LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man now leading the University of Louisville says it has been a "whirlwind" since taking over.

Dr. Neville Pinto talked to the media for the first time since being named the school's acting president. He says he was actually on vacation when he got the life-changing phone call.

"And I was informed that in my role as interim provost that I was now the acting president of the university," Pinto said, adding: "Needless to say, that changed my plans for that week and I got busy."

Pinto admits it was all overwhelming at first but says he is very excited. He started at U of L in 2011 as the dean of engineering, and now he will head a university that has had some great success but also some bumps in the road.

Pinto says he has a great relationship with former President James Ramsey and shared part of their last conversation.

"I talked to him on the phone, immediately after he resigned, just to understand sort of what the main issues were because I was the acting president and he was very supportive of me as the acting president and expressed his interest in the continuing success of the university."

Pinto came to the university in 2011 as dean of engineering and now as acting president, his challenge is to lead the University after several scandals including allegations of strippers, prostitutes and basketball recruits and recently -- even two boards of trustees.

"There is a difference of opinion the composition of the board and how we should move forward," Pinto said. "That is in our legal system and the legal system decides that."

Pinto says he is focused on doing what's best for students; we asked if he wants the job permanently.

"That's not something that I am thinking about right now," Pinto said. "Right now, I am thinking about moving this university forward."

Former president Dr. James Ramsey resigned last week but in an exclusive interview says he wants to keep his role as head of the U of L Foundation.

"I would like to continue as president of the Foundation, we have some incredible projects and opportunities to move the college forward," Ramsey said. 

Now as a voting member, Dr. Pinto will help decide his former boss' future.

He explained, "I am committed to making decisions that are good for the university of Louisville, so I will react as things develop...but I will always keep the University's interests primary."


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