UPDATE: University of Louisville Foundation committee meeting ca - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UPDATE: University of Louisville Foundation committee meeting canceled

Posted: Updated:
U of L Foundation President James Ramsey U of L Foundation President James Ramsey

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The special University of Louisville Foundation meeting set for Labor Day has been called off because of concerns raised by the U of L Board of Trustees. 

The executive committee Foundation’s Board of Directors were supposed to hold the extremely rare meeting on the federal holiday at 5 p.m. amid speculation that foundation President James Ramsey could resign, perhaps in exchange for a payout from the organization.

The agenda for the meeting included a closed-door session to discuss a personnel issue.

The committee was set to consider issuing a bid for auditing firms to examine the foundation’s books only a few days after one of its major donors demanded an independent review of the organization’s questionable spending.

Dr. Robert Hughes, the foundation’s chairman, did not return calls on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

On Saturday – before the special meeting was called – Hughes said “no comment” when asked about the possibility of a buyout for Ramsey from the foundation post.

U of L spokesman John Karman referred questions to Hughes.

Ramsey is under contract with the foundation through 2020, but because he resigned the university presidency on July 29, the foundation can terminate him immediately with no financial consequences.

Ramsey has said he’d like to continue as foundation president to wrap up some real estate projects, and one foundation board member encouraged him to stay on at a meeting in June.

The vast majority of Ramsey’s compensation has come from the foundation, which is the custodian of donations to the university and the manager of its $680 million endowment.

In 2012, Ramsey’s total compensation from the foundation was $3.2 million; followed by $1.8 million in 2013 and $2.8 million in 2014, according to the organization’s public tax returns.

A no-strings-attached resignation by Ramsey would not require the foundation board to meet, but a buyout or settlement that involves money would require a board action.

The foundation’s executive committee includes five of its 15 board members and is generally empowered to act on behalf of the full board. However the committee does not have the power to “remove” Ramsey, who is an "officer" of the foundation, according to the board’s bylaws.

Hughes, a longtime Ramsey ally, remains on the foundation board only because of a judge’s order temporarily blocking Gov. Matt Bevin’s abolition of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Bevin’s lawyers are asking the Kentucky Court of Appeals to overturn that order in the coming weeks – a move that would put Bevin’s chosen board back in power and result in Hughes and three other current trustees losing their foundation board seats.

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