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!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letter to Mr. J. Davitt McAteer

Mr. J. Davitt McAteer
Interim President
Wheeling Jesuit University
Washington Ave.
Wheeling WV 26003

October 18, 2009

Dear Mr. McAteer:

By this letter I am informing you of the withdrawal of my Declaration of Intent which was intended for the establishment of the Leo and Elizabeth Haid Scholarship. My will formerly provided a $200,000 allocation for this aforesaid purpose.

Secondly, three properties in Canaan Valley, WV, valued at $450,000, which I intended to donate to the endowment, will now be committed to purposes more in keeping with the founding philosophy of Wheeling Jesuit University.

The actions of the Board of Trustees in firing President Julio Giulietti, S.J. constitutes the most cowardly, deceitful and morally perverse action that I have ever witnessed. For at least a year I worked very closely with Fr. Giulietti on the planned giving campaign. I did so as an unpaid volunteer, accepting no salary, no reimbursement for expenses or travel, all the while paying for lunches, dinners, and receptions directly associated with the planned giving campaign out of my own pocket.

I tell you this not to brag or ask for recognition, but to make it clear that my efforts were not venal or self serving. I simply wanted to help. The record will clearly show that we recruited at least seven members to the Troy Legacy Society and garnered pledge commitments in endowed and planned gifts well in excess of six million dollars.

Let me be very clear; I have served in a number of executive positions where I have been able to evaluate leadership. I have managed gubernatorial campaigns, served as a Cabinet level Secretary of Education and the Arts, as an executive representing an association of 20,000 teachers, and as a member of the Marshall Board of Governors.

In my judgment and that of virtually everyone who worked closely with President Giulietti, his performance was outstanding. He was the first at work everyday, and quite frequently made calls late into the evening. I frequently heard, “Steve, how are we doing?” and “What can I do to help?” His spirit and enthusiasm were contagious.

I was deeply moved by his sensitive and caring attention to every person. He knew the cafeteria workers and custodians by name and would stop to talk to them and try to understand their challenges in life. The executive meetings that I attended at his request were well organized and designed to move a positive agenda.

I observed firsthand his highly successful efforts at student recruitment and building relationships in the Wheeling community and throughout West Virginia. One former legislator and now a current member of Governor Manchin’s staff told me that, “Father Julio was the best thing that ever happened to Jesuit.” Wherever I went I heard similar comments.

Of course, most of the involved alumni know what his ouster is all about. First and foremost, Father Julio’s lynching was the handiwork of Bishop Michael Bransfield, who wanted to slap down a Jesuit priest who sought to acquire the Mount de Chantal property for Wheeling Jesuit. Clearly, the Bishop had his own design, notwithstanding the fact that the Visitation Sisters were strongly committed to conveying the property to
Wheeling Jesuit University. Beyond any doubt, the Bishop was an activist leader in the conspiracy against Father Julio.

Secondly, there is an element on the Board of Directors, led by a few alumni, who want to micromanage the University, who want any president to be an errand boy, whose messianic obsessions led to the firing of Father Lundy, and whose persistent intermeddling was a constant cross for Father Hacala to bear. There can be no positive move forward at WJU until these incompetents have taken their appropriate leave.

Finally, and most regrettably, a few Jesuits on the Board of Trustees (three, to be exact) met in an irregular night session to oust Father Julio. Father Ed Glynn and Father Julio, also members of the Board of Trustees, were not even notified of the meeting. These three Jesuits must explain their own actions, if not to the WJU community, then finally to a Higher Authority.

In sum, I stand by my original conclusion that the firing of President Giulietti, S.J. constitutes the most cowardly, deceitful and morally perverse action that I have ever witnessed. It is worth reading part of the Preamble to the Wheeling Jesuit University Bylaws:
“Wheeling Jesuit University is in the service of society, and this service implies a twofold dedication: first, to truth, its transmission and enlargement; and secondly, to the development of students as wiser and more authentic human beings, characterized, not solely by intellectual strength, but also by an holistic maturing in aesthetic, moral, and religious values.”

These words of the Preamble are nothing but hollow phrases to the current leadership that has usurped power at Wheeling Jesuit. In my judgment, they do not deserve the support of those who still believe in this statement, and who, at least, try to exemplify what we
were taught as young students.

I grieve for all the good and great men of the Society of Jesus and the laypersons who invested their lives and talents in service to students for half a century. That the values and moral principles that they encouraged could be so thoroughly debased constitutes an
abiding tragedy.

By my own reckoning, and based on conversations with other alumni of conscience, at least five million dollars otherwise committed to the endowment has been withdrawn. All who created this calumny will surely reap what they have sown.


Stephen E. Haid, Ph.D.
Class of 1963

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