Turner acknowledged the group's flaws but said they are only a result of its hasty formation. A second, more deliberate budget-planning group will be created soon and will take a broader look at Marshall's budget issues.
They're on a tight schedule. The state legislative session started later than usual because of the gubernatorial election, which meant a delay in the approval of the state budget -- Marshall couldn't plan its own budget until it was known how much state funding could be expected.
The preliminary expenditure schedule is due Monday. The board of governors is coming together for a special meeting next Thursday to consider a tuition and fee schedule -- which is due to the Higher Education Policy Commission the next day.
The school is also dealing with an openly antagonistic faculty and students who have been vocal in their opposition to any tuition increases.
Turner said the president has promised he is "trying to control or minimize" any tuition increases but hasn't ruled out some might be necessary.
A "soft" hiring freeze has also been in place since early April, though hires for essential positions are still being considered.
Finance professor Dallas Brozik said it's unlikely Kopp will be able to guide the university through this difficult transition without also breeding more resentment among faculty.
"If they continue trying to do business as usual, this level of distrust is going to remain so high we won't function," he said.
Alan Gould, a former faculty member and administrator at Marshall who now runs the school's John Deaver Drinko Academy, has been vocal in his support of. He maintains that it's because the financial outlook is so rocky that Kopp's presence is necessary.
"Like in marriage, it's finances that cause the greatest problem," he said. "It isn't anything else that you might think, it's money and money worries. That's true with anything but especially as something as fragile in its own way as education."
With Kopp at the helm, he said, the school at least has continuity on its side, and institutional knowledge.
"Clearly the faculty wanted to make their opinion heard and they did that," Turner said. "And we're listening and we're really seeing this as an opportunity to work together, because we have to. We just have to. These challenges have to be overcome."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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