Uncle Jimmy Wants To Know What You Think

Ruh ro, the University of Louisville is holding two “town hall” meetings to hear what faculty and staff have to say.

You know what this means. All kinds of aggrieved folks will show up to ask difficult questions. That is, if they’re not pre-screened and hand-selected.

Here’s the message all about it from Uncle Jimmy:

Dear colleagues, As I discussed in the State of the University Address this week, we have made tremendous progress in recent years because of the efforts of you — our outstanding faculty and staff. We try to share those successes and our excitement with you in a number of ways, including UofL Today, emails from the president, video messages and others.

Unfortunately, those messages are strictly one-way communications. While we meet with the Faculty and Staff senates and constituency groups, we seldom get to talk directly to many of you.

Provost Shirley Willihnganz, Executive Vice Presidents David Dunn and Bill Pierce, and I would like to change that.

We have scheduled two “town hall’ meetings to hear directly from faculty and staff about the issues that affect your daily work at the university. The first meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m. at the Floyd Theater on Belknap Campus. The second will be Friday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m. in the Kornhauser Auditorium on the Health Sciences campus.

We’re not planning any presentations, and we have no specific agenda. We would like to hear from you.
I hope to see you at one of the sessions.

James Ramsey

If you work at UofL, will you be showing up tomorrow (or in October) to say some things?

Jim Ramsey’s Foot-In-Mouth Disease Still Rages On

Dear Mark Hebert: please help Jim Ramsey with his foot-in-mouth disease. Maybe? They pay you enough and your job isn’t hard. So. Maybe just put some duct tape over his mouth and prevent him from texting and sending email, too?

Some things never change:

The budget timeline has the budget going to the Board of Trustees finance committee in May. That committee will forward it to the full board for approval in June. Ramsey drew a comparison between the university and the men’s basketball team.

“It was a challenging year for basketball,” he said. “Our team held in there and played with a lot of heart, character and determination.” In the face of continued state budget cuts that are coming despite the progress UofL is making in research, student education and community engagement, the university as a whole needs to try to be like the basketball team, Ramsey said.

Dear Jimbo: the team got its ass handed to it. We’re pretty sure the University of Louisville as a whole isn’t keen on losing.

Are Jim & Shirley Paying Attention This Morning?

Today, President Barack Obama kicks off the third day since his State of the Union address in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There, he’s focusing on keeping college affordable and within reach of all Americans.

His key issue of the effort?

Reforming student aid to promote affordability and value: To keep tuition from spiraling too high and drive greater value, the President will propose reforms to federal campus-based aid programs to shift aid away from colleges that fail to keep net tuition down, and toward those colleges and universities that do their fair share to keep tuition affordable, provide good value, and serve needy students well. These changes in federal aid to campuses will leverage $10 billion annually to help keep tuition down.

That’s direct from a White House release. They’re going balls-to-the-wall in this push.

Here’s more:

Rewarding Schools that Keep College Affordable

The President’s proposal to reform student aid to keep tuition from spiraling too high and drive greater value will improve distribution of federal financial aid and increase campus-based aid. This reform will reward colleges that are succeeding in meeting the following principles:

  1. Setting responsible tuition policy, offering relatively lower net tuition prices and/or restraining tuition growth.
  2. Providing good value to students and families, offering quality education and training that prepares graduates to obtain employment and repay their loans.
  3. Serving low-income students, enrolling and graduating relatively higher numbers of Pell-eligible students

The campus-based aid that the federal government provides to colleges through Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Perkins Loans, and Work Study is distributed under an antiquated formula that rewards colleges for longevity in the program and provides no incentive to keep tuition costs low. The President is proposing to change how those funds are distributed by implementing an improved formula that shifts aid from schools with rising tuition to those acting responsibly, focused on setting responsible tuition policy, providing good value in education, and ensuring that higher numbers of low-income students complete their education. He is also proposing to increase the amount of campus-based aid to $10 billion annually. The increase is primarily driven by an expansion of loans in the federal Perkins program – which comes at no additional taxpayer cost.

Colleges that can show that they are providing students with good long-term value will be rewarded with additional dollars to help students attend. Those that show poor value, or who don’t act responsibly in setting tuition, will receive less federal campus-based aid. Students will receive the greatest government grant and loan support at colleges where they are likely to be best served, and little or no campus aid will flow to colleges that fail to meet affordability and value standards.

Do you think Jimbo and Shirley Q. are paying attention as they both pocket millions of dollars each year and continually jack tuition up through the roof?

Only time will tell but our money’s on them not giving a flip and doing everything they can get away with until reforms are enacted.

So What Ever Happened To That Sign, Anyway?

Does everyone remember when they tried to put a silly LOUISVILLE sign on the waterfront and only got so far as the L before everybody freaked out at how dumb and wasteful it was? That’s what Greg Fischer reminds us of right now. That sign with its lonely, temporary L. [Woah, Flashback]

Speaking of Greg, have you gouged your eyes out over his overtime press release yesterday? [Press Release]

What was that, again, about Greg Fischer being some big pro-labor guy? Haha, funny how that works. You got effed, labor. Should’ve taken everyone seriously when we warned you. [WFPL]

President Barack Obama put Jim Ramsey on notice last night: “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can’t be a luxury – it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.” [SOTU]

If you missed it last night, check out the full text of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. And maybe take a peek at the Blueprint For An America Built To Last. [Page One]

Here’s what John Yarmuth had to say in response: “The President is absolutely right: Income inequality is the defining issue of our time,” Yarmuth said. “Our economy should reflect our values, not threaten them. People who work hard and play by the rules deserve a fair chance to build a successful future. … I am glad to hear the President confirm that his top priorities are to continue the renewal of American manufacturing and a strong commitment to education. Investment and hard work are paying off in Louisville, where Ford and GE have added thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the past few years, and thousands of Louisvillians have advanced their education and job skills through Metropolitan College’s public-private partnership. We need to do all we can to keep that momentum going.” [Press Release]

Stephen Daeschner says he has a plan to fix Greater Clark Schools before he hauls ass outta there. No one believes him. Wait, maybe he’s the one setting all those fires out of bitterness. [FOX41]

Sometimes Louisville gets too big for its britches. So now’s the obvious time for a reminder that Louisville doesn’t have an IKEA. [Business First]

Some birds flew in the sky around Oldham County. One of the most shocking things, ever. [WAVE3]

And just in case you were wondering why Greg takes his Metro Animal Services talking points from Patti Swope, here you go. [V-T]

How can you do a story about a Jefferson Development Group property that’s in such a sorry state without mentioning its leadership? [WHAS11]

Another $112K Metro Government Job Announced

Does Louisville really need a “director of performance improvement” to be hired by Greg Fischer? At the tune of $112,000 per year? She’s supposed to “bring the best of private sector accountability, transparency and efficiency to metro government.” This story reads like a straight-up press release. [C-J/AKN]

Here’s Jim Ramsey complaining about budget cuts. He still wants a hospital merger or a management contract for University Hospital. Note that there was no discussion of his massive pay raise. [FOX41]

A showdown over Kentucky’s proposed legislative districts isn’t coming – it’s already here. [H-L]

Local State Representative Reggie Meeks has a lot to say about churning legislative butter in Frankfort. This week, he discusses the redistricting nightmare. [Page One]

Louisville’s Air Pollution Control Board has voted to re-categorize a chemical used in some of the city’s manufacturing processes. Recent studies have suggested the chemical isn’t as carcinogenic as originally thought. [WFPL]

Remember the woman that crazy ass constable shot at Walmart? She was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart. [WAVE3]

And here’s the expected story about the University of Louisville raising tuition rates while Jim Ramsey and his colleagues rake in millions upon millions of dollars each year. [Business First]

The license plate for the gays in Indiana? It’s causing faux family-types to freak completely out. They just can’t believe the gays aren’t getting stoned to death anymore. [WHAS11]

A Butchertown building that collapsed in September 2010 is going to be rebuilt. [Broken Sidewalk]

Louisville apparently won some sort of award for fighting childhood obesity. We’re pretty sure the folks behind the award have never actually been in Louisville. [WLKY]

J. Bruce Miller has been burning the comments section up lately with discussions of Chinese billionaires and potential NBA teams. [The ‘Ville Voice Here & Here]

Budget Cuts? Try Some Actual Management, Greg

Maybe the University of Louisville Foundation’s investments are more messy than those of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. [Page One]

Everyone we speak to on Metro Council and in Metro Government says Greg Fischer is talking out of his butt about cuts being necessary to balance the budget. What’s necessary is to stop flushing money down the toilet on unnecessary salaries, to stop throwing money at problems that can be resolved without it and to just generally manage. [WAVE3]

If you missed Greg Fischer’s State of the City address yesterday at a members-only club, then be sure to check our highlights. [The ‘Ville Voice]

This MSD/Water Company merger talk is going over about as well as Metro Animal Services messes go over. [Business First]

It’s absolutely absurd that the body of Andrew Compton still has not been recovered. Even more absurd that his murderer still gets to play pat-a-cake. [WHAS11]

Told ya Richie Farmer was dumber than a rock and more corrupt than Keith Hall, Ruth Ann Palumbo and Jim Gooch combined. Nearly $500,000 worth of equipment is MISSING from the Department of Agriculture. You won’t believe the list of equipment. Take a look. [H-L]

Wait for it, wait for it. Now Jim Ramsey is calling for a review of the Quality and Charity Care Trust (indigent care board) at the University of Louisville. This is precisely why it would have been a bad idea for Adam Edelen to take a seat on the UofL Foundation board while a candidate. [FOX41]

Are you ever alarmed that there’s discussion of closing Jefferson County Public Schools for just a couple inches of snow? [C-J/AKN]

This is an actual headline from one of your teevee stations: Panties Found Along Road To Be Hung On Bridge. [WLKY]

No wonder the Swopes were going crazy trying to get us to write about their Fiat dealership a few weeks ago. [HuffPo]

It’s tough to take any ranking that says Kentucky is improving on the educational front seriously. Particularly when that ranking says students are still screwed when it comes to chances for success. [WFPL]