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Westfield State students, faculty are mixed about president’s spending controversy

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WESTFIELD -- Chas Hodgdon, a junior from Woburn, seems smitten when he talks about Westfield State University. He lives in a new $55 million dormitory, enjoys the abundant campus greenery, and finds the coursework challenging.

“I love it here; I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Hodgdon, a 22-year-old transfer.

But his mood darkens when he talks about the controversy swirling around Westfield State president Evan Dobelle, who is under fire for years of lavish spending that included large, personal charges to a university credit card. University trustees have scheduled an Oct. 16 meeting to consider suspending Dobelle with pay while investigations are underway.

“I’m disappointed that we actually have to deal with what he did,” Hodgdon said. “To be honest, I just think he knew somebody and thought he could get away with it and still have a job.”

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