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Mid-Continent disputes former trustee's allegations

Staff report

In response to a Paducah Sun story four days ago, Mid-Continent University has released a lengthy statement on behalf of its trustees and remaining administration members.

The entire statement is published on Page A6.

Last Wednesday's Sun story about the downfall of Mid-Continent, which has been closed since June 30, was based largely on comments by former trustee Gale Hawkins that were critical of the university. Hawkins, who had served 11 years as a trustee, was dismissed by the board two weeks ago.

Hawkins said the university's problems with the U.S. Department of Education were based in part on lax admission standards and heavy promotion of financial aid to boost enrollment. The DOE's repeated rejection of Mid-Continent's financial aid paperwork put the university in fiscal distress and led to its closing.

In its statement, Mid-Continent disputes Hawkins' allegations and notes that the university has spent more than $2 million on experts and consultants to address the deficiencies cited by the DOE. The statement also explains why Hawkins was removed from the board.

The statement says "a skeleton crew" of staff is still working to address issues raised by regulators and respond to requests from students. It also states that the board is "committed to finding a use for the campus in Mayfield" that will continue the Baptist school's mission.

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