Future in flux at U of Louisville
- In less than a year, the University of Louisville has seen two overhauls of its board of trustees and a presidential resignation pushed by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin.
- Questions about the appointment of interim president Greg Postel stem from skepticism about the hand-picked board appointed by Bevin. Concerns are also mounting about the future of the school's accreditation status, which last month was downgraded to probation stemming from the controversial leadership turnover.
- Students and observers are concerned that legislation currently moving through the state could grant even more oversight to the governor, limiting the autonomy of the institution and other public colleges throughout the state.
It is not unusual for state leaders to want to control higher education governance, which often is a veiled attempt at limiting spending and controlling certain large scale contracts. But over-aggression can lead to legal challenges and inquiry from accrediting agencies, and while that may not be at the top of the list of political concerns, it should be for campus leaders who still must deliver institutional outcomes in the midst of political storms.
Presidents and chancellors should work with elected officials at local and federal levels to appeal for focus on state ethics rules and the vision for the academic enterprises. If these things are made clear to lawmakers who otherwise may not consider them, there is a greater likelihood that the campus can be spared public controversy for political reasons.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education 3 questions about the U of Louisville's immediate future
- Education Dive Should higher ed do more to influence policy?