Embattled U of L Foundation Board takes steps toward reform
It raises millions of dollars for the University of Louisville, but there are serious questions about how the U of L Foundation uses that money.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It raises millions of dollars for the University of Louisville, but there are serious questions about how the U of L Foundation uses that money.
The Foundation Board on Friday took steps it hopes will answer those questions.
Following a nearly two-hour closed-door meeting, the Board approved a committee to oversee the hiring of an accounting firm to audit the Foundation's Finances.
The committee is comprised of members of both the Foundation Board and U of L's Board of Trustees.
"The most important thing is that it's going to be a nationally recognized, independent accounting firm that is going to conduct an audit that, hopefully, will satisfy every question," said Foundation Board Chair Brucie Moore.
The university, not the Foundation, will hire the firm.
The board of trustees had passed a resolution threatening to sue the Foundation if it did not agree to reforms, including an independent audit.
Trustee chairman Larry Benz says he's satisfied.
"I believe I will be able to make a recommendation to the trustees at the next meeting to rescind that resolution," said Benz.
The Foundation Board is also hiring an executive director to replace former U of L President James Ramsey, who was also president of the Foundation until he resigned last week.
"I'm here for one purpose and one purpose only: to assure the confidence in the Foundation and in the university to our major stakeholders," said Moore.
There are many questions that must be answered, including how millions of dollars was paid to university staffers, including Ramsey, without approval from either the trustees or the Foundation Board.
"We're absolutely going to have answers to those from the audit," Moore told reporters.
"I feel content and committed to fulfilling the obligation that we have to clean up all of this accounting and all of the governance issues surrounding the Foundation," said Benz.
The board also approved a committee to examine the Foundation's governance, with an eye towards reorganization.
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