March 12, 2019
Message for the Wheeling Jesuit University Community
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 2:39 PM
I am writing to provide an update on the Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Trustees special session that was held on Friday. It was a difficult meeting, as trustees and administrators considered how best to bring the WJU mission forward and continue to serve our students in light of our current financial challenges.
Continued financial challenges have put our University in a position where we do not have the resources to bridge the gap between highly discounted enrollment, associated academic and athletic programming costs, and the revenue needed to support the institution’s operational expenses. As a result, on Friday, the Board of Trustees declared a financial exigency. I want to clarify a complex term like financial exigency for our community. Our faculty handbook contemplates that when the University is confronting a “critical, pressing, or urgent need on the part of the University to reorder its monetary expenditures,” the Board can declare a financial exigency in order to maximize our ability to improve the University’s financial condition.
While we continue to actively and aggressively pursue additional funding sources, new and innovative partnerships, collaborations, and supporters, any path forward for our University must be based upon a financial model that is sustainable, allows us to provide a high-quality education to our students, and preserves the value of a WJU degree for our alumni.
Over the next few weeks, the Board and the University community will be working with state and government officials, regional and community leaders, and our University’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to determine the best path forward.
Campus meetings will be held today to provide additional information. We remain committed to sharing more information with members of our community as it becomes available. I will be sending out updates as major decision points are reached in order to keep you informed about our progress.
I recognize that WJU’s financial challenges will generate concern for our students, alumni, and this campus community. I share those concerns deeply. Despite those challenges, we remain grounded in our Catholic identity and ideals. Among those ideals has always been a contemplative vision formed by hope. At this moment, we will take all necessary steps to consider how the WJU mission might be brought forward in a new way and with a sustainable model. I look forward to working with you to achieve this goal.
Please direct any immediate questions or thoughts to Julia Cook, Director of Communications, at email@example.com.