Local News

UofL Board Sent Strong Message with Ramsey’s Contract Extension: State of the News

The University of Louisville board has voted to extend president Dr. James Ramsey‘s contract until 2020, giving him a standing ovation after the vote. The Courier-Journal’s Chris Otts joined us to talk about the story, saying the board wanted to send a strong message that they want Dr. Ramsey to stay on with the University for as long as he is willing to.

He also talked about a lawsuit that is making public some details of Sullivan Universities profits and growth.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Special Prosecutor Investigating Sullivan University Over Campaign Contributions

The office of Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway has named a special prosecutor to investigate Sullivan University for potential violations of Kentucky campaign finance laws after school executives encouraged employees to support his opponent in the general election.

Earlier this month, a former admissions officer at Spencerian College in Louisville, which is run by Sullivan University, accused officials of urging them to contribute to Republican attorney general candidate Todd P’Pool this November. Spencerian is among several for-profit colleges that are currently being probed by the attorney general.

From Lexington Herald-Leader:

Conway’s office received a complaint earlier this month from one of the employees asked to support P’Pool…Conway recused himself from the investigation because the complaint involves his re-election campaign, spokeswoman Allison Martin said. On Friday, a committee of four employees of the attorney general’s office independently chose Jim Crawford, the commonwealth’s attorney in Carrollton, as a special prosecutor.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

P’Pool Addresses Questionable Contributions

Republican candidate for attorney general Todd P’Pool won’t return contributions from a for-profit university being investigated by the Kentucky attorney general’s office and lashed out at Democratic incumbent Jack Conway for calling on him to do so.

Last week, a former admissions officer at Spencerian College in Louisville, which is run by Sullivan University, accused school executives of urging employees to support P’Pool this November. Spencerian is among several for-profits that are currently being probed by the attorney general’s office and Conway’s office confirmed they have subpoenaed documents from the school.

Campaign finance records show Sullivan officials contributed $12,000 to the P’Pool campaign in April, but the GOP nominee has rejected calls by Conway’s campaign to return the money, adding the Hopkins County Attorney is putting a “for sale” sign on the attorney general’s office.

But P’Pool says the donations haven’t influenced his agenda and won’t have any bearing on his prosecuting of cases if elected this fall.

“Since the day I filed for this office up until today, right now my message has never changed and will not change. My principles are not for sale and when I’m in office I will uphold the rule of law and those folks who are violating the law will be prosecuted,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Conway Campaign Slaps Back Against P’Pool, RPK Ad

Responding to an attack ad released by the Republican Party of Kentucky on Friday, the campaign to re-elect Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway is scolding Republican challenger Todd P’Pool for taking money from universities that are under investigation.

The GOP released the YouTube video to mark 100 days of criticizing Conway for helping his brother, Matt, obtain legal counsel while he was the focus of a narcotics investigation.

But Conway campaign manager Melissa Wideman stiff armed the GOP’s line of questioning and says the online advertisement is a desperate attempt to tie the attorney general to his brother, who maintains he did not interfere in the probe on his brother’s behalf.

“It is a shameful and dishonest attack by someone who is 26 points down in the polls,” she says.

Local News Politics

School Facing AG Probe Urges Support for Conway’s Opponent

A former admissions officer at the for-profit Spencerian College in Louisville  told the Lexington Herald-Leader Thursday that executives being investigated by Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway have urged employees to support his opponent in the fall election.

Campaign finance records show the chancellor of Sullivan University, which owns Spencerian, and his executives contributed $12,000 to Republican attorney general candidate Todd P’Pool’s campaign.

From the Herald-Leader:

Spencerian College, owned by the Sullivan University System, is one of the for-profit schools whose business practices Conway is investigating. Conway’s office confirmed Wednesday that it subpoenaed documents from Spencerian College in December as part of its ongoing investigation.

Conway has taken legal action against Daymar College and Brown Mackie College, alleging they defrauded students and manipulated government-tuition assistance programs, respectively.

In public remarks, Sullivan University Chancellor A.R. Sullivan has defended the for-profit college industry and criticized Conway’s investigation as “a re-election sham.”

Local News Politics

For-Profit College Oversight Bill Clears House

The Kentucky House Thursday said yes to legislation requiring greater oversight of for-profit colleges in the state. But it wasn’t a resounding yes.

The bill, sponsored by Louisville Representative Reginald Meeks, cleared the chamber 57-38.

“The bill shrinks their board, provides for greater transparency, greater oversight,” he said. “And it moves for-profit schools that offer degree programs over to the CPE [Council on Postsecondary Education] where all other schools that offer degree programs reside.”

“This bill needs to have a little bit more thought put into it and it needs to be organized a little bit better,” said Louisville Representative Jim Wayne, who voted for the measure. “The hope was that in passing it today out of the House, we can send it to the Senate, and in the process it can be improved along the way.”

Louisville Representative Bob DeWeese was among the bill’s opponents.

“There are many of those for-profit schools that are excellent. Sullivan University in Louisville, their cooking school was invited to go to Beijing and cook for all the Olympics the last time we were over there,” he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate. The Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Thursday held a third day of hearings on the Medicaid budget bill approved by the House, but took no vote. Lawmakers have only eight more days to finish their work.

Local News

Louisville Tech Gets New Name, Degree Programs

Louisville Technical Institute has a new name and will expand its facilities and degree programs. The school, part of the Sullivan University system, is now called the Sullivan College of Technology and Design.

University President Glenn Sullivan says the re-branding is part of an effort to reach more prospective students outside the Louisville area.

“The Louisville Tech name just is not going to travel as well,  and that’s really one of the reasons that drove the change, but it really better reflects the change we’re taking in the direction of the college  in a new program we’re starting in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration,”  Sullivan said.

Sullivan says the school is also adding a new, environmentally friendly building on its campus at Atkinson Square Drive near Bishop Lane.

The college will also offer a new bachelor’s degree program in Graphic Design.