Friday, October 24, 2008

Sifting the Ashes at UofL

C-J stops just short of calling upon the UofL trustees to hold Ramsey personally accountable for his early protectionism and inaction inthe Robert Felner mess. In the face of substantial evidence that faculty were being abused - and that abuse supported Felner's ability to (allegedly) lie, cheat and steal from the university and Kentucky's children - surely there must be accountability. Where should the buck stop? With Felner? With Willihnganz? With Ramsey? Or, with the Trustees themselves?

This from C-J:

The indictments returned against former University of Louisville Education Dean Robert Felner and one of his associates reveal a scandal of substantial depth and magnitude. This is big money we're talking about -- $2.3 million in grant and contract funds, allegedly siphoned off for personal benefit...

Several reviews are under way..{and] must be pushed very hard, to determine not just how the financial scams could have gone undetected as long as they did, but also whether faculty complaints about Mr. Felner were taken seriously enough and soon enough.

It may be that top U of L officials simply didn't have enough concrete evidence until late in the game, and that personnel rules prevented them from revealing, in a timely way, their intention to give Mr. Felner the boot.

U of L President James Ramsey says, "To me this (Education) college is absolutely critical to the success of the university," especially in its connections with the Jefferson County Public Schools. He's right that the unique challenges facing JCPS are not well understood in Frankfort, where the system gets short shrift.

But if the education college is all that important, one would think the financial and personnel oversight it enjoyed from top U of L administrators would have been especially keen. If it wasn't, one of the many reviews now under way should tell the public why.

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