Gregory Postel named interim president of University of Louisville
The newly appointed board of trustees also wasted no time getting other business, including the university's troubled foundation.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Dr. Gregory Postel, a longtime faculty member and administrator at the University of Louisville medical school, will become the university’s interim president later this month, succeeding Acting President Neville Pinto.
The university’s new board of trustees tapped Postel, currently U of L’s interim executive vice president for health affairs, for the role during the board’s first meeting on Saturday.
But the 13-person board – appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday – wasted no time getting to other pressing issues.
It approved the design of search committee to find the university’s next permanent president and passed three resolutions aimed at getting a handle on the university’s nonprofit foundation, whose finances are the subject of an ongoing forensic audit.
Neither Postel nor board Chairman J. David Grissom could say how long it will take to find the university’s next president.
U of L has been without a permanent leader since James Ramsey resigned in July in exchange for a settlement of about $690,000. Pinto is leaving Feb. 19 to become president of the University of Cincinnati.
Postel, a neuroradiologist, said he does not expect to seek the job on a permanent basis and instead plans to go back to his position over the medical school, University Hospital and U of L doctor practices.
Grissom praised Postel – who has been at U of L nearly 23 years – for his experience.
“He is very popular with the students, very popular with the faculty, and we are really lucky to have him,” Grissom said.
Postel said his top priorities will be making sure the university gets off probation with its accrediting agency and shoring up U of L’s finances.
Grissom, a Louisville lawyer, banker and investment professional, was elected the board’s chairman in a secret ballot on Saturday.
Businessman Junior Bridgeman – who chaired the board in mid-2000s and had long served on the foundation’s board – was also nominated.
Grissom then rifled through a handful of resolutions related to the foundation, a nonprofit that manages U of L’s roughly $700 million endowment.
He said the measures were “designed to send a very strong signal to the foundation that things have to change.”
But Enid Trucios-Haynes, a law professor who represents the faculty on the board of trustees, said it was too soon for the trustees to take those positions. She suggested the board get a report on “how far we have moved over the last few months” in reforming the foundation.
Grissom replied, “I’ll be happy to give you a sense of it: not very far. And not at a very good speed.”
The board then adopted resolutions suggesting the foundation name certified public accountant Diane Medley, a trustee, as it chairwoman; and that the foundation not settle any employment disputes – nor enter into employment contracts -- until the forensic audit is completed in May.
Grissom also introduced a resolution asking the foundation invest only in regular stocks and bonds until the audit is done, but he backed off that measure.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Grissom said the trustees want to see the foundation “in a holding pattern” until “we can ascertain the nature and extent of the financial irregularities, if any, that have occurred there.”
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