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Wheeling Jesuit establishes two colleges, names deans to lead them

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With the continued growth of its academic programs, Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) announced the establishment of two colleges within the University and named veteran educators as the deans.

WJU President Richard Beyer said the university established the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health Sciences to better serve the growing student population. Along with the establishment of the two schools, Beyer named Dr. Helen Faso as dean of the School of Health Sciences and Dr. Robert Phillips as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"The establishment of the two schools fits with our strategic plan and positions the University to provide educational value tailored precisely to the needs of each academic discipline, raising our performance and resulting in exceptional student learning outcomes," Beyer said.

The College of Arts and Sciences will consist of the liberal arts such as English, history, philosophy, business, and biology, while the College of Health Sciences will include athletic training, physical therapy, nursing, nuclear medicine and respiratory therapy.

According to Rev. James Fleming, S.J., executive vice president, the new organizational structure will allow Wheeling Jesuit to provide more specialized attention to the curriculum and better meet the needs of the students.

"Our institutional structure needs to reflect our strong belief in the importance of the traditional liberal arts degree programs, while also supporting our growing health science programs. The move of physical therapy to its new home in downtown Wheeling, the rapid expansion of four on-line nursing programs, our academic partnership with Wheeling Hospital and our new simulator laboratory, funded by the Congregation of St. Joseph, help make this the right time to create two colleges within the University," Fr. Fleming said. "In addition, by having two academic schools, the deans can work more closely with our faculty, which will result in better teaching and learning experiences for both graduate and undergraduate students."

Faso has been at Wheeling Jesuit since 1980. She served as a professor of nursing until 1998 and was the associate academic dean from 1998 to 2010. In 2010, Faso stepped back into the classroom to again teach in the nursing program.

Prior to her service at the University, Faso was a staff nurse at Ohio Valley General Hospital, Duke University Medical Center, West Virginia Medical Center, Flushing Medical Center in New York and Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Virginia, and was an instructor at the Medical College of Georgia.

In addition to being a registered nurse, Faso holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from WVU, a master's degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Phillips came to Wheeling Jesuit in 1998 as an instructor of political science. He now holds the title of associate professor of political science. He has served as curriculum coordinator for the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) since 2005 and as chair of the department of social science at WJU since 2008.

Phillips began his teaching career in 1985 as a teaching assistant at Northern Illinois University and became an instructor of political science at the College of DuPage in 1989. He was a researcher/speechwriter for the Consulate General of Japan for two years. From 1991 to 1995, Phillips returned to Northern Illinois University as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and academic advisor. He also taught at North Central College and Dominican University.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from North Central College and a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University.

According to Beyer, Faso and Phillips will begin their new roles after commencement. Dr. Stephen Stahl, current academic vice president, has taken a job at Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and the new deans will share his responsibilities.