Education Investigations

University of Louisville President James Ramsey offered his resignation to the new board of trustees during a closed session Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the new board chair on Thursday.

But that contradicts what the board chair, Junior Bridgeman, told reporters less than 24 hours ago.

On Wednesday, Bridgeman told reporters that Ramsey didn’t offer his resignation, and trustees discussed his future generally in closed session. When they came back to the open meeting, there were no votes and no discussion of Ramsey, who left during the executive session and didn’t return.

U of L issued a statement Thursday by email on Bridgeman’s behalf that said:

“During the Board of Trustees meeting on 7/13/16, in closed session, Dr. James Ramsey offered to the board his resignation. Then Dr. Ramsey departed the meeting. The Board of Trustees discussed its options. There was no action resulting, as was stated yesterday.”

The board met for more than an hour in closed session to discuss personnel and possible litigation. The only legal reasons to discuss personnel issues behind closed doors pertain to hiring, firing or discipline.

Ramsey left the meeting after about 40 minutes and had no comment afterward.

Gov. Matt Bevin replaced the board last month amid board infighting over several issues and recent scandals that have plagued the school. Ramsey said at the time that he would offer his resignation to the new board.

Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed suit to block Bevin’s board appointments, saying Bevin doesn’t have the authority to replace the trustees. 

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