Click on photo to link to the KET interview between Billy Reed and J. David Grissom.

In a rare interview, J. David Grissom, chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, spoke with sports analyst Billy Reed, a former local columnist and national sportswriter, for an hour, discussing Grissom’s role and aspirations for the school.  

Grissom, a former athlete and close follower of amateur and professional sports, may have helped to dispel the notion that he wants to diminish UofL athletics while taking the opportunity to emphasize a desire to see Louisville greatly enhance its  academic programs and reputation. 

With all the emotions tied to the school’s future, Grissom was never going to relieve the anxieties of many alumni members or fans, but it was a relief to finally hear him discussing some of the issues.

Grissom, who earned a law degree at UofL, said that despite the fact that faculty and staff salaries have remained stagnant for the past decade,  the passion and commitment of those same people to the University is extraordinary.  

“The old girl (the University) has taken a couple of body blows but there’s clearly a path toward restoring the reputation of the University of Louisville to the way it was in the past,” said Grissom. “It’s going to take a very strong leader, that person has to come from academia to understand the a big urban research university works, with all kinds of different priorities and constituencies.”

Grissom observed that schools like the University of Louisville are like big aircraft carriers . “They just keep on chugging, with a reservoir of good will and momentum on their own,” he said.

“The donor base fell off during the administrative problems but it’s already back to where it was, and the applications during the freshman class of next year are up 60 percent” he added.  “These places have wonderful resiliency and an ability to get their arms around themselves and solve their problems. This place (UofL) is on its way and it will get to a place where we are all proud to be graduates of this institution. 

“I’m a big believer and a big supporter, and she (UofL) is going to be just fine.”

Link to the entire interview

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “Someone finally gets David Grissom to discuss aspirations for UofL”
  1. What a farce. Not sure if he’s the ringmaster or Bevin but he’s still the face of The Clown Show.

  2. Feel much better about the future of the University…had good vibes…..thanks to both men for an interesting interview..

    1. Thanks, Bill. The interview was long overdue and much needed. May have come too late for many people who have made their minds up about Grissom because he had not made himself available. Most of his successes have been in private business where he did not have to answer to the public. He’s pretty sharp, however, and has probably learned a lot from this experience. The unfortunate thing about the interview being on KET is that the public broadcasting station has a limited audience. On the other hand, that audience consists of many large donors and could engender renewed financial support from some movers and shakers. Grissom seemed to be surprised about the passion for UofL from faculty and staff. The passion is felt just as deeply, if not more so, by many others in the community whose contributions and ticket purchases often require individual and family sacrifices. Grissom could help his own cause by communicating more effectively with the broader community.

  3. No hardball questions by Reed at all. Next time somebody interviews Grissom they need to ask about his breaking regarding the state open meetings laws? Or what he expects of the new President regarding fund raising? How about the BOT lack of transparency? That’s just a few hard balls Grissom could have been asked. Instead what he got was Billy Reed gushing, over Grissom’s every word. To coin a phrase Grissom missed his true calling. He could have been one heck of a ” Snake Oil Salesman”. Just my opinion of course, along with many other members of the UL comunity!

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