February 10, 2016 | 76° | Check Traffic

Top News

Dobelle resigns as president of Massachusetts university

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / DECEMBER 20012001 December 18 EDT Dobelle 08_ Evan Dobelle, UH President talks with the SB staff.
Star-Bulletin photo by FL Morris, fmorris@starbulletin.com
    STAR-ADVERTISER / DECEMBER 2001
    2001 December 18 EDT Dobelle 08_ Evan Dobelle, UH President talks with the SB staff. Star-Bulletin photo by FL Morris, fmorris@starbulletin.com

WESTFIELD, Mass. >> Suspended Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle has retired.

Dobelle, a former University of Hawaii president, informed the Massachusetts university’s board of trustees of his retirement, effective immediately, in a letter today. He had been at odds with trustees over criticism that he charged personal expenses on university credit cards and spent lavishly on foreign travel.

The board voted to suspend him with pay last month. Dobelle responded by filing a federal lawsuit against trustees and the state’s higher education commissioner.

In the letter, released by a public relations firm hired by Dobelle, he said his decision to retire was the result of what he called the university’s failure to abide by the terms of his contract.

He expressed gratitude to faculty, students and others for their support and friendship during his six years as president.

Dobelle’s troubles at Westfield are similar to his controversial tenure at UH from 2001 to 2004. UH regents unanimously voted to fire him in 2004 amid charges of lavish spending, dishonesty and wasting university resources.

Dobelle said he was a victim of a vendetta by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, and he fought back with lawyers. He threatened to sue UH for wrongful termination. The regents reached a settlement and Dobelle resigned.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.