Reporting Monique Griego
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)— Another battle is brewing at Towson University over cuts to the school’s athletic department. This week the state comptroller called for the school’s president to resign.
Monique Griego has the latest on why.
When the president announced baseball and soccer were being cut from the school, there was a lot of backlash. But now some people are saying her reasons for doing so just don’t add up.
State Comptroller Peter Franchot is throwing some serious allegations at Towson University President Maravene Loeschke.
“There’s been a lot of damage done to her presidency and to her ability to govern the university,” he said.
This week, Franchot called for Loeschke’s resignation after she failed to show up to a public meeting about her decision to axe men’s baseball and soccer.
Loeschke has said the cuts were necessary because of a budget deficit and Title IX requirements, which focus on gender equality.
Critics say she’s using Title IX as a scapegoat to fix money problems her administration created.
“She should have been there because she needs to explain and defend in public what her decision was based on in front of people who are affected by it,” the comptroller said.
Loeschke says she didn’t attend the meeting because of a scheduling conflict and she thought the issue had been resolved thanks to a move by the state.
After learning of the cuts, Gov. Martin O’Malley and state legislature were able to find a way to give the school $300,000 to help save baseball.
Loeschke’s office released the following statement to WJZ:
“It’s disappointing that Comptroller Franchot doesn’t recognize that leaders must make tough decisions—and in this case one that addresses federal compliance and fiscal responsibility. The president will not resign. As expressed publicly at the University System of Maryland Board of Regent’s meeting last Friday, Chancellor Kirwan and the Board of Regents are fully supportive of the president and the work she is doing to move Towson forward academically and athletically. Likewise, the Student Government Association, Towson University Staff Council, and University Senate have also recently expressed their support of her. President Loeschke is now focusing her attention on the opportunity provided by the Governor and Legislature and how the university can work with supporters to sustain baseball at Towson.”
The president says she’s focused on the window of opportunity to save baseball.
“I look forward to taking full advantage of this opportunity to work with supporters and do all we can to save this program that is important to many of us,” Loeschke said in a statement.
Students we spoke with still support Loeschke but don’t like all the negative publicity.
“It’s definitely not giving us a good reputation,” one student said.
“It’s supposed to be a campus thing, not the whole state. I think it’s gotten out of hand,” said Andrew Bilodeau, Towson student.
As of right now, soccer is still out at Towson. While baseball did receive that $300,000, the team will have to do a massive amount of fundraising to stay afloat.
In a statement to WJZ Senator James Brochin condemned the comptroller’s actions saying he should let the president do her job.