Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston gifts Wheeling University $2 million

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Update 5:38 PM: The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston have announced a $2 million gift to Wheeling University.

This comes shortly after Wheeling University Board of Trustees placed their President and Senior Vice President on administrative leave, effective immediately.

More information can be found in the press release below.

Aug 2, 2019 — Wheeling University has announced the reorganization of  its executive leadership during its ongoing reauthorization process with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WV HEPC). President Michael Mihalyo and Senior Vice President Joseph Petrella have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Effective immediately, Board of Trustees Chair Ginny Favede will work closely with the University’s Board of Trustees and key administration officials, including Vice President of Administration and CFO Jeffrey Strader, Vice President of Human Resources & Compliance David Hacker, and Director of Institutional Data and Systems Laurie McCullough, to guide the University through its reauthorization.

“Our board and administration are deeply committed to providing hands-on leadership and guidance during the reauthorization process and throughout the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year,” says Favede. “We are working collaboratively with the HLC and HEPC during this process and we appreciate the HEPC’s understanding in agreeing to set a new date of August 16th to reconvene for our reauthorization, following their planned visit on August 12th.”

Also announced today, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has provided Wheeling University with a $2 million gift, increasing fiscal stability as the University continues to pursue additional funding sources and explores partnerships beyond 2020.

“These efforts and our reauthorization enable us to serve our students with confidence,” said Favede, adding that the University community should expect no disruption in leadership, campus operations or student experience. “The administration, faculty, and staff are well-prepared for the upcoming academic year and eagerly anticipate classes resuming on August 27. As always, our primary focus is on providing our students with a high-quality educational experience that will prepare them for rewarding careers in the fields of Business, Criminal Justice, Education, and Healthcare.”

Players and coaches will return to campus for the university’s highly-anticipated football season on August 12th, and other student-athletes in men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s golf will arrive on August 19th.

Favede also noted  that the University is launching a new partnership with Ohio County Schools to create field experiences for students beginning this year, and will continue to work with the Office of Diversion and Transition Programs to support students at the Ron Mulholland Juvenile Center.

Wheeling University Announces $2M Gift and Newly-Restructured Leadership

Update 12:36 PM: Wheeling University releases a statement regarding the administrative changes.

President Michael Mihalyo and Senior Vice President Joseph Petrella are currently employed by the University. The University does not comment on employment matters and has no further comment at this time.


Wheeling University has placed President Michael Mihalyo and Senior Vice President Joseph Petrella on administrative leave effective immediately according to an email sent to everyone on campus.

The campus is having all related questions in their absence directed to Laurie McCullough or David Hacker.

Wheeling University says in the email that information regarding the organizational structure will be released in the next couple of days.

Former Wheeling Jesuit University Board of Trustees have voted to change the name of the school on July 18.

WTRF.com will have more on this story as it develops.

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