It is with great sorrow that we come together today with the departure of our president and dear friend, Fr. Julio Giulietti, S.J. We have all come here to seek the truth, and to know and understand what has happened within the university walls and what has become of the reputation of WJU. In this light, please invite anyone to read the blog and feel free to comment as you wish.

Any posts with profanity are not welcome, otherwise, please speak your mind. You are a part of this university and we want to hear your voice!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Members of the Board of Directors Resign

It has come to my attention from a reliable source that a couple members of the Board of Directors at WJU have resigned in protest of the Board of Trustees action on firing the president.  These are Lynda C. Wolford, C.P.A., Director of Internal Audit and Management Analysis at Georgetown University for 12 yrs, and Rudolph L. DiTrapano, Esq., one of the very few lawyers listed in The Best Lawyers of America.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Join the "WJU Students in Support of Fr. Giulietti" Facebook Group

Click HERE to see the group and join it as you wish.

Good Work Lies Ahead - Letter to the Editor

August 27, 2009

Editor, News-Register:

As one who spent 10 of the best years of my life at Wheeling College (now Wheeling Jesuit University), and continues to have a love affair with the institution and its very special people, I was deeply saddened by recent events.

Fr. Julio Giulietti has been a friend and colleague for many years, as have many of the board members and, of course, faculty and staff at the University. It is always painful to see relationships deteriorate as they did at Wheeling between the board and the president, leading to Fr. Giulietti's departure from the University.

No one "wins" in such a situation and the demands of necessary confidentiality prevent folks knowing all the details. I am satisfied that good people on both sides seriously disagreed on what was best for the University and a decision had to be made.

In similar cases, the president has moved on to do good work, as I am sure Fr. Giulietti will, and the institution also moves forward, as I saw on my recent visit to campus that the University community is doing. Faculty and staff were eagerly preparing for a large new freshman class and re-committing themselves to the fine educational experience in the Jesuit tradition for which Wheeling Jesuit is known and valued.

They all deserve our prayers and best wishes.

Charles L. Currie, S.J.
Washington, D.C.

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Letter to the Chairman of the Board

 Click images for larger view

Treatment of Giulietti Disgusting - Letter to the Editor

August 26, 2009

I am a graduate of Boston College and have known Father Julio Giulietti, S.J., for 27 years. Father Julio is a man of integrity, sound intelligence and deep spirituality.

Since Father Julio's firing, I have read two documents from Father Ed Glynn, who has served as president of three separate Jesuit universities and as Provincial of the Maryland Province of Jesuits. He currently serves as a member on the Wheeling Jesuit Board of Directors and is a Trustee. His documents report in chronological order his dissent and the events that led to the illegal firing of Father Giulietti.

There have been no allegations or evidence of any immoral, unethical, illegal or fiduciary negligent acts by Father Julio. I am appalled and disgusted, but not completely surprised by the underhanded actions of some members of the Board of Directors. What is deeply disheartening and sad is the action of the three Jesuit Trustees. These Jesuit Trustees fired Father Giulietti without the two-thirds approval required from the Board of Directors, without the full attendance of the Trustees and while Father Julio was on vacation. I do not recollect this type of intentional public embarrassment being directed at any university president.

I cannot believe Jesuits would treat a brother Jesuit in such a despicable and disrespectful manner. Their unjust actions, if allowed to go uncorrected, will bring a greater amount of shame and distrust to the Jesuits and the Wheeling Jesuit community than the damage brought upon Father Giulietti. Have these Jesuits forgotten that they are Jesuits first? Have they dismissed the teachings of St. Ignatius to seek the presence of God Our Lord in all things and at all times, whether conversing, walking, looking, tasting, listening, thinking, in everything you do. How can they claim to hold the moral high ground to teach our sons and daughters when they behave so unethically and immorally? This is hypocrisy in its most basic form.

If there is legitimate dissatisfaction with the president's job performance, the evaluation process should have been allowed to run in its entirety. My understanding of the Wheeling Jesuit bylaws, as clearly demonstrated in Father Ed Glynn's documents, is that the Jesuit Trustees had no legal authority to take this premature and illicit action. I believe this action by the Jesuit Trustees was taken as a result of fear that the independent evaluation would not be returned in the favor of some board members and maybe even some local religious authorities outside the purview of Wheeling Jesuit University. We all make mistakes, but only men of honor and integrity will find the strength to admit their failures and correct them.

If I were a Wheeling Jesuit University alumnus, I would rescind all past and future donations to the university and demand full disclosure of these illicit events by the Trustees. If we are to sit idly by and witness injustice then we are as guilty as those who committed the act.

John W. Hwee
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register 

Even Health Insurance? (a letter from Fr. Julio's attorney)

Click image for a larger view

Letter from Governor Manchin

Click image for a larger view.

Giulietti Firing Protested - Letter to the Editor

August 14, 2009

Editor, News-Register:

I am a resident of Wheeling, West Virginia and my husband is currently enrolled in the nursing program of Wheeling Jesuit University. I have come to know WJU as a family because of the warm people and their hospitality. I am appalled of what took place recently.

The shocking firing of President Fr. Julio Giulietti, SJ, is a very unjust and discourteous action, not only for the man himself, but also for each and every one of us who respected and loved him so dearly. No amount of words can exactly describe how this man has been WITH us and FOR us through all these times that he spent in WJU.

Fr. Julio is the only president I know whose office doors are very widely open to those who would want to visit him anytime. If I didn't know him, I would assume him to be a regular man, a "nobody" in school who mingles and chats with just anybody in campus. I have come to know a lot of presidents back in my own country, the Philippines. But only this president have I admired so much for being so nice and open to the people.

Fr. Julio was removed from his position prior to his yearly evaluation. What is the school evaluation for if it does not count for anything at all? Several students are already scheduled in September for an interview that will evaluate him. Why did they not get this chance for evaluation? Is this the reason why Fr. Julio has been the fourth president in seven years of this school? Why such sudden firing without even a word from the student body? These students, in fact, make up the bulk of the entirety of the school who in fact know Fr. Julio that well because he is a REGULAR FRIEND to all of them - always with open arms, to think that he is the PRESIDENT of this prestigious university!

Fr. Julio was fired while he was on vacation. I do not think this is the socially correct way to dismiss someone from a position which was still rightfully his. Everyone who loved this man was not even given an opportunity, in a courteous and gracious way, to bid him goodbye, appreciate and thank him for all the wonderful things he has done, not only to the university, but for being a FRIEND to us all. This president is more than a family to us.

I know that this letter will not at all get Fr. Julio back to the position as the president of WJU, after all that has been unjustifiably said and done. But on behalf of my husband who is enrolled in this university, all the other students, and all the people who love Fr. Julio, I just deeply express my dismay for all the unkindness and rudeness that is being thrown to him. An intelligent, humane and a very kind man does not deserve all these.
Our hearts and prayers will forever be with our Fr. Julio.

Christine C. Aquino, M.D.

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

Giulietti Praised - Letter to the Editor

August 13, 2009

Editor, News-Register:

The recent firing of Wheeling Jesuit University's President, Julio Gulietti, is a real shame. In less than two years this energetic and tireless leader brought many positive changes to the university and helped it to remain one of the top centers of higher learning in our area.

Furthermore, the Board of Directors' attempt to "cover up" their doings by making it seem that Gulietti left on his own is simply disgusting. I thought that the directors' job was to ensure that the Jesuit ideals and ways of life are alive at the yniversity. Apparently they're the ones that need the philosophy lesson. Here's to a great man, and a great model of excellence.

Austin Macri, WJU senior
St. Clairsville

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

The Dysfunctionality of the Boards Manifests Itself (an email from Fr. Glynn)

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sat, Aug 8, 2009 1:25 pm
Subject: Trustees Special August 5, 2009 meeting


Approximately 9:45 a.m. yesterday morning, Friday, August 7,  2009,   in the sacristy of Our Lady of the Snows Church in Clarks Summit, PA., while I was preparing for my brother Jim’s funeral Mass,  another Jesuit surprised me by saying that the President of Wheeling Jesuit University had been fired.  I replied that it was not true but that an effort to do so by the Board of Directors on Wednesday had failed.  He said it was the Trustees that fired him.  I said that  I am on both the Board of  Directors and the Board of Trustees and did not know this  and then asked the Jesuit where did he hear this and when did this supposedly happen.  He said the Trustees did it yesterday (Thursday) and that it was in the Wheeling daily newspaper.

Since I had not read any of my email since early Wednesday afternoon when I went up to my brother John’s home in Factoryville, PA., for my brother Jim’s wake and funeral Mass, I presumed that you had called another special  meeting of the Trustees on Thursday and acted then.

I was surprised again and was more than disappointed when I returned to Baltimore late yesterday afternoon, Friday, August 7, and read that the Trustees did this on August 5th , Wednesday.

When the special meeting of the Directors concluded around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, I called your name out a few times because I wanted to be certain that the Trustees special meeting scheduled for 1:45 p.m. that afternoon would not be meeting and wished to ask you that.  You apparently immediately got off the conference call. Tom Gleeson was still there and he said what I too was presuming ,i.e., we have no reason to meet  because the special meeting of the Trustees  was called to act in case  the Directors had taken an action and it was consequently necessary for the Trustees to act. Since the Directors did not act, there was no reason for the special meeting of the Trustees. So I left for Scranton early.

In your August 3rd email to the Trustees in which you provided Trustees the numbers to call for participation in the August 5th special Trustees meeting,  you once again provided the purpose of the special meeting by forwarding your July 25, 2009, email to the Trustees, i.e.,:

Should the WJU Board of Directors take any action regarding the WJU president during its August 5 meeting, we, the trustees (not including the president), may have to take some action as well.

I am therefore calling a special meeting of the WJU Board of Trustees by conference call at 1:45 PM EDT on August 5.  The only agenda item will be to discuss any action(s) taken by the Board of Directors at its August 5 meeting, and to take whatever action the Board of Trustees needs to as a result of action(s) taken by the Board of Directors.

Thus not only once but twice you clearly stated to the Trustees what the only agenda item would be:  “The only agenda item will be to discuss any action(s) taken by the Board of Directors at its August 5 meeting, and to take whatever action the Board of Trustees needs to as a result of action(s) taken by the Board of Directors.” 

Since the Directors failed to have sufficient votes  to remove the president, the Directors did not take an action.  Thus there was no need to act by the Trustees.

The Bylaws of Wheeling Jesuit University, Inc., states:  “Business transacted at any special meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be limited to the purpose or purposes stated in the notice of the meeting, provided, however that if the majority of the entire Board of Trustees agree, other matters may be taken up by a unanimous consent of those present”  (II, 4). Consequently in taking action I think you were really on very shaky ground, especially since there were only three trustees  present for20the meeting.  (With only five members on the Board of Trustees we are at the Bylaw allowable minimal number of trustees [II, 1]).  With the President not participating and my being on the road to Scranton, there were only three possible members present for making the decision to remove the president.  Three is a remarkably small number to make the decision to remove the president, especially since this was not the stated purpose of the special meeting of the Trustees

The very shaky ground you are standing on becomes even shakier by reason of the limits of power that the Bylaws place on the Board of Trustees: “Any Trustee, other than the President, may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees with or without cause” (II, 5).

I have a few question s and comments now.

Who put together the mealy-mouthed statement that the WJU  press release attributes to the faceless and nameless “Trustees,” i.e.,  “He leaves the University to continue pursuit of  his  ministry, which has focused on spirituality, faith, personal development and international outreach.”? This statement that has appeared in newspapers in and outside of West Virginia is minimally misleading and deceitful.   Most probably it has been g reeted with loud mocking guffaws.

Who appointed the acting president?  No press release states who made the appointment.  As a Director and a Trustees, I have received  no request  for approval of the appointment.  In fact, as a Director and a Trustee,  I  have received no communication about these matters from the Chair of the Board of  Directors and the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Obviously there is no reason to keep Directors and Trustees informed!  No effort was previously made by the Chairs of the Directors and  Trustees to keep  Directors and Trustees informed of resolutions that the Chairs were intending to bring up although efforts obviously were made by both Chairs in their communications with Board members to never state directly  the real intentions of their calling of special meetings of the Directors and Trustees (At the special meeting of the Board of Directors called for the purpose of  considering  the not yet completed evaluation of the president the resolution to remove the president was introduced and obviously had been prepared before but was not listed as an agenda item.).

It is more than quite  humorous that  apparently the public  spokespersons for the University in these matters is now not the Chair of the Board of Directors nor  the Chair of the Board of Trustees,  but the Bishop and the University legal counsel, neither=2 0of whom are members of Board of Directors and the Board of  Trustees. Yippee!

The dysfuntionality of the governing Boards of Wheeling Jesuit University now is publicly manifesting itself.

Ed Glynn

What happened? - from the eyes of Rev. Edward Glynn, S.J. (a series of emails)

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, Aug 3, 2009 10:49 am
Subject: Fwd: special meeting of WJU Trustees

Since the Boards of Directors and Trustees have scheduled special meetings this coming Wednesday, August 5, 2009, I am sending with this email the content of my email to the Directors this past Saturday, August 1, 2009.

Ed Glynn

My brother Jim is dying.  He would be 82 years old  this coming September 30th but will not make it since he was declared brain dead yesterday and according to his wishes he is not being kept alive by extraordinary means.  Such means were withdrawn yesterday, July 31st.

Since I presume I will be in Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania,  for  my brother Jim’s  wake,  Mass and burial sometime next week,  it is highly possible that I will not be able to be,  present for the  Wednesday, August 5, 2009   special  meeting of the Wheeling Jesuit University board of directors.

I regret that I may not be  present for the meeting because I was looking eagerly forward to participate.  In case I am not present I am now sending all of you some comments, observations and judgments regarding this meeting.

On July 13, 2009, I send an email to our Board Chair, Bill Fisher, to ask the following questions:

Bill, what else is on the agenda for the special August meeting of th e board of directors?  If it is only the assessment of the president, how can we do an accurate assessment and one helpful to the institution if we don't  have input from the faculty, administration, staff, students and alumni/ae?

Bill responded by email on July 13th :  “ This is the only agenda item.  I copy Mr. Scheye as he is contracted to all of what you mentioned ,  the time table I am not sure.”

Thus I emailed this message to Tom Scheye on July 13th :  “Bill  without answering my question  sent you a copy of my question to him.  Do you have an answer to my question?”

Bill emailed me this comment on July 13th:  “I was hoping Tom Scheye would answer your question.  We are going to discuss what is complete at that time.”

Tom Scheye on  July 14th by email responded:

My assessment will not be complete until I have had the chance to interview members of the faculty, staff and student body, and those interviews will wait for the beginning of the new semester.  However, I wil l send the Directors an edited version of their own comments in time for the August meeting, and I have suggested to Julio that he complete his self-assessment so that might be available to provide context for the Directors’ comments.  In short, the Directors will not have my assessment in August, but they will be able to see what their fellow Directors’ comments are.  Hope that helps.

Consequently on July 14th I sent the following email to Bill: CBill, here is Tom's reply.  I still have my question.  Why are we having a special board meeting that has only one agenda item and this agenda item will only be half prepared? It seems weird to me.”

On July 16th I emailed the following to Bill:  “Bill, in case you have not recei ved my July 14th email containing my questioning to you, I am sending it again.

Bill responded on July 16th:

Serious decisions need to be made about the direction of the University. You will receive a packet of information that might clarify things.

I exercise my right as Board Chair t o call the meeting a majority of the board has told me they want one.

         If you feel strongly it is a waste of time, you may ask to be excused.

I have now received the packet of information  and this packet of “information” makes clear what Bill’s agenda was and is.

I judge Bill’s sending out a second set  of directors’ comments indicating in red and blue unfavorable and favorable comments respectively to be highly manipulative and insulting.  Each director can read and can make his or her own interpretation.  We do not need the chair to do each director’s interpretation.  Otherwise WJU might as well have a board of one director.

Since this was supposed to be the evaluation of the directors I find the lengthy comments of the university’s lawyer to be very inappropriate. Legal counsel is not a member of board of directors.

As you can read in  the evaluating comments of directors that you received this past  Friday, I have clearly stated my  own judgment regarding the university attorney:

If I were the WJU president, I could never in the future trust the board’s legal counsel personally nor professionally.  His phone call to the administrative assistant to the president to ask her whether in his phone call with the president that had just concluded there had been anyone else in the president’s office was politically crude and personally dumb.

I have no idea what Bill’s inclusion of his resume in the packet of “information” was an attempt to prove.

During the last four decades at a dozen and a half  institutions of higher education located all over the United States I have been working as a faculty member and administrator  or  serving on their boards.  All these institutions are larger and more complicated than Wheeling Jesuit University.  During these nearly forty years I have not experienced such a  similarly inappropriate  presidential evaluation and   calling  of a special  board meeting to consider the  half completed presidential evaluation.

I have no idea what Bill’s inclusion of his resume in the packet of “information” was an attempt to prove.

This special board meeting that is being called to consider the   not yet  completed evaluation of the president  (Only the directors’ evaluations have been received  and none from other major constituents of the university, such as students, faculty members, administration, staff and alumni/ae.) is a continuation and an institutionalization of the dysfunctionality  of the WJU board of directors and is a grave disservice to Wheeling Jesuit University by the board of directors.

I have not shared any of the above email correspondence with the WJU president.  As far as I know, he knows nothing about them.

Ed Glynn

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, Aug 3, 2009 9:35 am
To: Ed Glynn, sj (WJU Board); Tom Gleeson, sj; Brian O'Donnell, sj (Jesuit Community, WJU)
Subject: FW: special meeting of WJU Trustees

Here is the call-in info for the Trustees meeting at 1:45 EDT on Wednesday.

Pass code: *******

Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J.
University of Detroit Mercy

From: Gerard Stockhausen
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2009 10:20 AM
To: Ed Glynn, sj (WJU Board); Tom Gleeson, sj; Brian O'Donnell, sj (Jesuit Community, WJU)
Subject: special meeting of WJU Trustees

Ed, Tom, Brian,

Should the WJU Board of Directors take any action regarding the WJU president during its August 5 meeting, we, the trustees (not including the president), may have to take some action as well.

I am therefore calling a special meeting of the WJU Board of Trustees by conference call at 1:45 PM EDT on August 5.  The only agenda item will be to discuss any action(s) taken by the Board of Directors at its August 5 meeting, and to take whatever action the Board of Trustees needs to as a result of action(s) taken by the Board of Directors.

I hope this time works for all of you.  If not, please let me know immediately.

My assistant, Emmy Yousey, will follow up with conference call information.

The good news in all of this is that my new hip is doing quite well, and that I will be taking part in all of this from Waupaca!


Gerard Stockhausen, S.J., Ph.D.
University of Detroit Mercy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Giulietti Thanks Area Residents - Letter to the Editor

August 11, 2009

To the Editor:

I am taking this opportunity to thank the citizens of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley for your kindness and trust over the last 24 months. From the very beginning of my life with you I felt acceptance and hospitality. Your care for me was carried over into your interest and care for Wheeling Jesuit University.

When I arrived at Wheeling Jesuit, the fourth president in seven years, I felt great enthusiasm and excitement for the University and the role it could play in our city and region. Quickly I went about the task of learning the status of the University and then reorganizing some key departments in ways that would streamline services, be more customer friendly and reduce costs. As a Jesuit priest, I felt engagement with people - faculty, staff, students, alumni and others - was a critical part of my presidency.

Many of you expressed surprise with the decision to relieve me of my duties at Wheeling Jesuit. I share that surprise with you. Our leadership team, along with so many of you, began to move in positive directions for the benefit of the University. Together we made great strides and some changes that had positive educational and apostolic benefit. I am especially proud of the way we brought regional high school students, their guidance counselors and families to understand in a contemporary way the value of a Wheeling Jesuit education. The success of that strategy is reflected in the increased number of students in the new first-year class. Undergraduate retention has also improved. On the global scene, there was the arrival this summer of 40 high school students from Argentina, some of whom have applied for matriculation at Wheeling Jesuit, and 20 students from Spain. In Asia, there were newly established relationships with a Vietnamese university and a medical school. In Europe, the start of research and development between the University and a Spanish medical high-technology company can lead to solid business opportunities for Wheeling Jesuit, thus increasing job opportunities in the Wheeling area. The North Central Higher Learning Commission, at the completion of its standard 10-year reaccreditation process, gave Wheeling Jesuit University an excellent report. Our outreach to the alumni - the largest number of the Wheeling Jesuit family - led to renewed and vital interest in their alma mater. There are any other examples.

Again, thank you for your kindnesses to me. Although I leave, not by my own choice, I will continue to pray for your wellbeing and ask you to do the same for me.

All the best.

Julio Giulietti, SJ

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

Move Forward at University

August 7, 2009

News that Fr. Julio Giulietti is being replaced as president of Wheeling Jesuit University probably came as a shock to many area residents - and to students and staff at the institution. The decision this week by the university's Board of Trustees was sudden and not without controversy.

What is important now - vital, in fact - is for the university to continue moving forward, improving its ability to carry out its mission. Wheeling Jesuit's mission statement is more far-reaching than those of many other institutions of higher learning. It is to educate men and women for "life, leadership and service with and among others."
The university is an important part of the Ohio Valley community, of course. It is a strong factor in the local economy. It also is an important education resource for both college students and younger area residents.
But Wheeling Jesuit is more than a local institution of higher learning. Research and education outreach activities at the university have national, sometimes international, importance. Down through the years, it has provided thousands of men and women with quality educations. And the university has a long record of social service that has benefitted thousands of people in our communities and the wider world.

We urge all involved in the current transition at Wheeling Jesuit to keep the university's mission first and foremost in their minds.

By building on the university's strong traditions of service in many ways, Wheeling Jesuit can and will have a bright future. Again, we urge all involved in leading the institution to keep that as their guiding light and top priority.

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

To see the comments on the article at www.news-register.net, click here.

WJU Firing Came Early

August 7, 2009

Two days before Wheeling Jesuit University's Board of Trustees voted to fire its president, the Rev. Julio Giulietti, S.J., the university president sent a letter to the board seeking a face-to-face meeting in October with board members who apparently were not pleased with his performance.

Giulietti, the eighth Jesuit priest to lead the college, was relieved of his position Wednesday following a meeting of the WJU Board of Trustees, which is comprised of priests from the Jesuit community.

On Thursday, the Board of Trustees released a statement indicating Giulietti's "departure" and that J. Davitt McAteer, current university vice president, would serve as acting president. The board did not offer a reason for the action.

According to the statement, Giulietti was leaving the university "to continue pursuit of his ministry, which has focused on spirituality, faith, personal development and international outreach."

In the next few weeks, the WJU Board of Directors, which consists of lay members from the community and several Jesuit priests, will form a search committee to select a new president.

Board of Directors President William Fisher on Thursday said board matters are private and he could not comment on what took place.

Attempts to reach members of the Board of Trustees were unsuccessful Thursday.

Giulietti, who is on vacation, maintains that some of the evaluations made about him by Board of Directors members contained "inaccurate statements." He also said he was very distressed to learn that his firing came before his yearly evaluation - slated to include comments from staff, faculty and students this fall - was completed.

"The board's desire to micromanage the university has gotten out of control. They seem to have a poor understanding of the Jesuit education," Giulietti said.

He noted that WJU, despite monetary debt of about $35 million, remains highly successful. Giulietti pointed to the fact that the school is expecting a larger enrollment in the freshmen class this fall and other programs are growing.

"We have a large number of freshman coming in this year, higher than expected. Our graduate programs are going gangbusters. There is a greater excitement among the alumni. They are coming back and articulating their excitement, which has not been there in a long time," he added.

Giulietti said that while there have been some "issues" between his office and the board of directors, most every issue "has been inuendo and lies and we have resolved every single one."

As for the university's financial situation, Giulietti said the university's debt was restructured just prior to his appointment as president and the school is moving forward to pay off that debt. He said despite the current economic situation, WJU has made changes in an effort to grow.

Dr. Donald Hofreuter, a member of the WJU Board of Directors, said he was "sorry to learn of the action of the board of trustees with regard to the termination of Father Julio Giulietti."

"It has been my privilege to serve the university with him the past 18 months. In addition, he is my personal friend, and I am sorry this action was taken," Hofreuter said. "Wheeling Jesuit University is a valuable asset and resource for our community. It is imperative that the board of directors acts in a cohesive and compatible manner to resolve the issues that face us."

On Thursday afternoon, McAteer said he was not involved in the proceedings that ousted Giulietti and he "could not and would not comment on that issue." He did say that it's not unusual for colleges and universities to change leadership, some as often as every year.

He also offered a promise of continued success at WJU and said everyone is excited about the new school year set to start in about three weeks.

"We're in a very positive place, and we're poised for the new school year," McAteer said. "We have 1,200 students coming back to Wheeling in about three weeks time. Nothing has changed in the classrooms. We have the same teachers, and we are focused on educating our students."

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register by HEATHER ZIEGLER, Associate City Editor

To see the comments on the article at www.news-register.net, click here.

WJU President Fired

August 6, 2009

Following closed door meetings this week, the Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Trustees has fired university president the Rev. Julio Giulietti, who has been at the helm since 2007.

According to reliable sources, the WJU Board of Directors had failed to reach a two-thirds majority vote to oust Giulietti, the university's eighth president in its 55-year history. According to sources, the Board of Directors has 17-18 members. Sources added that the two-thirds majority was nearly achieved.

However, in a prepared statement released to the Wheeling News-Register this morning, the Board of Trustees revealed that "on Aug. 5, 2009, the Board of Trustees of Wheeling Jesuit University announced the departure of Dr. Julio Giulietti, S.J., as president."

According to the release, "He (Giulietti) leaves the University to continue pursuit of his ministry, which has focused on spirituality, faith, personal development and international outreach."

An attempt to oust Giulietti this week by the board of directors was thwarted when the board failed to attain a two-thirds majority vote, according to reliable sources. However, the board of trustees, which is comprised of Jesuit clergy, overturned that decision and fired Giulietti. Dr. Donald Hofreuter, a member of the WJU Board of Directors, said he was "sorry to learn of the action of the board of trustees with regard to the termination of Father Julio Giulietti. It has been my privilege to serve the university with him the past 18 months."

"In addition, he is my personal friend, and I am sorry this action was taken."

Giulietti, who is on vacation, was not present for the meetings but learned of the attempt to fire him after the fact. When contacted by telephone today, Giulietti said, "There will be counter legal action filed today in Ohio County."

WJU Board President William Fisher, who works for the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, was unavailable for comment.

Giulietti said he is dismayed at how this action was taken. "I was surprised that the board president pushed for a vote on this before my evaluation was half completed. That was an insult to the rest of the board and the university," Giulietti said. Giulietti came to Wheeling from Boston College where he served at director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality. He worked primarily with faculty and staff in spirituality and personal development. Giulietti was named president of the university following the death of former WJU president, the Rev. Joseph Hacala.

The Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, commented on Giulietti's firing, while in Phoenix, Ariz., today, where he is attending the annual national meeting of the Knights of Columbus:

"As the only Catholic college or university in West Virginia, Wheeling Jesuit University has my utmost support during this period of transition," said Bransfield. "I wish nothing but continued success for the University and for the Jesuit Community in Wheeling.

"Although Wheeling Jesuit is not owned or administered by the Diocese, we share our Catholic identity and a common mission of education and service in our Mountain State. I am proud of the accomplishments of this wonderful university. I look forward to its continued advancement."

J. Davitt McAteer has been named acting president until the selection of an interim president.

- as published in The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register by HEATHER ZIEGLER, Associate City Editor

To see the comments on the article at www.news-register.net, click here.