Top Mass. Education Official Wants Action Against Dobelle

Massachusetts’ top education official is renewing a call for disciplinary action against Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle. 

Dobelle’s spending habits and use of a school credit card have been the center of controversy in recent months. Last week in Boston, state officials slammed Dobelle for his actions and criticized the Westfield board of trustees for a lack of oversight. State secretary of education Matthew Malone says the board has the authority to hire and fire school presidents.

“We’re calling on the board right now to take some action. Clearly there was a violation of policy and looking the other way is not good enough for us. So the next steps are we’re waiting for the board to convene and figure out what they are going to do,” Malone says. 

Westfield State’s board is scheduled to meet next month. Meanwhile, university spokesperson Molly Watson says she could not confirm or comment on an article in the Springfield Republican. The paper reports that Dobelle could be seeking whistleblower protection to prevent discipline against him by school or state officials. Dobelle has claimed he reported various expenses on his own, blowing the whistle on himself.