State freezes university’s funding

Monday, October 7, 2013

State education officials announced plans Friday to freeze state funding for Westfield State University, including $2 million toward a new science building, after the school’s president, Evan Dobelle, failed to meet Thursday’s deadline for submitting a detailed defense of his controversial spending habits.

The move by Higher Education Commissioner Richard M. Freeland dramatically increases the pressure on Westfield State’s board of trustees to take action against Dobelle. The board has already scheduled a meeting for Oct. 16, when it could vote to suspend the president with pay.

Dobelle had asked Freeland for more time to respond to two reports that found he has repeatedly violated university credit card policy by charging large personal expenses to the school and the school’s fund-raising arm.

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