Education Investigations

An IRS auditor will be on site at the University of Louisville this week.

U of L spokesman John Karman said a representative from the agency will visit on Aug. 25 as part of the IRS inquiry into the university’s payroll and contracts for top employees.

“We have not been given any indication this is anything other than routine,” Karman said.

The audit was first reported by Insider Louisville on Friday.

Universities being audited isn’t unusual, Karman said. He pointed to Michigan State University, which is currently under audit, he said. The last time U of L was audited was 1994, Karman said.

The IRS sent a letter to U of L on July 7 seeking tax return documents, payroll information and contracts for former president James Ramsey, former provost Shirley Willihnganz and head coaches, including former football coach Charlie Strong, Karman said. He expects the audit to be an eight- to nine-month process.

Ramsey was paid $2.8 million in 2014; more than $2.4 million of that came via the U of L Foundation, and it included deferred compensation and other bonuses. The foundation is also the subject of an ongoing audit from state Auditor Mike Harmon’s office.

This story has been updated. A previous version used information from U of L spokesman John Karman saying Purdue was currently under audit. The school was audited recently, but that was completed. 

Kate Howard is a veteran investigative reporter specializing in government accountability and higher education issues.