2 trustees call for foundation to be folded into university



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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two trustees at the University of Louisville are calling for change at an independent foundation that manages the school's $1.1 billion endowment.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1FA3ejI) reports Steve Wilson and Craig Greenberg said they think the University of Louisville Foundation should answer to the Board of Trustees to ensure transparency and allow for better coordination of compensation packages for top officials.

In addition, Wilson is also asking the state to audit the foundation and the university.

The moves come after news reports in February about large deferred compensation packages awarded to President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Chief of Staff Kathleen Smith.

Dr. Robert Hughes, who is chairman of the trustees and the foundation, called the actions of Wilson and Greenburg "disrespectful."

He said they should have "made their case to the entire board instead of bypassing their fellow trustees, the chairman of the board, and the administration of the university."

In addition, he said they should have "obtained a lot more knowledge about the university and its foundation before embarking upon this path."

Stephenie Hoelscher, the spokeswoman for state Auditor Adam Edelen, said this week that "we are looking at the issue."

The foundation operated in secret until 2008, when the Kentucky Supreme Court that its records are public after a legal battle with the newspaper.

Greenberg says state law requires trustees to oversee compensation of the president, faculty and staff. He says they can't do that if the foundation awards payments independently.

"The board is advised on certain compensation, but there is other compensation that has not been fully disclosed," he said. "It is definitely time for transparency."

Both men said they support Ramsey.

"The president has done a fantastic job at the university," Wilson said. "Nobody has been more successful in fundraising. I don't have a problem with how much he is being paid, but I have to know how much that is."

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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The Associated Press

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