The faculty's vote of no confidence in Marshall University President Stephen Kopp needs to be viewed against the background of the budgetary problems that loom ahead.
Marshall University faces the same problems as colleges across the country: reductions in government funding and students who are graduating with high student loan debt and slim job prospects.
The Institute for College Access & Success has an annual report on student debt. Its most recent report covered the Class of 2011, which graduated two years ago.
- 64 percent of the Class of 2011 in West Virginia graduated with a student loan debt.
- The debt averaged $26,200.
- Nationally, the unemployment rate for graduating seniors was 8.8 percent.
Obviously, colleges cannot continue with large tuition increases each year.
In addition, state financial support of state universities is on the decline nationally as states grapple with increases in demand for other services.
West Virginia cut its support of Marshall by $5 million next year, a sum that represents 9 percent of Marshall's operating budget.
Kopp is faced with the necessity of balancing the budget. As his chief of staff told the Daily Mail's Shay Maunz, "We have to find ways to make ends meet."
Unfortunately, Kopp was clumsy in moving nearly $10 million from departmental accounts into a central holding account controlled by his office.