On Friday, March 8, the Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Trustees declared that the institution is facing a financial exigency.
Under the University’s faculty handbook, 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 the ability to improve the University’s financial condition.
Under the declaration, the Board authorized President Michael Mihalyo to take such steps as may be necessary to eliminate the financial exigency by reordering the University’s expenditures.
While the University continues to actively and aggressively pursue additional funding sources, new and innovative partnerships, collaborations, and supporters, any path forward for the University must be based upon a financial model that is sustainable.
The decision must also allow the University to provide a high-quality education to its students and preserve the value of a WJU degree for its alumni.
President Mihalyo will meet with faculty, staff, and students Tuesday afternoon to discuss the declaration in greater detail.
Over the next few weeks, the Board and the University community will be working with state and government officials, regional and community leaders, and the University’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to determine the best path forward.
“Higher education is facing a complex set of external challenges, including fewer college-bound students and higher tuition discounting,” President Mihalyo said.
“WJU is not immune to these challenges. By declaring a financial exigency, the Board is allowing the University’s leadership team to take appropriate steps to protect the needs of our students, faculty, and staff, and explore how we might bring the mission forward in new ways.”