'We're definitely not getting what we paid for:' Students in Lynchburg raise concern over school president

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Tensions are rising as a group of students in Lynchburg are trying to get their school president to step down.

VUL (Photo: WDBJ7)

Students at Virginia University of Lynchburg, the oldest school for higher education in the city, have started a petition demanding the removal of President Kathy Franklin.

Students say the firing of their head football coach was their breaking point in a series of what they call "leadership misconduct," but President Kathy Franklin says the university is doing its best to move the institution forward.

In a recent petition to Franklin and the Board of Trustees, the group of students accuse the president of misappropriation of funds and "using the university as her personal bank account."

Former football coach James Joe, who is advocating for the students, says he just wants an explanation. "I for one want to know exactly where the money [is] going to,” Joe said.

Franklin, who fired Joe last week for “not following University Policy,” says there is no mishandling of money at the university. "The funds that we use for the institution basically helps us pay for facilities and the things that the students need in order for us to give them a quality education."

Williams, who is a part of the Student Government at VUL, says a lot students also struggle with the dormitories that are run down. "I wouldn't really call them homey … There's like mold growing in the rooms, mushrooms growing in the rooms,” Williams said. "We're definitely not getting what we're paying for."

But Franklin says the dorms are checked and cleaned before students move in. "That's up to the students,” she said. “The only thing that we do as far as the dormitories, is maintaining the dormitories as far as maintenance."

Franklin says the school's finances were recently audited and no mishandling of money was discovered.