UofL Interim President Pinto addresses concerns over funding, accreditation

UofL Interim President Pinto addresses concerns over funding, accreditation

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Interim University of Louisville President Dr. Neville Pinto sounded off Wednesday over letters from donors threatening to withhold millions of dollars in donations.

In a speech to the university's faculty senate, Pinto addressed the donation concerns as well as the possibility of UofL losing its accreditation.

"We've had some challenges and some issues," Pinto said of the last few months. "There's optimism that we'll get past the issues we've had in the past and we'll be ok in the long run." 

As the interim President, Pinto has a seat on the UofL Foundation Board and sent a letter to Board Chair Bob Hughes Monday after Hughes abruptly scheduled a meeting on Labor Day. 

VIEW: The full letter from Neville Pinto

"I am writing to express deep concern about today's hastily called meeting of the University of Louisville Foundation Executive Committee," Pinto wrote. He said the meeting, "feeds the broadly held perception of a lack of transparency".

Pinto added that the James R. Brown Foundation and the C. E. and S. Foundation, both major university donors, have requested an audit of the foundation by a third-party and have said they might withhold funding the university otherwise.

"Some of our strongest donors are concerned about the foundation and that concerns me," Pinto said after meeting with the faculty senate.

He said he also supports the third-party audit of the foundation.

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Monday's meeting was supposedly to provide some sort of payment to former University President James Ramsey. In his note to Hughes, Pinto made it clear Ramsey is, "not entitled to a settlement payment from the Foundation".

Pinto said he's started communicating with donors about their concerns. 

"They certainly appreciate the efforts we're making to go in that direction but as with everything, they'd like to see results," Pinto said.

Pinto also addressed concerns over a letter from the Southern Association of College and Schools (SACS) requesting information about the Board of Trustees and suggesting there may be a problem with the school's accreditation. 

Pinto said he hopes the courts resolve the board restructuring issue before the accreditation board likely makes a decision in December.

"I'm not terribly concerned about that December date right now," Pinto said. "I'd like to see how the courts rule."

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