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, November 13, 2009

WJU Losing $650,000 Contribution

November 13, 2009

Charleston lobbyist Steve Haid plans to withdraw a planned $650,000 gift to his alma mater, Wheeling Jesuit University, because he objects to the abrupt firing of the school's former president, the Rev. Julio Giulietti.

Haid believes Giulietti was forced out in a power struggle involving the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

WJU and Diocese officials, however, deny that Bransfield was instrumental in Giulietti's Aug. 5 firing.

Margaret Helm, vice chairwoman of the WJU Board of Directors, said the board developed a difference of opinions concerning Giulietti's performance.

"The majority of the board voted to remove Giulietti, and the Board of Trustees, which has the final responsibility for the university, and is made up of Jesuits, voted to remove Giulietti from his position as president," she wrote in a prepared statement.

The Rev. James Shea, provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, stressed that Bransfield played no role in the firing.

J. Davitt McAteer, interim WJU president, said in a news release that the university continues to raise funds, despite Haid's decision.

"Haid is one of 10,000 graduates of Wheeling Jesuit University and our fundraising efforts are continuing. Since Aug. 6, nearly 500 alumni have made donations. In fact, the number of pledges to the President's Circle, which has declined over the past two years, have increased over the past three months."

Bryan Minor, a spokesman for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, also said the bishop had nothing to do with Giulietti's selection or departure from the university.

The university has temporarily halted its search for a new president. For the first time, the university is considering candidates who aren't Jesuit priests. Haid is not a member of the search committee.

Haid previously served as an unpaid assistant helping to generate donations to the university under Giulietti.

- by Casey Junkins Staff Writer With AP Dispatches, as published in the Wheeling News-Register

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