By Steve Bittenbender
LOUISVILLE (Reuters) - The University of Louisville's Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of the school's president, officials said on Thursday, amid investigations by the FBI and NCAA.
James Ramsey will receive $690,542 to leave the position immediately following his resignation late Wednesday, university spokeswoman Cindy Hess said. He will remain as president of the school's private foundation, she said.
Ramsey became head of the public university in 2002 but in recent years drew criticism as it became the target of inquiries from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The FBI is looking at whether top university officials misused federal money and the NCAA is investigating whether a university employee paid women to strip and have sex with basketball players, according to media reports.
Ramsey also drew public ire last year after hosting a Halloween-themed luncheon at which he and other staff members dressed in stereotypical Hispanic garb.
Board Chairman Junior Bridgeman emphasized Ramsey's accomplishments in a statement.
“By any measure – student retention and graduation rates, research funding and successes, student achievement and fundraising – the University of Louisville is a different, far better institution because of Dr. Ramsey," he said.
Ramsey offered to resign when Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin decided last month he would reorganize the school's board. Kentucky's attorney general is challenging whether the governor can make such a move. The revamped board first met earlier this month.
University Provost Neville Pinto will serve as temporary president while the board searches for a replacement, Bridgeman said. Ramsey agreed not to sue the school under the agreement reached.
(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender; Editing by Ben Klayman and Bill Trott)