours and 15 minutes. The observer thanked the man for the umpteenth time for his generous gift (the stadium opened in 2005), then returned to his seat for some harsh reality.
The Cards played like the observer felt after missing his Sunday afternoon nap, groggy, going through the motions, a step off here, a slow reaction there, a team of sleepwalkers with little sense of direction. An unnecessarily long second inning set the tone for the evening. Vanderbilt capitalizing on painful-to-watch errors by John Dao and Chris Dominguez mixing in four singles with a bevy of bunts and bobbles .
U of L partisans were forced to keep reminding themselves that this was a powerful Louisville team, capable of offensive fireworks, that fact keeping the majority of the 4,006 fans in the park through the bottom of the ninth.
A eerily quiet game,Â the silence interrupted only by a tiny but rowdy group of Vanderbilt fans (they don’t travel well) with their S-E-C chants and stomping on the metal bleachers. Nowhere near enough noise to wake up the slumping Louisville bats.