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September 06, 2016

Big U. of Louisville Donor Wants Audit of College Foundation

A major donor to the University of Louisville is threatening to cut off support unless the university’s nonprofit fundraising arm accedes to a forensic review of its finances, The Courier-Journal writes.

The James Graham Brown Foundation’s demand comes several weeks after the resignation of university President James Ramsey amid a string of financial controversies, some involving the University of Louisville Foundation. Critics have targeted the campus nonprofit for a lack of financial transparency and for paying large salary supplements to Mr. Ramsey, who also served as president of the University of Louisville Foundation and remains so pending a foundation meeting slated for later this month.

The Brown Foundation has given $72 million to the university and related entities over the past 55 years, including a $20 million pledge in 2008 to fund a new cancer center. In a letter Friday, the grant maker called on the University of Louisville Foundation to review its governance and relationship with campus officials and to submit to an audit by a nationally recognized accounting firm. Absent these actions, “the Brown Foundation will be unlikely to approve any further grant requests from the university” or its affiliates, the letter said.