The governing board of Westfield State University has suspended president Evan Dobelle amid criticism that he charged personal expenses on school credit cards and spent lavishly on foreign travel.

The school's Board of Trustees made the announcement early Thursday morning after a meeting that lasted some 10 hours. The trustees met behind closed doors over what has evolved into a bitter public dispute involving Dobelle, members of the board and state education leaders.

Dobelle's attorney told the Springfield Republican after the announcement he was disappointed and would not be surprised to take legal action against the school soon.

Dobelle has said he was following past practice and fully reimbursed Westfield for the personal charges. He's also said his overseas spending was a good investment for the school.