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Thursday, July 28, 2016

With James Ramsey out as UofL president...who's next? -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville executive board met yesterday in a marathon session to address the the resolution of President James Ramsey's resignation. Ramsey is out. Immediately. Offered a two-year package, thanked for his leadership and will receive a $690,000 buyout to avoid the expense and delay of litigation.  

During his 14 year tenure, the University grew, grew and grew. It will be hard to find a replacement that is more involved, interested and pro-active toward UofL sports that Ramsey was. All UofL sports, not just the holy trio of football, basketball and baseball. Yes, there were mis-appropriations and there was scandal during his tenure. There was also a change from being a commuter-based place of learning to joining the ACC and numerous dorms, facilities and a downtown arena. Never underestimate how essential Ramsey was in helping UofL get to the ACC.  I hope to still see him at Louisville sporting events. 

Neville G. Pinto, the University provost, is the top guy now...until the board interviews and hires a replacement for Ramsey. He was a chemical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati. He came to Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, eventually became Dean of the Speed School and then moved on to interim and then permanent provost of UofL. According to University by-laws, he's the guy until the 18th president in UofL history is appointed. 

Petrino, Pitino and Pinto. It has the ring of a law firm title, medical practice or sixties pop group. 

So...the search begins. Junior Bridgeman, perhaps the most recognizable of the board members, indicates that the board "must be quick but not hurry" in selecting a replacement for Ramsey. Sage advice. I hope Jeff Walz adapts the phrase to UofL WBB guards this upcoming season.  

Is Bridgeman a candidate to become President of UofL? It is an interesting question. The man knows a lot about success and leadership. He parlayed a basketball scholarship to UofL in the early seventies into a NBA career, successful fast food franchisee owner and now soft drink bottler. Is Louisville ready for a African-American university president. Oh, yeah. Very ready. The question is, will he submit his application and would he accept the job? Honestly, he's probably made enough money in his lifetime to sustain him and his family quite well if he were to retire tomorrow. The challenge of leading a academic institution doesn't come along every day. 

I'll toss another name out there as a candidate. Jerry Abramson. He was Louisville's "mayor for life" for 25 years. Another guy who knows a thing or two about the University of Louisville's interaction with the city and Commonwealth of Kentucky. A former lieutenant-governor and successful attorney. He was also a candidate for the UofL Presidency fourteen years ago when Ramsey was selected. Would governor Matt Bevin veto any such move? Would the board consider him? Is Jerry interested? I love the guy. He'd be my top pick. 

And then there's still that whole issue any of this positioning and maneuvering legal?  Kentucky's attorney general Andy Beshear is suing...saying that all of Bevin's actions in this reorganization are not constitutionally legal. 

This isn't some county ambulance-chaser trying to create a name for himself. This is the attorney general. One who has the power, knowledge and backing to keep this thing tied up in legality issues for quite some time. 

Lastly, how will all of this affect UofL sports? We know of Bridgeman and Abramson's love for UofL athletics. Can we ensure the new president will give Tom Jurich the same 
'green light' to building, progress and continued growth of the sports programs we so dearly love in this community? I remember in the early eighties...there was a movement on to drop Louisville out of Division I football. Thank goodness Donald Swain came to his senses and Bill Olsen hired Howard Schnellenberger. 

Interesting times ahead...


1 comment:

  1. Had no idea Junior Bridgeman was from the U U of L that is.


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