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Will The Rightful UofL Board Please Stand Up?

Associated Press

The war of words continues between Republican Governor Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear over the status of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.

The officials are currently battling it out in court over the governor’s recent executive orders abolishing the board, which Bevin has described as dysfunctional, and creating a new one.

Now, the governor is calling on the top law enforcement official to publicly state whether the old board – made up of 13 Democrats, one Republican, and one Independent – meets state proportional representation requirements. In a media release Tuesday, the governor said the former board did not “even come close to complying with the law.”

"The public deserves to know: Does Attorney General Beshear agree that the old U of L Board was (and, if reconvened, would still be) illegally constituted?" he asks.

Beshear, on the other hand, has referred to the previous incarnation as the “rightful board,” arguing the former members boasted far more administrative experience than the new appointees.  

"When you're talking about important decisions like budget decisions, they have the background. They can make the type of decisions that a new board, none of which have had more than a week's worth of service, would be able to make," the attorney general told WUKY on Friday.

Bevin says, by pressing the lawsuit, Beshear is encouraging the old, illegally-constituted board to believe that it should meet and conduct business on behalf of the university.

In a 22-page decision Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled against the governor and temporarily blocked the new board from acting.

Update (5:04 PM): Attorney General Andy Beshear said the following in a statement to WUKY: "The governor’s reaction has been to first attack the judge and now me. Kentuckians deserve better. Our legal challenge is not about who will or will not serve on a board of trustees. It is to prevent the governor from asserting ‘absolute authority’ to control the board and the university by dissolving the board anytime he disagrees with it."

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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