U of L Board of Trustees case headed to Kentucky Supreme Court - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L Board of Trustees case headed to Kentucky Supreme Court

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Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – State leaders are voicing concerns about the future the University of Louisville’s future with its accreditation agency.

“Based upon Senate Bill 12, after our review, the damage may be done to the University of Louisville,” Kentucky Attorney General (D) Andy Beshear said Monday.

Senate Bill 12, approved on a largely party-line vote, closely mirrors Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive orders from last summer in which he attempted to scrap the 20-person board and replace it with a 13-person board. But it also gives the state Senate the ability to confirm a governor’s appointees to the board.

Gov. Bevin’s actions resulted in the university’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, placing U of L on probation last month. Among other issues, SACS expects the university to have a policy whereby board members are not dismissed without cause and are free from undue influence.

On Monday, Beshear announced that the Kentucky Supreme Court would hear the case and that it would skip the court of appeals.

“What the governor is claiming is not only damaging to U of L, but potentially damaging to all of our universities,” Beshear said.

But Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Clay County, said SACS has been “pointedly vague” about what actions the legislature can take to satisfy the organization.

He called the bill a “first step” toward resolving the issues and said the legislature would later adopt more specific rules surrounding board member qualifications and situations that could lead to members being dismissed, such as “dysfunction.”

“We want a final decision,” Beshear said. “Not only for U of L but for all of Kentucky's universities, as quickly as we can.”

Gov. Bevin’s office did not return a request for comment Monday night. 

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