UofL President calls school year "special" and "difficult" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UofL President calls school year "special" and "difficult"

A federal investigation into whether a former University of Louisville dean mishandled hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money is expected to continue into next month.  The investigation has caused the university some heartache.

During his state of the university address Tuesday, UofL President Dr. James Ramsey said this year has been both "special" and "difficult."

While UofL President Dr. James Ramsey touted the university's accomplishments that included record fund-raising of $86 million, Ramsey also spoke of the university's struggles.

"Late last year, we faced another challenge.  The allegations of wrongdoing by an individual within College of Education and Human Development," said Dr. James Ramsey, UofL President.

His implication of "individual" referred to Robert Felner, the former dean of the College of Education and Human Development.  UofL has been mired this year by state budget cuts and a federal investigation into alleged mishandling of grant money.

Robert Felner, the former Dean of the College of Education and Human Development, is at the center of the federal probe.  The probe is looking into whether he mishandled at least $700,000 in grant money in his care.

Last week, Ramsey reportedly apologized to the university's faculty Senate about Felner.  But during his speech Tuesday, he did not mention him by name.

"Everyone knew what we were referring (to).  So in that particularly regard I didn't think there was any reason to spell that out," said Ramsey.

U.S. District Attorney David Huber was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon but he has said recently that he believes the investigation into the Felner matter could be wrapped up by sometime in October.

Meanwhile, UofL has called for an internal auditor to review the college's internal records.  An outside independent review of grant policies is also underway.  After anonymous complaints were filed against Felner, the faculty Senate is now looking into how grievances are filed.

"We need to let it play out and let the healing process take place.  There were people that were hurt and scarred by this.  We need to get over that it will take time," said Ramsey.

"Being gone for the summer, I came back and was like 'woah, what happened?' and it's kind of weird thinking I worked with this guy over the past year and thinking what he was doing but I do have a lot of trust in our new dean and I hope he can really take us in the right direction," said Stephanie Bonenberger, a junior and the College of Education and Human Development's Student Council President.

"These things happen and so well go through it and be stronger as a result of it," said Ramsey.

No charges have been filed in this case. Dr. Ramsey said he was not sure if the Felner matter has hurt fund-raising, but said there is a need to let people heal and let this investigation play out.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.