A large majority of faculty at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law who completed a survey in the past week indicated they want their representative on the university’s Board of Trustees to vote for a motion expressing no confidence in the leadership of President James Ramsey.
In the past few weeks, professors in each different college at U of L have been asked by their faculty senator to weigh in on how they want Pamela Feldhoff — faculty representative to the U of L Board of Trustees — to vote on the no-confidence motion scheduled for the April 20 meeting of the board. The motion was called for on March 1 by trustees who voiced a long list of complaints about the leadership of the Ramsey administration, but the vote was pushed back to next month by Ramsey’s allies on the board for procedural reasons.
According to the results of an online survey of law school faculty that was shared with them in an email from their faculty senator on Monday — and provided to Insider Louisville by one of those faculty — 68 percent of those who completed the survey indicated they want Feldhoff to vote no confidence in Ramsey; 24 percent want a vote of confidence; and 8 percent want Feldhoff to abstain from the vote. The website for the law school lists 33 faculty, and 25 of them completed the survey.
These results come just three days after U of L’s College of Arts and Sciences announced that 75 percent of their faculty also wanted Feldhoff to cast a vote of no confidence. Among the 67 percent of full-time faculty in that department who completed the online survey, 74 percent wanted a vote of no confidence, while 80 percent of the much smaller percentage of part-time faculty who completed the survey wanted the same no-confidence vote against Ramsey.
Critics of Ramsey’s leadership among the trustees indicated after their last board meeting that they would have had the 10 votes needed to pass the no-confidence motion, nine of which publicly indicated their support for it. Faculty representative Feldhoff is one of 20 Trustees who will have a vote on the no-confidence motion next month, and may well be one of the swing votes.
Feldhoff told IL last week she is still seeking input from faculty senators to inform her decision on how to vote, which may include a vote among the 67 representatives of the Faculty Senate next week. She also noted that while those senators theoretically are to base their opinions on feedback from constituents in their college or department, the senators are not bound to follow their lead.
“To be frank, in our position as faculty senators, they may have access to information that all faculty members do not have access to and be aware of extenuating circumstances,” said Feldhoff. “Their constituents should inform their vote, but not necessarily dictate their vote.”
Following reports of multi-million dollar compensation packages being awarded to Ramsey and his top staffers from the U of L Foundation last year, several faculty senators openly criticized such compensation as excessive in their meeting that March — only to have Feldhoff defend such payments as reasonable.
Ramsey’s spokesman John Karman declined to respond to the survey results from the faculty of the Brandeis School of Law and College of Arts and Sciences.