University of Louisville loses fundraising chief amid concerns a - WDRB 41 Louisville News

University of Louisville loses fundraising chief amid concerns about donations

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Bryan Robinson (U of L photo) Bryan Robinson (U of L photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The University of Louisville is losing its top fundraising official for the second time in less than a year.

Bryan Robinson, U of L’s interim vice president for advancement, informed the university last week that he would resign for “personal reasons” after a leave period lasting through April 1, according to university spokesman John Karman.

In a phone interview, Robinson, 43, said he plans to join a different university “out of town” in the spring and noted he recently completed a doctoral degree in higher education administration at Bellarmine University. He declined to disclose his new position.

“It’s just my time to move on to another opportunity,” Robinson said. “…I was proud and honored to serve as the interim (fundraising chief), but that was never really the specific job that I wanted there.”

Robinson said no one at the university asked him to resign, which Karman confirmed.

Robinson stepped in last August for Keith Inman, who had served as U of L’s top fundraiser for a decade before leaving to head Louisville’s Kosair Charities.

Karman said interim U of L President Greg Postel plans to make another temporary appointment to the top fundraising post.

Robinson’s departure came to light Tuesday during a meeting of the board of directors of the U of L Foundation, the school’s nonprofit investment arm.

Figures prepared for the meeting show the toll that nearly two years of administrative and athletics turmoil has taken on private support for the university.

In the year following James Ramsey’s forced resignation as president of the university in July 2016, newly pledged donations to all parts of the U of L, including its athletics association, dropped to $43.4 million, from $75 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.

That trend has continued, with only $9.4 million in pledges recorded during the second half of 2017, compared to $33 million during the same period of 2016 and $53 million in the same period of 2015.

Some foundation board members lamented the lack of a fundraising chief at a time when the university desperately needs to ramp up its efforts.

“Who is driving this truck?” said Tom Meeker, the retired president and CEO of Churchill Downs Inc.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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