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!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wheeling Jesuit alum raises the NASA issue

Blithe Spirit, the Blog has posted something about the open letter to Fr. Shea.

Wheeling Jesuit alum raises the NASA issue

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Open Letter to Fr. Provincial James Shea, S.J.

October 24, 2009

Father Provincial James Shea, S.J.
The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus
Suite 620
8600 LaSalle Road
Towson, Maryland 21286

Re: Wheeling Jesuit University -- the 5Rs of Truth

Dear Father Provincial:

My alma mater, Wheeling Jesuit University, is plagued by three inextricably linked scandals. The dream of Fr. Clifford Lewis, S.J., our founder-in-chief, is now at the precipice. I and 10,000 others need your immediate assistance in rectifying the three scandals besetting WJU so that our school can chart a course to make Fr. Lewis's dream available for tomorrow's students.

Our conflict with the current regime is simply put: they insist upon secrecy; we insist upon openness. Secrecy versus openness in WJU's multiple scandals of NASA-honeypot-gate, presidential-coup-gate, and homosexual-predator-gate. Each of these -gates involves the ongoing concealment of wrongdoing. Secrecy punishes Julio Giulietti, and rewards Thomas Gleeson and Davitt McAteer. Openness is owed to the 10,000 who name WJU in their resumes and wills. The myopic arrogance of the oligarchy temporarily occupying the president's office and permanently occupying the dual boards has caused these scandals to explode throughout the blogosphere, newspapers, television, and talk-radio. WJU's public image created by the current regime, on a scale of 1 to 10, has been zero.

This is what we ask you to do, and this is why we ask you to do it.

We ask that you no longer tolerate these immoral actions and attitudes. Ultimately you are the one who can quickly restore morality, fairness, and justice to this campus of inequity. We ask that you take five actions: remove, reinstate, restore, replace, and resolve.

Remove the accused homosexual predator to protect students pending an investigation. Reinstate the president to protect the university by renewing his exemplary record of accomplishment. Restore accountability to the NASA program by requiring full disclosure of Davitt McAteer's oversight of the NASA debacle. Replace stonewalling secrecy with accessible openness! Resolve to act quickly and decisively.

Homosexual-predator-gate. Davitt McAteer's arrogant statement that "We have no plans to suspend Father Gleeson, nor conduct any investigation" while WJU knowingly harbors and shields the accused homosexual predator is in open defiance of the American bishops sexual misconduct policy mandating "openness" in such cases, and requiring an investigation with suspension or removal while the case is being investigated. Despicably, McAteer added, "I personally am happy to have Father Gleeson serving." We are not happy! Neither McAteer nor anyone else claims that Gleeson is innocent of homosexual predatory behavior. WJU-Trustee Gleeson was the defendant in a homosexual-predator case where the defendant paid off the complaining witness in a Michael-Jackson-style out-of-court settlement of the one-million-dollar case. Gleeson's activities on our WJU Board of Trustees have ranged from embarrassing to disastrous. There is no reason to keep him on that board. There must be more deserving Jesuits somewhere in the USA.

Presidential-coup-gate. The recent firing of our popular and successful President Julio Giulietti, S.J., and the recently uncovered identity of accused homosexual predator Thomas Gleeson, S.J. are inextricably linked. Gleeson was one of three WJU Trustees voting to fire the president. Two votes would not have been enough to remove Julio Giulietti. Had Thomas Gleeson, the accused homosexual predator, been removed or suspended before August as required by law (American bishops sexual misconduct policy), Julio Giulietti would still be President of Wheeling Jesuit University.

The Jesuit troika of Gerard Stockhausen, Thomas Gleeson, and Brian O'Donnell briefly held a secret telephone conference-call meeting, and voted to fire WJU President Julio Giulietti, S.J., in absentia without debate even though that was not on their agenda. The troika members have since cloaked themselves in secrecy.

Davitt McAteer, and the disgruntled Stockhausen, Gleeson, and O'Donnell have steadfastly stonewalled alumni and others asking for an explanation of the surreptitious firing of Julio Giulietti. We do know that this evil firing had to be rushed in order to conceal the president's superlative evaluation by faculty, students, community, and alumni -- and by his exemplary record of accomplishment!

Firing the president for no stated reason is tantamount to character assassination of a good and decent Jesuit who acted honorably. The reason for the troika action is still shrouded in secrecy. Public opposition to rule by troika will be devastating to WJU in years to come, and has the potential of hurting all 28 Jesuit colleges.

Reinstating our president instantly remedies all these surreptitious evils, and places WJU on a path toward eliminating the debt and bringing Fr. Lewis's dream to future students.

NASA-honeypot-gate. Immediately preceding the initial board action against Julio Giulietti, NASA issued an audit report highly critical of WJU. That timing cannot be dismissed as merely coincidental! When asked if some form of ghost payrolling was involved, McAteer declined comment. This cannot be excused as merely a $4,000,000 clerical error OK'd by a supervisor and signed off on by the administrator. For certain, Julio Giulietti had not been president long enough to be responsible for the increased debt caused by this NASA debacle.

NASA issues the audit report critical of WJU and immediately McAteer replaces Giulietti! The public perception is clear: WJU has been placed between avaricious men and a pile of money. Remedy: a restoration of accountability to the NASA program by requiring full disclosure of Davitt McAteer's oversight of the NASA debacle.

Stonewall Secrecy Shrouds Scandals. "We are first and foremost a community of scholars, seekers of the truth." So said President Julio Giulietti, S.J. initiating his open-door administration. Now the agenda of the entrenched regime is silence and secrecy rather than openness and reform. The troika firing squad was immediately whisked away with zipped lips. No open inquiry on this campus!

The resolution of these three scandals is too important to be handled by a closed clique. It will affect all, and should be open to all. Tear down the stonewall erected by McAteer, Stockhausen, Gleeson, O'Donnell, et al. Tell the unvarnished truth to all! Replace stonewalling secrecy with accessible openness!

Resolve. Fr. Clifford Lewis always seemed more accessible and closer to my life than other Jesuits, possibly because he had been married and had held a job in the free enterprise sector. I remember him as a loyal friend. A true visionary, he had the resolve, the fixity of purpose, to make the tough decisions. We ask you to now walk in his footsteps. Please do not allow Fr. Lewis's dream, our dream, to die.

Each of these outrageous scandals must be openly rectified if WJU is to survive. A drastic purgative is required. To do less would be akin to waiving a lantern at a runaway train. Remove Thomas Gleeson. Reinstate President Julio Giulietti. Restore accountability to Davitt McAteer's NASA oversight. Replace stonewalling secrecy with accessible openness. Resolve to act quickly and decisively.

Magna est veritas et praevalebit!

Michael J. Fahy, B.A., J.D.
WJU Alumnus

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wheeling Jesuit Trustee on the Spot

October 14, 2009

Click HERE to read the article on Blithe Spirit, the Blog with the comment from Judy Jones, Director of SNAP Ohio Valley.

Friday, October 16, 2009

WJU Board Member Under Fire

October 14, 2009

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Wheeling Jesuit University on Wednesday refused demands from a clergy-abuse survivors' group to suspend a member of the Board of Directors and investigate past claims of sexual harassment.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, was organizing a protest in downtown Wheeling to pressure the school and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to take some action against Father Thomas Gleeson.

J. Davitt McAteer, Wheeling Jesuit's interim president, said the university is aware of the allegations and sees no further need to investigate. Gleeson has served the school since 2004.

"We at Wheeling Jesuit University, and I personally, am happy to have Father Gleeson serving as a valuable member of our Board of Trustees and Board of Directors," he said in a prepared statement. "We have no plans to suspend Father Gleeson, nor conduct any investigation."

Wheeling Jesuit is currently seeking a new president. It fired Julio Giulietti Aug. 6 after two years on the job, citing a lack of confidence in his leadership.

Gleeson and two other priests were sued in the 1990s over alleged sexual harassment at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. Seminarian John Bollard said priests pressured him for sex and Gleeson - then president of the seminary - propositioned him twice.

Bollard claimed a dozen priests subjected him to unwelcome advances in the 5½ years before he left the seminary. His lawsuit was settled out of court in 2000 with no admission of wrongdoing.

But Judy Jones, SNAP's regional director for the Ohio Valley, said American bishops adopted a sexual misconduct policy in 2002 that promised openness in such cases, and suspensions and investigations when credible accusations arise.

She believes that policy obligates Wheeling Jesuit and the diocese to be cautious, suspend Gleeson and investigate the initial claims.

The diocese, however, said it has no authority to either appoint or remove leaders at Wheeling Jesuit. Gleeson is not a resident of West Virginia, does not reside at Wheeling Jesuit and is not an active cleric for the diocese.

"The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston adheres to the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People," its statement read, "and the Diocese continues to comply with and exceed national standards for maintaining a safe environment in the Catholic community."

- by Vicki Smith, Associate Press Writer, as published at Charleston Daily Mail

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blithe Spirit, the Blog

Blithe Spirit, the Blog has some interesting posts, updates, and information about WJU.  The two most recent posts are listed and linked below:

Wheeling Jesuit: And then, there were seven

No Jesuits felt the need to apply

What is unique in WJU?

I wonder if the Wheeling Jesuit Board and its Trustees understand that soon a great deal of funding is going to dry up from private education just as it did in other industries that offer educational products to learners. Education is more available and cheaper now than ever before. For an educational institution to service it must offer a good education, have something unique about itself and offer both at an affordable price. Uniqueness matters a lot. It will lead people to make sacrifices. Without uniqueness with clear value, the money available to students will go to the least expensive institution that offers the same as the more expensive one.

Friends of mine have children who study at Wheeling Jesuit. Many of these parents made the sacrifice to let their children attend the college because it is a Jesuit institution. To most people Jesuit usually means the institution represents the best in ethical and moral training along with a strong but pricy education. Does Wheeling Jesuit now have anything to offer that is unique to back up its price? Is there a uniqueness that is worth the high tuition cost? My friends tell me their children are looking at alternative institutions to study and earn the same level of degree. There are plenty of places where they can earn good degrees at a much greater reduction in price.

Why the coming exodus? After the forced departure of its most recent and popular president, Fr. Giulietti, Wheeling Jesuit seems to be in ethical and moral disarray. Its Jesuit ethos, the ethical and moral basis which is the core of its uniqueness, seems to have evaporated. How can the institution claim to be a Jesuit college when at its highest levels, the Board of Directors and the Jesuit Trustees, unethical and immoral decisions were made to throw aside a good man without any legitimate reasons and in such a publicly cruel manner? What message is presented to its students and staff other than ethical and moral behavior is relative? That is not Jesuit and certainly not Christian.

People are willing to pay for uniqueness. Wheeling Jesuit must prepare itself for departures by students who sense the loss of the uniqueness they sought. A degree from the college is no longer worth the financial sacrifice. They know there are good institutions nearby that offer reputable degrees at significantly lower prices. If they want the uniqueness of a Jesuit education they can bight the financial bullet and go to one of the other truly Jesuit schools. Their parents will understand.

Larry Catraro