As the Gazette has previously reported, Polk has also been a frequent flier on MSU's two private airplanes, jetting to an airport near his North Carolina home and visiting his hometown in Texas on the university's dime for at least the past five years.
Ice said Polk's use of the university's two private planes did not play a role in the decision to fire Polk, saying the board's "major concern was this accreditation." Still, he said the board of trustees was reviewing Polk's use of the university aircraft.
Polk has made more than 100 flights to and from the Statesville Regional Airport in North Carolina since 2007 -- an airport about 20 minutes away from Polk's $457,000 Mooresville, N.C., house, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Polk also owns another 12-acre piece of land in Mooresville, N.C., worth more than $101,000, according to housing records.
Polk has also used one of the university planes to make at least 18 flights to and from his hometown in Lufkin, Texas, where his mother still lives, according to flight records.
The flights to North Carolina have cost MSU at least $170,000 and the Texas flights have eaten up more than $62,000. All of MSU's flights are expensed to the university's operational budget, which is about $55 million this year.
MSU paid between $1 million and $1.5 million for the university's Cessna 500 jet and more than $200,000 for the single-engine Cirrus Design Corp SR22, said Polk.
In a previous interview with The Gazette, Polk denied taking hundreds of flights on the university jet, saying the FAA records were incorrect. He did say that all the flights are used for university business.
Last week, Beard said Polk may have been "mistaken" about the aircraft's intended use.
No public universities in West Virginia own private aircraft, said the Higher Education Policy Commission.
"We can hand Charles Polk congratulations for his growth and development of the school," said Ice. "I don't want to indicate that Charles Polk didn't have a tremendous influence on where the university is today."
Going forward, Ice said the Board of Trustees would select a search committee to launch a national search for a new university president.
While there is not yet a set timetable to find a new university president, Ice said he hoped his term as interim president would be "the shortest in history."
"We are very, very aware of the problems at the school," said Ice. "We've got a team in place to win. We are all committed to making MSU the very best."
Mikita Pradhan, a junior and former nursing student at MSU, said while she was relieved the Board of Trustees was committed to transforming the school, action should have been taken much sooner.
"[Polk's firing] will help students five to 10 years down the road, but it's too late for us," said Pradhan. She quit the nursing program last week amid fears that the state nursing board would withdraw the program's state accreditation. "It's too late for me."In her three years at MSU, Pradhan said her one interaction with Polk was receiving a mass email from him in November informing all students that MSU had failed to receive national nursing accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. "All I remember was that the end of the email said, 'Do not reply to this message.'"
Reach Amy Harris at amy.har...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.