Gov. Bevin makes 10 appointments to new UofL Board of Trustees

The University of Louisville's Grawemeyer Hall

Gov. Matt Bevin made appointments to his newly created University of Louisville Board of Trustees on Wednesday, drawing heavily from names in the Louisville area, including Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter.

Two weeks ago, Bevin abolished the university’s Board of Trustees and created a new and smaller one by executive order, arguing that the old board had become dysfunctional and a new one was needed to more efficiently govern the university. Last week, Attorney General Andy Beshear challenged Bevin’s orders in Franklin Circuit Court, arguing that he did not have the legal authority to make such changes.

In a press release announcing the appointments, Bevin said that “today marks the dawning of a new day for the University of Louisville.”

“These newly appointed board members embody the professional experience, leadership skills and core values needed to more efficiently and effectively oversee, govern and manage the affairs of the University,” said Bevin. “This diverse group of individuals would be qualified to sit on any post-secondary board in America, and I am thankful for their willingness to serve the University of Louisville. I am confident that they will build upon the University’s many successes by governing with the utmost integrity and transparency.”

Here are the 10 new appointees, which include three interim members — Bonita Black, Ulysses Bridgeman Jr. and Ronald Wright — that were previously chosen by Bevin to serve until the full board was appointed:

  • J. David Grissom of Louisville is the founder and board chair of The Glenview Trust Company, and previously served as a director with Humana, LG&E and Yum! Brands. He also previously served as board chair of Centre College, the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, the Louisville Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Center for the Arts.
  • John Schnatter of Louisville is the founder and CEO of international pizza franchise Papa John’s.
  • Sandra Frazier of Louisville is the CEO of Tandem Public Relations LLC, and currently serves on the boards of Brown-Forman and the Glenview Trust Company.
  • Nitin Sahney of Prospect is the former president and CEO of Omnicare and recently was hired as an operating advisor for investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
  • Bonita Black of Crestwood is an attorney at the Louisville law firm Steptoe & Johnson.
  • Douglas Cobb of Prospect is a venture capitalist with Chrysalis Ventures, and was the founding president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.
  • Ulysses Bridgeman Jr. of Louisville owns over 100 Wendy’s franchises, and was a former star basketball player for the University of Louisville. He is also currently a chair of the University of Louisville Foundation Board of Directors, and previously served on the university’s Board of Trustees.
  • Ronald Wright of Prospect is an OBGYN with a practice in Jeffersonville, Ind., who also volunteers in Louisville at a crisis pregnancy center.
  • Dale Boden of Louisville is one of the founders and the chairman of university-affiliated Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, and is also the president and CEO of Louisville investment firm B F Capital Inc.
  • Diane Medley of Ekron is the managing partner and co-founder of accounting firm Mountjoy Chilton Medley, and currently serves on the board of Nucleus and the Hardin Memorial Health Foundation.

These 10 new trustees will be joined on the board by three elected representatives of the students, faculty and staff.

Current UofL President James Ramsey indicated in a letter to Bevin a day before the governor’s executive orders that he would offer his immediate resignation “upon a legal restructure of the Board of Trustees.” He later indicated in a statement that he has no desire or intent to remain as president beyond the next academic year, which ends next May.

Following Wednesday’s announcement, Ramsey issued this statement:

“We appreciate Governor Bevin’s appointment of the new board. I have met with the three interim board members as well as the faculty, student and staff representatives and I plan to meet with the additional board members soon. I look forward to working with this new board as we move the university forward.”

Disclosure: Dale Boden, Sandra Frazier and Doug Cobb are investors in Insider Louisville.