Murray State could see an influx of new students next semester following Mid-Continent’s financial and accreditation issues, which have led to its president’s resignation.
At a Mid-Continent Board of Trustees meeting Saturday, Ken Winters, former president of Campbellsville University and dean of Murray State’s College of Industry and Technology, was confirmed as interim president. Winters and members of the board discussed alternate revenue sources for the university and the proposed selling of some of the school’s property to account for a $22 million deficit.
Despite the odds facing the university, after the meeting, Tom Butler, Mid-Continent University Board of Trustees chairman, told WKMS that the school will not be closing anytime soon.
Renae Duncan, associate vice president of Academic Affairs at Murray State, said while news of Mid-Continent’s struggle with accreditation has been public knowledge for years, the severity of the university’s financial situation has spurred numerous phone calls to Murray State.
“What we’re hearing is a lot of student worry and fear at Mid-Continent about their future and their degrees,” she said. “As a result of that, we’ve been getting quite a few calls from students asking if their credits will transfer and if they can finish their degrees here.”
Mid-Continent is located in Mayfield, Ky., approximately 30 minutes from Murray State’s main campus.
Duncan said she is unsure if it will be 10 students or 200 transferring, but whether or not Mid-Continent closes, Murray State is certain to have some transfers in store.
Interim President Tim Miller said he thinks most students choosing to leave Mid-Continent would choose to go to Murray State’s Paducah Campus instead of the main campus in Murray.
He said until Mid-Continent is found to be accredited or not by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the same process Murray State is currently undergoing, the University will not be able to accept students from Mid-Continent.
He said until then, it will not be clear how many, if any, credits will event transfer.
Miller said he feels that the Mid-Continent University leadership has not been transparent enough with students and parents about university issues and he hopes the school will be accredited so that students there will not lose their credits.
The primary reason for the university’s budget crisis stems from the mandated repaying of student loan and grant money given to the school since 2007 by the U.S. Department of Education.
This repeal of federal funding is due to a lack of required documentation needed to justify the money being given.
On top of this, The Paducah Sun has shed light on the possible misuse of funds by former Mid-Continent President Robert Imhoff, specifically the $1 million in salaries paid annually to nine of Imhoff’s relatives not befitting their roles at the school.
Miller said he will try to help students attempting to transfer to Murray State because that is what the function and mission of the University is: to help students.
Story by Ben Manhanke, Assistant News Editor