Imhoff stepping down: Mid-Continent management negotiations

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall
Web Editor - Amanda Roberts

UPDATE (2/19/14):

Dr. Robert Imhoff, President of Mid-Continent University is in negotiations about his decision to step down from his position. 

Sources tell Local 6 that Board Chairman, Tom Butler Senior is involved in these negotiations about the management restructuring.

UPDATE: Tom Butler, Mid-Continent University Board Chairman, tells Local 6 that Saturday's scheduled Board of Trustees meeting has been postponed.

Butler said there have already been an Executive Committee and a Finance Committee meeting and at this time no new business needs to be discussed.

He said a new date has not been date but will likely happen in the next several weeks.

ORIGINAL STORY

GRAVES COUNTY, Ky. - Students at Mid-Continent University learned more about their school's financial condition and standing with the Department of Education on Friday. It is a situation that some fear could cause the school in Graves County, Kentucky to shut down.

Dr. Gale Hawkins, a trustee for MCU, accused the president of the university of covering up the school's critical standing with the Department of Education. He also said he had no idea Mid-Continent was struggling financially, and claims the chairman of the board is protecting the president.

"I'm not out to get anybody, I'm just out to save the school," said Hawkins, who said his interview with Local 6 could cost him a great deal.

"We were told if we talked anything about the school that there would probably be repercussions of legal nature," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said he didn't know anything about the school's standing with the Department of Education until recently. He claims President Bob Imhoff and Chairman Tom Butler made sure of it.

By President Imhoff's orders, we were not allowed into an information meeting with students and faculty. A security guard made sure we stayed away. A source inside the meeting said that students were told not to talk to the media. Only two students stopped, and they said they were too afraid to speak on the issue.

Hawkins says this is not the Mid-Continent he knows and loves, and he says he will be praying for major changes before it is too late.

President Imhoff said he was not happy with our previous report on the university earlier this week, but he refused to talk to us again.

Spokesperson Bill Bartleman said Imhoff did not want to speak with us after we made several attempts to find him, but did release a statement.

"We are meeting all federal requirements for providing students with funds they qualify for under terms of their federal loans, even though the Department of Education hasn't made any payments in five months. We realize this is a complex and confusing issue and appreciate the concern of students and parents. If students or parents have questions, we have the appropriate staff ready to give them answers," said Bartleman's statement in part.

Tom Butler, a retired long-time employee of WPSD Local 6, says he disagrees with Hawkins and says he is trying to protect the university, not the president. He also said he did not appreciate Hawkins coming to us first, and that he should've met with him or the president beforehand.

The Mid-Continent University Board Meeting is on Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. on campus.

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