Suspended Westfield State University president Evan Dobelle has retired.

Dobelle informed the university's board of trustees of his retirement, effective immediately, in a letter on Friday. He had been at odds with trustees over criticism that he charged personal expenses on university credit cards and spent lavishly on foreign travel.

The board voted to suspend him with pay last month. Dobelle responded by filing a federal lawsuit against trustees and the state's higher education commissioner.

In the letter, released by a public relations firm hired by Dobelle, he said his decision to retire was the result of what he called the university's failure to abide by the terms of his contract.

He expressed gratitude to faculty, students and others for their support and friendship during his six years as president.

Watch Evan Dobelle respond to allegations of lavish spending here