FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin’s executive order dismissal of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees in June and appointment of a new board was blocked today by Franklin Circuit Court, which granted Attorney General Andy Beshear’s request to temporarily stop the governor’s action.
Bevin filed suit arguing that the governor was overstepping his constitutional authority in dissolving the UofL board. Judge Philip Shepherd issued a 22-page order Friday morning, siding with the attorney general. The judge’s temporary injunction revokes Bevin’s action until it can be formally litigated in court, stating that Beshear has demonstrated “a probability of irreparable injury, presented a substantial question as to the merits and the equities are in favor of issuance.”
Saying it had become disfunctional, Bevin dismantled the 20-member UofL board in June and replaced it with a 13-member one. He named 10 new members to the new board of trustees and reappointed three previous members. The tenure of UofL President James Ramsey was a major point of conflict cited by Bevin. Late Wednesday, the new board had accepted Ramsey’s immediate resignation and appointed Provost Neville Pinto interrim president while a national search for a successor is conducted.
Ramsey had served as the 17th president of UofL since 2002. In a statement Wednesday, he stated: “I intend to continue my service to the University of Louisville through the Foundation, in whatever capacity the Foundation Board thinks best. The Foundation has played a critical role in advancing the University over the last decade, often tackling issues beyond the authority or expertise of the Board of Trustees. I look forward to continuing the Foundation’s work to keep our great University moving forward.”
Ramsey announced his intention to retire last month after Bevin reorganized the board.
Bevin at the time said, “There have been a number of incidents in recent months and years related to the University of Louisville that have shed less than the best of light on the University and the Commonwealth as a whole. The University’s Board of Trustees, as it exists right now, is operationally dysfunctional. Its dysfunction has precluded it from being fiduciarily effective. Today we are going to start putting the University of Louisville house in order. A fresh start is the right thing to do and is in the best interest of the students, faculty and staff.”