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 13, 2010

Wheeling Jesuit hard-pressed

Hard times at Wheeling Jesuit — one of 321 privately operated colleges (for and not for profit) that failed the U.S. Department of Education’s 2009 financial responsibility test. That means more hoops to jump through to keep aid going to the 97% of WJU students who receive it.
[Interim Pres. Sister Francis] Thrailkill said this is the first time WJU failed the test. . . . [C]olleges who score a 1 to 1.4 on the test are considered to have failed, but can still participate in federal financial aid programs, but there are a few restrictions. If a school scores in the negative, they are subject to extra requirements. WJU scored a 1.1.
Thrailkill wants to point out that WJU was notified about this issue several months ago, and said they have taken steps to improve their financial situation.
It may be standard to keep this quiet, but The Chronicle of Higher Educationapparently operates under no such compulsion.
More details:
All private colleges that award federal student aid must participate in the Department of Education’s financial-responsibility test, which is based on information from their audited financial statements. The department develops a composite score on a scale of 3.0 to minus 1.0, based on financial ratios that measure factors such as net worth, operating losses, and the relationship of assets to liabilities.
A total of 150 private nonprofit colleges failed the . . . test, [which is] based on their condition in the 2009 fiscal year . . . That’s 23 more than the 127 that failed the test in the 2008 fiscal year, and an increase of about 70 percent over the number of degree-granting institutions that failed two years ago.
WJU has company.

- as published at Blithe Spirit, the Blog


  1. Well, perhaps they can save some money by hiring philosophy instructors from Africa. Oh wait - they tried that already!

    Perhaps it is time for interested alumni and students to take over control of the institution. Clearly the Jesuits, including those who decided to get rid of Fr Giulietti, have not been doing such a great job.

  2. Mike Fahy, alumnusAugust 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    This latest attempt to suppress the truth, pretending it is not there and wishing it would go away, is personified in Antigonish by poet Bill Mearns:
    As I was walking up the stair
    I met a man who wasn’t there.
    He wasn’t there again today.
    I wish, I wish he’d stay away.

    The closed-door administration of Interim President Francis Thrailkill (Ed.D. from Nova U.) apes the McAteer/Shea agenda of stonewalled silence and secrecy in attempting to conceal the truth of WJU’s spiraling debacle.

    “We are first and foremost a community of scholars, seekers of the truth” said President Julio Giulietti, S.J., initiating his open-door administration. That door has now been closed for twelve months.

    Bulletin board -- If anyone has found the $4,000,000 missing from WJU’s NASA program, please return it to Interim-President-Emeritus J. Davitt McAteer.

  3. There is no $4,000,000 missing from WJU's NASA program. The $4,000,000 was the approximate amount of costs that were incorrectly billed to the government as "direct" program costs instead of as "indirect" costs - which resulted in an overpayment by the government to WJU. To imply that $4 million mysteriously went missing is false and at least borders on libelous. Things are bad enough at WJU without false rumor-mongering.

  4. The anonymous 8/16/10 (9:33AM) comment attacking a glib “bulletin board” remark at the close of the insightful 8/14 comment by an alumnus claims the $4,000,000 is not missing. Well, if it is not missing, where did it go? The WJU checking account took a $4,000,000 hit when they reimbursed the gov’t -- right? And WJU did not get the $4,000,000 back from the Byrd-building boys who took it in the form of salaries for administrators -- right? So, is not the anonymous 8/16/10 comment simply a distinction without a difference?

    According to the complaint in Circuit Court case 09-C-0439, federal grant funds were being misused for salaries and also for payment of rent for Davitt McAteer's personal law office.

  5. Truth-Seeker: You are incorrect, the WJU checking account did not take a "hit" of $4,000,000 and WJU did not reimburse the government $4,000,000. I am no fan of Davitt McAteer or Byrd-style political pork, but you need to read the government's accounting report and get your facts straight. WJU's problems are bad enough without spreading false rumors.

  6. WJU has re-started soliticing candidates for President, with a goal of reviewing applications beginning August 31, having a new President selected by October 20, and in place by January 1, 2011. For more information, see:


    The job posting does not require candidates to be a Jesuit or member of any religious order, but only to be a "practicing Catholic." In other respects the prospectus makes it clear that they are looking for someone with the ability to effectuate a drastic financial turn-around.

    This is a critical point in WJU's existence. For those, like myself, who have been critical of WJU's reliance on Byrd pork and increased focus occupational training over the past decade, it's time to pony up or shut up. I plan to increase my financial support this year and urge other alumni to do so as well. It's do-or-die time for WJU.

  7. There you go again, Anonymous (8/17/10, 10:31AM), with your baseless “false rumors” accusation. That federal grant funds were being misused for salaries and also for payment of rent for Davitt McAteer’s personal law office is NOT a rumor. As noted above, that information is from the complaint in Circuit Court case 09-C-0439. You can view the court papers at the Wheeling courthouse, or you can see the West Virginia Record at http://www.wvrecord.com/news/224801-former-employee-sues-wheeling-jesuit-interim-president-for-wrongful-termination/

    As for your “report” reading, and your pipe dream that the Feds are not demanding the return of their $4,000,000, try reading this: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/audits/reports/FY09/IG-09-020-R.pdf

    And the next time you see Davitt, tell him to pay his own rent.

  8. Truth-seeker: (1) Please re-read the NASA audit report you cited. It says nothing about any missing $4 million, but states that costs were incorrectly billed as "direct costs" instead of "indirect costs." Direct costs and indirect costs are both reimbursed by the government, but indirect costs are reimbursed at a lower rate. Therefore, overpayments resulting from the error (nowhere near $4 Million) are to be recouped on future grant payments; there was no $4 Million claim or "hit" on WJU's checking account. (2) With respect to the lawsuit, allegations made in a complaint are by definition allegations, not facts, and while the complaint alleges some mischarging, it does not allege anything like a missing $4 Million. (3) Finally, be assured I have never met Mr. McAteer in my life and have no plans to, so if you want to communicate something to him, I suggest you tell him yourself.

  9. Mike Fahy, alumnusAugust 19, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Apparently my poetic offering in Comment #2 (8/14/10, 12:19PM) is applicable to more than our two interim presidents. Anonymous (8/19/10, 11:37AM and previous comments) is still in denial, labeling as mere rumors: WJU's overbilling the gov't for salaries and for payment of rent for Davitt McAteer's personal law office. Anon. says WJU does not have to reimburse the gov't because the gov't will deduct those amounts from future payments. That is "simply a distinction without a difference" as Truth Seeker (8/16/10, 3:24PM) so noted.

    The WJU keep-a-lid-on-it mind-set will only accelerate WJU's spiraling debacle. Openness must come to WJU before reform is possible; glasnost then perestroika.

  10. Mr. Fahy: it is sad to see you make such cavalier misstatements. I am in denial about nothing. You specifically claimed that $4 Million is somehow mysteriously "missing" from WJU coffers, and despite repeated challenges, you and "truth-seeker" have failed to produce any evidence to prove that claim. Poetic license is a poor justification for misrepresenting the facts about such a serious matter. This is unprofessional, unreasonable, and disgraceful.

  11. Anonymous, you have just blown you anonymity cover — you are Davitt! Wow! That is more truth than I sought!

    You use the same phraseology in your nasty comments as you used in typed statements to the Intelligencer last year, and your legalistic and self-serving justifications are not unlike your quotes in the Associated Press. But of course — who else would tell me that payment of your rent is a “false rumor.” (As opposed to a true rumor?) Well, good luck, Davitt, you’re going to need it.

  12. The closed-door administration of Interim President Francis Thrailkill (Ed.D. from Nova U.) apes the McAteer/Shea agenda of stonewalled silence and secrecy in attempting to conceal the truth of WJU’s spiraling debacle.