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Westfield State University President Put On Paid Leave Pending Probe

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WSU
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Embattled Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has been put on paid leave.

   The school’s board of trustees put Dobelle on paid administrative leave and hired a Boston law firm to investigate allegations the university president violated policies with lavish spending on travel and entertainment.  The actions were announced early this morning by board chairman John Flynn at the end of a closed meeting that lasted more than ten hours.

   Pressure was mounting on the trustees to take action in the Dobelle controversy. The state’s higher education commissioner has been highly critical of Dobelle’s spending.  Also on Wednesday  the Westfield State faculty union voted no confidence in Dobelle by a two to one margin.  Dobelle’s attorney said he is contemplating legal action.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.