The University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Hall

The University of Louisville Foundation continued to efforts clean up after the former president James Ramsey by simplifying its organizational chart Thursday.

ULF, whose assets are currently worth around $812.5 million, and the UofL Real Estate Foundation approved multiple mergers and dissolutions throughout a day of meetings.

“We’re just trying to uncomplicate the whole structure of the foundation,” ULF Chairman Earl Reed said, adding that the efforts should make things “more understandable.”

Former UofL President James Ramsey | Photo by Joe Sonka

One ULF subsidiary, University Holdings Inc., has been merged with the full foundation. ULF also voted to make itself the manager of the UofL Development Company, replacing UHI in the role.

During much of Ramsey’s tenure, UHI was allowed to borrow money at a low rate of interest from the endowment with few limitations. Reed said the line of credit issues were not a reason UHI was merged.

At the time, WDRB reported that the subsidiary also gave extra paychecks to top UofL officials, including former provost Shirley Willihnganz and Ramsey’s former chief of staff Kathleen Smith.

The foundation dissolved Minerva-Louisville LLC, which acted as a “vehicle for the efficient administration of various deferred compensation plans,” according to ULF’s 2013 annual report.

ULF ended its deferred compensation plan, which gave millions to Ramsey and other officials, in 2017. A third-party study commissioned by ULF found that, in part due to deferred compensation, Ramsey received around $3 million over seven years in extra compensation.

Since Ramsey’s departure in 2016, the foundation has worked to prevent future financial misuse by enacting tighter spending policies and other reforms. A person can also no longer serve as both the president of UofL and of ULF as Ramsey did.

ULF and UofL are jointly suing Ramsey, Smith, other foundation officials and the foundation’s law firm for excessive spending and risky loans and real estate investments. Last week, Ramsey asked a judge to dismiss the suit.

ULREF dissolved three LLCs in the morning: The Institute for Product Realization, Phoenix Place and Minardi Hall. In anupdate to the full ULF board, ULREF chair pro tem Ken Payne said they were getting “rid of unused entities we no longer need.”

Eleven other entities are slated to end within the “next year or two,” to continue simplifying the organization chart, Reed said.

Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth

Before joining Insider Louisville, Krauth was a multiplatform reporter at TechRepublic, where she wrote news stories and features about the intersection of technology and business. Krauth is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where she was an award-winning editor of The Louisville Cardinal and obtained a degree in investigative journalism, with a minor in Russian studies. She completed a prestigious Dow Jones data internship at the Austin American-Statesman last summer. Email Olivia at [email protected]


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