MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — The newly installed acting president at Mid-Continent University says he expects the school to remain open through the end of the semester despite financial woes.
The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/1k9ClWw) reports Ken Winters was named to the position on Saturday by the Board of Trustees after President Robert Imhoff agreed to step aside.
Winters, who has served as president of Campbellsville University and as a state senator, addressed students, faculty and community members on Monday regarding the status of the school in Mayfield that has about 2,400 students. He told the crowd how school officials are working to try to remedy the financial problems.
Winters said the dire financial situation stems from the U.S. Department of Education's rejection of three prior rounds of financial aid paperwork. The school has had to pay about $9 million toward student educational costs in the last five months due to the inability to access the funds.
"This situation will demand attention on our part over the next few weeks," Winters said. "In the short term, I plan to do what I can to ensure that yours and the school's futures are prosperous."
Several students voiced frustration with how the school has handled the matter.
"The lack of communication has been the most frustrating part," said sophomore Ryan Brightwell, who asked officials to give students something in writing that says they will receive credit hours for completed classes and that those hours would be transferable.
Another found of documentation has been submitted to the Department of Education, and Paula Clendenen, Mid-Continent executive director of financial aid, said officials hope it unlocks some funding for the school.
"We are working to make up for the sins of the past," Clendenen said. "The process had to change but we are working hard to get exactly what we need to make sure we don't ever have this issue again."
Winters said the school should receive notice by the end of the week on whether it has been approved for the funds.
"Because Mid-Continent is a no-term institution, there has been more difficulty meeting the demands for the style and type of material the department needs," he said.
The school needs about $6 million to reach spring graduation.
"Every expectation I have is that we will make it to the completion of this graduation ceremony," Winters said.
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com