Bill to straighten out UofL board needs more work, legislators say

One of House Republicans’ top priorities — to codify Gov. Matt Bevin’s overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees — is not yet ready for prime time.

House State Government Chairman Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, said that in light of the complex problem surrounding House Bill 10, including UofL’s current probation with its accrediting agency, his committee would not meet Wednesday to discuss it. The committee adjourned about one minute after it came to order.

“The bottom line is that work is ongoing so that we are not ready to proceed with House Bill 10,” Miller said.

Last year, Bevin dissolved the UofL board over what he deemed dysfunction. He appointed a smaller, 10-person board. Attorney General Andy Beshear then sued, saying the governor had overstepped his authority. A circuit judge agreed, which reconstituted the original board. Bevin appealed and both sides are waiting to see if the case will go directly to the Supreme Court.

Last month, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the university on probation, saying Bevin’s actions had threatened the school’s independence. Loss of accreditation would threaten federal funding of research and financial aid, as well as NCAA sports.

Miller said House and Senate leadership would continue to work on the bill, but it’s not clear when it will be finished.

UofL spokesman John Karman said the university expects to receive a letter next week from the accrediting agency “outlining concerns and expectations regarding the university’s compliance with the requirements of our accrediting body. We appreciate the commitment by the governor and legislature to continue to work with SACS so that any legislation is consistent with SACS requirements. The goal for all involved is for the university to be in full compliance and removed from probation as soon as possible.”