Records: Under Postel, U of L president's office spent nearly $5 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Records: Under Postel, U of L president's office spent nearly $500,000 on football suite, tickets

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Interim U of L President Greg Postel Interim U of L President Greg Postel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The forensic investigation of the University of Louisville Foundation slammed former President James Ramsey's administration for blowing the university's endowment on -- among other things -- football and basketball tickets.

But in July and August, the office of interim U of L President Greg Postel spent $491,000 in endowment money on a football suite as well as tickets to football and basketball games, according to financial statements released during a foundation board meeting on Thursday.

With the spending on the suite and tickets, Postel's office exhausted more than half of its annual $867,000 allotment of endowment funds in the first two months of the university's fiscal year, which began July 1, according to the foundation records.

The funds can be used at Postel's discretion, and about $367,000 remains unspent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

U of L spokesman John Karman said in an emailed statement that the suite and tickets are used to court major donors to the university.

“This expense plays an important role in our philanthropy efforts," Karman said. "Hosting these events allows us the opportunity to build bridges with our high-level donors and potential partners who in turn contribute significantly to the success of the university.”

Postel's office spent another $20,000 of the discretionary endowment money during the two-month period in ways not specified in the foundation records.

The $724 million endowment is a pool of investments managed by the foundation for the benefit of the university.

The $867,000 that Postel's office is allowed to spend from the endowment this year is less than a third of the amount allocated to Ramsey in previous years.

The foundation slashed spending earlier this year to shore up the fund after acknowledging that Ramsey's administration had spent too much for years.

Footnotes to the foundation's financial statements show $114,000 of Postel's discretionary fund went to "presidents (sic) football suite" and $377,000 for "football and basketball tickets."

Foundation interim executive director Keith Sherman said Postel's office is free to spend its $867,000 allotment as quickly as it wants, but no additional endowment funds will be given to the president's office until the following year, beginning July 1, 2018.

The forensic investigation, released in June, found that Ramsey spent well over his budgeted funds, depleting the university's endowment for about $42 million in unplanned or excessive expenses, including tickets, between 2010 and 2016.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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