University of Louisville leaders at odds over special audit of nonprofit foundation
The leaders of the University of Louisville and its affiliated foundation are at odds over the scope and oversight of a special audit of the foundation’s finances. Larry Benz, chairman of the U of L board of trustees, is threatening to sue the foundation if it does not agree to a “forensic” audit by a firm chosen by the university trustees.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The leaders of the University of Louisville and its affiliated foundation are at odds over the scope and oversight of a special audit of the foundation’s finances.
Larry Benz, chairman of the U of L board of trustees, is threatening to sue the foundation if it does not agree to a “forensic” audit by a firm chosen by the university trustees.
But Brucie Moore, a trustee who became chairwoman of the foundation board on Sept. 16, said during a trustees meeting Thursday that she refuses to be “bullied” by Benz into agreeing to the trustees’ audit terms.
Moore has said she wants the foundation board to issue the bid for the auditor contract and that she plans to appoint a foundation committee – which would include Benz, who is also a foundation director – to oversee the selection.
She has said the audit will be “comprehensive” but has avoided using the “forensic” terminology favored by the other trustees.
The foundation is a separate nonprofit that oversees U of L’s $681 million endowment. Its stewardship of funds – including multi-million-dollar payments to administrators – has come into question the last two years.
Two major donors have said they won’t give any more to the foundation until it completes a special audit.
Moore, the county attorney in Union County, acknowledged during the meeting Thursday that she voted in favor of the trustee board demanding a “forensic” audit overseen by the university -- including authorizing a potential lawsuit against the foundation to make that happen.
“Things have changed since then,” Moore said, referring to the Sept. 9 meeting.
Trustee Craig Greenberg accused Moore of “thumbing your nose” at the board by not following through with its intentions.
But Moore said the trustees demanding a thorough audit of the foundation should be patient.
“You guys need to tune it down and let us do the work,” Moore said
It’s all coming to a head on Friday when the foundation board is scheduled to meet and consider how to proceed with the audit.
The board will also consider hiring an interim director of the foundation to replace James Ramsey, the former university president who resigned as president of the foundation on Sept. 16.
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