Westfield State Faculty to Announce Results from Vote on Whether They Back Dobelle

When the Westfield State University board meets Wednesday, trustees will find out if the university’s staff supports President Evan Dobelle. An audit found that Dobelle spent excessively over the course of his presidency on travel using university credit cards.

Members of Westfield’s faculty and librarian union have been voting since last week on whether they have confidence in Dobelle’s ability to run the school. Biology professor Buzz Hoagland, leader of the union, won’t specifically say how he voted. But Hoagland says Dobelle’s reputation has been damaged.

“The vote is to determine whether we have confidence in the president to lead our institution to the future. Because, you know, there have been an enormous number of media reports and comments by the governor as well as Richard Freeland, who’s the commissioner for the board of higher education,” Hoagland says.

Earlier this month, Commissioner Freeland froze almost $200,000 in university funding and recommended withholding another $2 million for a planned science center at the school.

Hoagland says the faculty voting ends Wednesday morning.

New England Public Radio’s Jill Kaufman and Sam Hudzik contributed to this report.