Gov. Bevin appoints new University of Louisville board, renaming most from previous reorganization attempt

01/17/2017 03:16 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin seated a new University of Louisville board of trustees on Tuesday, duplicating most of his appointments from a failed attempt to reorganize the panel in June.

All but two of the appointees – James Rogers, of Prospect, and Brian Cromer, of Louisville – were named to the U of L board in the June reorganization. Cromer was nominated a month later after one of Bevin’s original appointees declined.

Bevin’s reorganization was ultimately overturned in Franklin Circuit Court and led to the school’s one-year accreditation probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but the General Assembly passed a bill in the opening week of this year’s 30-day session that would disband the university board and allow Bevin to make 10 appointments to a new 13-member panel.

The nominees are:

  • J. David Grissom, of Louisville, chairman of Mayfield Capital, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2023
  • John Schattner, of Louisville, founder and chief executive officer of Papa John’s, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2022
  • Sandra Frazier, of Louisville, chief executive officer of Tandem Public Relations and Marketing, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2021
  • Nitin Sahney, of Prospect, former president and chief executive officer of Omnicare, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2021
  • Bonita Black, of Crestwood, a corporate attorney who also served on Bevin’s transition team, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2020
  • Cromer, an attorney, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2020
  • Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, of Louisville, president of Bridgeman Foods and a former U of L and NBA basketball player, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2019
  • Dr. Ronald Wright, of Prospect, a gynecologist, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2019
  • Diane Medley, of Ekron, managing partner and co-founder of accounting firm Mountjoy Chilton Medley, for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2018
  • Rogers for a term expiring Jan. 13, 2018

Those nominations will need to be confirmed by the state Senate once the General Assembly reconvenes Feb. 7 under Senate Bill 12, the new law regarding the U of L board.

In a video included in a news release announcing the U of L appointments, Bevin said he, as governor, and lawmakers “don’t answer to editorial boards,” “self-serving individuals who might have a political agenda,” “the attorney general or any given judge,” or “accrediting agencies.”

“We answer to you, the voter,” said Bevin, who called the previous board “dysfunctional” and illegal since it lacked the appropriate partisan and racial makeup.

“You have entrusted us with this responsibility, and by law this is the responsibility that we have taken. The legislature has acted definitively, and they and only they at the end of the day are responsible for appropriations for our universities. So this university now is being given an opportunity to move ahead.”

U of L spokesman John Karman said the school “is committed to working with members of the new Board of Trustees to move the university forward.”

“All of the appointed board members are accomplished leaders who bring a wealth of experience to our institution,” Karman said in a statement.

“In partnership with this new team, we will continue our work with Kentucky’s governor and legislators to address and resolve concerns raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. We also expect that the new board members will quickly appoint a new interim president.”

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