U of L Trustees claim to be working together but show signs of conflict

UofL Board of Trustees meeting gets testy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Just when you think there is light at the end of the tunnel between the U of L Board of Trustees and the University of Louisville Foundation, there are more fireworks. Feathers ruffled Thursday over claims of sexism, bullying and that looming audit.

Trustee Chairman Larry Benz sat next to fellow Trustee and newly named U of L Foundation Board Chair, Brucie Moore. There were no visual signs of what had played out behind the scenes until after Moore spoke of her efforts to quickly deliver answers to lingering questions, including an audit the Trustees demanded take place at the Foundation.

But when Moore appeared on the fence as to whether it would be a “forensic audit," Trustee Craig Greenberg questioned whether Moore had gone back on a signed agreement.

“You just seem to be thumbing your nose at the face of this board, the president and the donors,” said Greenberg.

“Now, Craig,” Moore said, “if you want to continue with this discord, I mean that that's your prerogative and, I may sound, I don't want to sound sexist but, at all, but you guys need to tone it down.”

Trustee Dr. Emily Bingham, appeared to back Greenberg and tried another approach to get the point across to the new Foundation Chair.

“This is not personal, but the thought that there has been a massacre in the hen house and whoever has been in charge during that is in a position not to control the audit,” said Dr. Bingham.

The tense exchanges occurred after Moore expressed hope that her moving into the role with the Foundation was finally moving things in the right direction. Friday, ULF Board Members voted to appoint Brucie Moore to her role in an effort to get the relationship between the two organizations back on track.

That same day, Dr. Larry Benz suggested that things were headed in the right direction and the Trustees were less likely to sue the Foundation.

But Moore said that feeling of goodwill changed in a matter of days.

“By 9:30 Monday morning, I was called by Chairman Benz that if I didn't do A, B and C by 2:30 in the afternoon, he's going to file a lawsuit against the Foundation,” said Moore. “Now, I don't think that that is a way to move forward.”

After the meeting, Moore and Benz appeared together to downplay the strife and vow that the two organizations are working together.

But Benz dodged the bullying question. When asked directly about the call, he insisted that the parties were working together and committed to helping the university. When asked a second time, Benz responded, “Next question.”

But the Trustees also showed issues with just selecting annual officers.

A nominating committee set forward names for five leadership positions -- all five were men.

Some on the board were quick to point out their concerns.

"This is the first time in my memory, and I'm guessing I could look it up, but my suspicion is that it's probably been 15 years since we've had an executive committee with no women, and I am disappointed," said Trustee Marie Abrams. 

“I am offended that there are not any women on this slate," said Brucie Moore. “I do not care to be placed on this slate. I do not have to have a position on this slate. We have Dr. Bingham. We have Marie Abrams.”

Dr. Larry Benz held onto his position as Chair of the U of L Board of Trustees as the group approved all five of the recommended names.


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