New UofL Foundation Chairman says lawsuit not necessary or productive

Every day is Game Day at the University of Louisville for Brucie Moore whose first challenge as the new Chairman of the UofL Foundation is the threat of a lawsuit from the UofL Board of Trustees.

Moore, who succeeded Bob Hughes in the role last Friday, said she didn’t believe “a legal lawsuit between the Trustees and the Foundation is necessary or productive.” She said the Foundation has approved the addition of two new personnel to help respond to numerous open records’ requests and intends to be as transparent as possible.

Larry Benz and Mark Lynn during Foundation board meeting Friday.
Larry Benz and Mark Lynn during Foundation board meeting Friday.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Moore is from Waverly in Union County where she serves as County Attorney/Prosecutor. She obtained her law degree from the University of Memphis. She also serves on the UofL Board of Trustees.

“My heart is with this University,” she told reporters. “As I walk around this campus, I see the students, I see the faculty and staff. It’s Game Day every day on this campus. This University has been here over 200 years. We’ve had a rocky few months but every major university responds to challenges, and we’re going to move forward.”

Moore said she was in favor of a forensic accounting of Foundation records, something “that means a lot of different things to different people. This Foundation has grown so much so quickly that we need to get our arms around this process.”

She believes the audit should be a joint effort between the Foundation and the University. “All members of the Board of Trustees are welcome to have input into the process, including the naming of the accounting firm.”

Moore was appointed to the UofL Board of Trustees in 2008 by then Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. According to the Courier-Journal, Moore has given at least $71,745 in campaign donations since 1998, including $4,000 to Beshear; $1,000 to Beshear’s son, Andrew; and $1,240 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.

According to sources, Gov. Beshear, a University of Kentucky grad, wanted to scuttle the UofL Foundation, and fold the organization under the auspices of the Board of Trustees. All recent Beshear appointments appear to be leaning in that direction.

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Last Friday, Jim Ramsey stepped down as President of the Foundation and Bob Hughes agreed to relinquish his chairmanship in the interest of the University and to promote harmony between the two organizations.

No indications as yet of any reciprocal actions from Larry Benz or Craig Greenberg, members of the Board of Trustees who led the attacks against Ramsey and the Foundation.

The Trustees will meet Thursday to consider nominations, the Foundation on Friday to consider requests for proposals to conduct the comprehensive audit.

UofL rewards Jim Ramsey for phenomenal leadership

Those of us enthralled with the unparalleled growth at the University of Louisville campus over the past decade never want James Ramsey to retire. The accomplishments during his UofL presidency have been extraordinary, and they just keep coming.

James Ramsey
James Ramsey

In the past academic year alone, the University has entered the Atlantic Coast Conference, completed the construction of a $37 million student recreation center, and successfully completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign, among other breakthroughs.

Since he took the post in 2002, UofL has boosted its graduation rate by more than 60 percent, admitted freshmen classes that are more academically gifted each year, recognized more Fulbright scholars than any other state school, and doubled the number of students living on campus.

On Friday, the UofL Foundation voted unanimously to increase Ramsey’s salary by four percent of his Foundation salary and two percent of his University salary. His annual salary as of June 30, 2014, was $624,000 and included $342,930 in university funds plus $281,070 from the privately-funded Foundation.

Hopefully he keeps some of that money for himself this time around. In the past, Ramsey has given nearly $1 million back to the university in the form of outright donations and by giving up bonuses and pay raises. If he were in the private sector heading a similar-sized corporation with such accomplishments, Ramsey would be making five or six times his annual salary at UofL.

Here’s an update from Dr. Ramsey on some recent milestones: