Lee Todd, the university president, said the effigy of the Illinois senator, who could become the nation's first African-American president if he is elected, was first noticed at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday by a professor riding his bicycle, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Todd said it is not yet known whether a student was responsible for the effigy and the incident is being investigated by the University Police Department and the Lexington Police Department. He said the Secret Service has been notified.
"It's a very embarrassing situation that has happened on our campus, regardless of who did it," Todd said.
He described hanging the effigy as a "despicable act."
"We certainly believe in political expression, just not in this form," he said.