Bevin is After UofL


Brianna Pritchett, Messenger Reporter and Business Manager

The risk of any university losing its accreditation affects current students, past students, and the upcoming students to be. This is happening to the home of many future and past mustangs. The University of Louisville has been hit big time with an accreditation issue brought up by Matt Bevin. Back in June, Matt Bevin said he was going to abolish the 20-member board and replace it with a 10-member board of his choice. Bevin’s lawyers have argued that no individual members were “removed” from the board. The result of his reorganization, however, did cause the 20-member board, appointed by former Gov. Steve Beshear, to lose their seats. James Ramsey, the president of UofL, coincidently resigned from his position around the time of this change. This action was made shortly after a discussion between Bevin and Ramsey, and is noted to not have been a result of Bevin’s political acts.

This was all brought up due to the fact that every 10 years UofL is due for a review, this has caused UofL to work to overcome the accreditation issues discovered during their review in 2016. If the University of Louisville lost its accreditation it would likely shut down, or basically cease to exist. Losing your accreditation would take away from any grant provided by the government, meaning only the wealthiest of students would remain.

Of course shuttering a college isn’t in anyone’s best interest, which allowed UofL to be put on probation and work for their upcoming changes. Since the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges put UofL on probation the risk of the university being shut down has been very downplayed. Though unlikely, it’s still a dire possibility. Putting a university on probation is more or less just to influence a large change. Probation means you are at risk of losing your accreditation, but it’s really to get the college to fall in line and follow the rules. UofL was notified of a one-year probation that could extend to two years while the school addresses governance problems, which has caused students to begin to worrying seriously about the value of their degrees — and UofL’s future. The present and upcoming Cardinals are said to be a major influence on overcoming this accreditation issue, public pressure can be more powerful than a scolding. It really comes down to students themselves.

Taking this into note I took the action to interview a current student at the University of Louisville- Evan Dowell who is a Mechanical Engineer major and has taken the chance to look into this accreditation issue. When asking Evan about his concern for this issue and how it affects everyone’s degree he easily agreed with the common by saying, “If the University fails their probation period, my opportunities could be seriously compromised. Having a degree from an unaccredited University is practically useless in my career field.” Evan also didn’t shy away to mention his opinion on Bevin’s overwhelming authority in this decision, “His undue political influence has put the futures of students and university faculty at risk. I believe the decision was not his to make.” As a current student Evan feels strongly about this course of action but remains to have hope that the “University will resolve this issue despite the difficulties it faces.”

The acting president of UofL took to notice the public scolding of this issue and stated that the sanction doesn’t affect the value of degrees or the school’s ability to get federal funding. He also said the issues will be resolved by the fall of 2017, putting most students at an ease. Though he brushes this issue off like nothing to the public he acknowledged at a news conference that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ decision to place UofL on probation for one year — or two — is “very disappointing. Probation is not a good place to be,” he has said. As a future Cardinal this has slightly affected my decision to further my education there but I believe, like most others, that the University will handle things accordingly. If this was your University what steps would you be taking to ensure a stable future?