HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Donor cancels $100,000 gift to Westfield State. “A major donor has withdrawn a planned $100,000 gift to Westfield State University, saying he was ‘appalled at the lavish spending’ by president Evan Dobelle, joining a growing backlash against the school after reports that Dobelle used the school’s private fund-raising arm to foot the bill for luxury hotels, limousine rides, and other high-end purchases, including a trip to Asia. A long-awaited review, part of which was obtained by the Globe this week, of Dobelle’s spending habits, shows that Dobelle freely mixed personal spending with official business in credit card charges of more than $180,209 billed to the Westfield State College Foundation over a 30-month period. Even after months of analysis, however, the accountant who conducted the review said it was impossible to tell whether many of the expenses were legitimate.”
Expect more donor pushback as the reality of university finances becomes understood.