CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Faculty and students at Marshall University are in an uproar over the administration's decision to move funds from department accounts into a central account controlled by the administration.
A little after 9 a.m. Tuesday, faculty members received an email from the administration, telling them nearly all the money from department accounts had been moved into a central holding account overnight.
They had been discussing the university's budget for months, but this was the first time faculty had heard about this step and they learned of it after the fact.
The move affected a little more than $10 million.
President Stephen Kopp said the administration decided to sweep the money into a single account so it could be analyzed by a chief financial officer.
Faculty members immediately cried foul, and Kopp has since apologized.
"In retrospect, it was not the right approach and I regret that," Kopp told the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington.
"People were insulted with the technique . . . It was culturally insensitive to our university community."
But the administration has defended the act itself, saying Marshall's current finance model is not suitable for an institution of its size, especially when it's facing a $5 million cut in state funding.
On Thursday, in a crowded meeting with a group of 30 student protesters outside, Marshall's Board of Governors tabled Kopp's proposal to overhaul budget policies.
Professor Dallas Brozik said the College of Business has taken a vote of no-confidence against Kopp and Provost Gayle Ormiston.
The Faculty Senate scheduled an emergency meeting for today to discuss the proposal and to discuss the business school's no-confidence vote. If the Faculty Senate chooses to take a similar vote, it could occur next week.