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letters | westfield state president under scrutiny

School president a visionary working to provide life-changing experiences for students

RE “WHERE spending limits are purely academic” (Page A1, Aug. 18): Evan Dobelle is an effective change agent and powerful advocate for the children of working-class families. As a visionary leader, he has worked tirelessly since his first day as president of Westfield State University to provide life-changing educational experiences generally only available to the most privileged students.

I remember the head of the student body telling me how uniquely accessible and caring Dobelle was and that he regularly ate breakfast with the students. The investments made under his tenure have led to significant achievements, such as a much-needed, innovative, and affordable nursing program where students will have the opportunity to spend time learning and applying their skills in both Massachusetts and developing countries.

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I was on the trip to Asia, which you cited, to provide expertise as a nursing leader and an international health expert with more than 30 years’ experience in programs in developing countries, including the ones we visited.

I found your article one-sided, and believe that the investments made during the past three to five years have proved Dobelle to be right in his approach. I suggest that your reporters take the time to speak to current and former students and key staff at Westfield State.

Pam Putney

West Tisbury

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