Wheeling Jesuit slashes all but 11 programs, sports to remain

Special to the Journal/Scott McCloskey Wheeling Jesuit University board of trustees has declared a “financial exigency” at the school.

WHEELING, W.Va. — While around 30 programs were offered this school year at Wheeling Jesuit University, only 11 will be offered for students who choose to return next year.

Sports programs, however, will continue, university officials said.

Thursday afternoon, WJU gathered its students and employees together in the McDonough Center to share more details for Academic Year 2019-2020. At that meeting, president Michael P. Mihalyo Jr. announced that WJU will offer the following academic programs starting with the fall 2019 semester: nursing, respiratory therapy, exercise science, education, business, criminal justice, psychology, doctor of physical therapy, master of business administration, master of arts in education, and master of science in nursing.

Current students in majors no longer offered in fall 2019 will receive information on how to develop a plan of study that will lead to their degree.

“We will work with every student to complete their education,” Mihalyo said. “While we hope that completion will lead to a WJU degree, we will also assist those who wish to transfer to another institution.”

When it comes to the university’s sports programs, Mihalyo said they remain important for Wheeling Jesuit’s future.

“Student-athletes make up a large percentage of our overall student body. And, these programs are critical components of the recruitment and retention strategy at WJU,” Mihalyo told alumni and parents in an email sent Thursday evening.

Courses which WJU will discontinue next year include all language, communication, and fine arts programs, history, political science and all philosophy and theology programs.

WJU will continue to operate under the board of trustees’ declaration of financial exigency.

“This means that our current challenges remain, and will continue to require leadership and a willingness to accept change,” Mihalyo said.

The board declared the university to be in a state of financial exigency earlier this month. Defining “financial exigency” at that time, the president said, “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.”

Requests to faculty representatives seeking comment were not immediately returned Thursday night.

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