The Willihnganz Mess At UofL Just Got Scandalous

Oooh, the scandal is thick at the University of Louisville. And not just because of the Wolfson article we highlighted earlier on Page One.

Get a load of the letter to the editor Sam Connally sent to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate, et al.

Here’s the email he sent:

Feb 4, 2014

Uof L Board of Trustees —

Attached you will find an “Open Letter” sent to the editor of the Courier-Journal this afternoon, regarding Shirley Willihnganz’ resignation as EVP and University Provost, in which I clarify pending complaints regarding allegations of misconduct on the Provost’s part related to the funding of the UofL health plan and the integrity of race discrimination complaints.

My opinions, of course, are personal in nature and reflect my best personal and professional belief as to the facts that govern my recent termination from UofL on at at-will basis, without cause, as Vice President for Human Resources and University EEO Officer. All documents referenced in the attached letter to the editor have been released to the public by the University and are in the public domain. Thank you.

With all best wishes,

Sam Connally

And the letter:


CLICK EACH TO ENLARGE

The best part of it all?

I do not expect your readers to take my word for these representations at face value, but in any “he said/she said” environment, the astute reader will ignore what both sides are saying and “just follow the money.” The money chase will lead to the truth as it always does. This is why God created courts and judges and juries – so that the truth will ultimately be discovered and known by those who care.

Get the popcorn ready!

What On Earth Is Wrong With JCPS These Days?

Everything people want to know about the Ohio River Bridges Project can now be learned in one hour. [WDRB]

An attorney for Louisville Water Co. chief executive Jim Brammell wants a judge to throw out the results from a breathalyzer that was used following his August arrest and determined Brammell’s breath alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit allowed to drive in Kentucky. [C-J/AKN]

The bleachers were filled at Stopher Elementary School with Lauren Eason’s students. 130 are in her class this year but almost all will pass through her inventive classroom before they go to middle school. She wants no students left out. [WHAS11]

The bourbon was flowing and, at least in one Washington ballroom, a spirit of bipartisanship broke out Tuesday night, courtesy of Kentucky’s distillers. [H-L]

Jefferson County Public Schools officials are responding to what police say is surveillance video showing a school resource officer twice assaulting students. [WLKY]

President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2016 includes a major change for legally married same-sex couples, making them eligible to receive Social Security spousal benefits regardless of where they live. Currently, these couples are unable to get such benefits if they live in a state that does not recognize their marriage. [HuffPo]

What the heck is wrong in Clark County? A woman was trusted with the care of hundreds of inmates, until she became one of them. [WAVE3]

A group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers will begin their second attempt on Wednesday to introduce a bill that would reform the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program in the United States, targeting an end to ethanol fuel-blending mandates. [Reuters]

Rose Mollyhorn, 52, has spent most of her life within a 12-block area of Louisville’s Portland neighborhood, and she’s seen drastic change over those years. [WFPL]

Rand Paul says Common Core contains anti-American history… but it doesn’t have history requirements. [Think Progress]

Some Ford Motor Co. employees in Louisville will be kicked into a higher pay bracket because of the automaker’s plans to hire workers elsewhere in the U.S. The raise will amount to an approximately $9 per hour increase. [Business First]

Clark County Commissioner Rick Stephenson appeared in Jeffersonville City Court on Friday for a hearing following his drunken-driving arrest on Christmas Eve. [News & Tribune]

UofL Provost Stepping Down In Just A Few Months

Woah, check out this email that University of Louisville Provost Shirley Willihnganz just sent out to UofL staff:

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 9:53 AM
To: Cmoffice,Service Account
Subject: Message from the Provost
Importance: High

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to let you know that I’ll be stepping down as provost at the end of this academic year.

Being part of the transformation of this university from a very good urban school to a nationally recognized metropolitan research university has been a joy and an honor. Watching how you have worked and dreamed and tirelessly pushed to make this happen has left me awed and humbled. Seeing Dr. Ramsey’s leadership shining, unbending, visionary and strong continues to be inspiring and I have learned so much from him. And working with our students has to be the most hopeful experience anyone could have. My senior staff and support staff are simply the best, and so much that is good is because of them. So many on our boards and in our community support this university, and much of what we as a university have become thrives from their attention and support.

So, I know there will be questions about why, and what and who next, but the simplest response is that after 13 years it’s time for me and for the university for change and just as each of us sits on the shoulders of those who have gone before, I know that this university is on such a trajectory that somebody great will want to be the next provost.

A heartfelt “thank you” to all of you. My plan is to finish out the academic year, take a year’s administrative leave and then figure out what next. I am lucky to have a tenured faculty position here and hope I have colleagues who will want me back. This is a wonderful university and I have loved it for the nearly 30 years that I’ve been here. I will continue to do that.

Gratefully,

Shirley

Boom goes the dynamite?

The flood gates are about to open.

Frankfort Harassment Scandal Still Front & Center

A mobile application concept developed by a team of eighth graders at Meyzeek Middle School has won the school $20,000, the students brand new tablets and now they’ll work with an expert to make their concept a reality. [WDRB]

At the Metropolitan Sewer District, board members and the executive director routinely use private accounts or personal smartphones to do agency business, sending emails or text messages to each other, the former chairman asserts. This is how Greg Fischer conducts business these days. He’s crapping his pants. [C-J/AKN]

We now know the theme of this year’s Thunder Over Louisville. The big reveal took place Tuesday morning with the help of six sponsors for the big day: A Boom with a View. [WHAS11]

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said Monday he will rule this week whether the Legislative Research Commission must turn over all sexual harassment complaints involving lawmakers and staffers. [H-L]

WARNING! RIDICULOUS AUTOPLAY VIDEO! Local first responders are facing a major life-and-death situation, and they’re not sure how to stop it from getting worse. [WLKY]

President Barack Obama wants to create a new government agency dedicated to keeping the nation’s food safe. [HuffPo]

A woman being booked into Louisville Metro Corrections was found to be carrying a possible explosive device. [WAVE3]

What can be proven beyond a doubt is that, even if underlying economic trends have increased inequality, Obama’s economic policies have reduced it sharply. [NY Magazine]

The plan to develop a Wal-Mart on Broadway and Dixie Highway is now heading to the Board of Zoning Adjustments—bringing the project just a couple steps away from construction. [WFPL]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bringing in an all-star team led by Hill-veteran Antonia Ferrier. [Politico]

Following an uptick in office activity in 2014, the industrial vacancy rate in the Louisville area continued to fall in 2014 as absorption soared above 5.6 million square feet of warehouse inventory, according to a report by Louisville commercial real estate firm Commercial Kentucky Inc. [Business First]

The outlook for the May primary, and in some regards, the November general election, became clearer this week as several candidates filed in major New Albany races. [News & Tribune]

Hargens Doesn’t Have JCPS Under Control

Another day, another dumb JCPS incident. No threat was found after police conducted a sweep at Eastern High School this morning after reports that a student planned to bring a gun to school. [WDRB]

Ford Motor Co.’s billion-dollar gamble on manufacturing its full-size pickup trucks with aluminum alloy is about to bring big changes to Louisville’s Kentucky Truck Plant. [C-J/AKN]

It’s a survey that reaches out to staff, students and every parent within the Jefferson County Public Schools’ district and it will collect feedback on everything from academics to to school safety to job satisfaction. [WHAS11]

Consultants are finishing a report that examines how Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act has impacted Kentucky’s health care system. [H-L]

Louisville Metro Police detectives have their ninth homicide case of the year after being called to the Parkland neighborhood early Monday morning. [WLKY]

Have scientists discovered a new species of primitive human? [HuffPo]

When fire tears through a home, it could be easy for firefighters scrambling to control the blaze to overlook pets trapped by the flames, especially if they don’t have the tools to rescue small animals. [WAVE3]

President Obama on Monday sent Congress a nearly $4 trillion budget blueprint for 2016 that would raise taxes on the wealthy and businesses while boosting spending on infrastructure and education. [The Hill]

Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail had another record-breaking year in attendance. The trail’s nine participating distilleries had 627,032 visitors in 2014, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. [WFPL]

During the Frack Free Foothills community forum Tuesday, several speakers disagreed with statements submitted to media before the meeting by the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association (KOGA). [Richmond Register]

In the last quarter of 2014, 617 residential building permits were issued in the Louisville area, up 15 percent from the 529 permits issued in the fourth quarter of 2013. [Business First]

If House Bill 1110 becomes law, the Clark County Circuit Court will be authorized to appoint a new magistrate. On Thursday, Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael said the new magistrate would likely handle the county’s juvenile docket. [News & Tribune]