Wheeling University must meet certain requirements as part of HEPC annual reauthorization

WHEELING, W.Va. — The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved a provisional annual reauthorization of Wheeling University on Friday.

During a morning meeting, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) approved the resolution with no discussion in front of Wheeling University President Ginny Favede. The university will have to meet certain requirements as part of the approval.

HEPC stated in its reautorization resolution that commission staff conducted an on-site visit to the institution on May 20 in response to complaints the commission received regarding Wheeling University.

The resolution further stated that staff findings during the visit revealed staffing and student service-related concerns.

The resolution read “Therefore, to help ensure essential student services continue without disruption, staff recommend the Commission approve provisional reauthorization for Wheeling University with the following reporting requirements submitted to the Chancellor:

Beginning June 13, 2022, and for each quarter thereafter through June 2023, Wheeling University shall provide quarterly financial reports.

“No later than August 1, 2022, Wheeling University shall provide a projected enrollment report for the 2022 fall semester.

“No later than October 1, 2022, Wheeling University shall provide the following information:

– The most recent single financial audit;
– The names and credentials of individuals serving in University cabinet-level and key department leadership positions, including registrar, admissions and student financial aid;
– Evidence the University has met the data submission requirements and deadlines for all federally required reporting; and
– Evidence the University has entered into a third-party contract with a private vendor to upload all student transcripts electronically to a database external to any IT services affiliated with the university.

“No later than December 9, 2022, Wheeling University shall provide a projected enrollment report for 2023 spring semester. Commission staff will conduct a follow-up site visit and will re-evaluate the reauthorization of Wheeling University prior to the Commission’s meeting on October 7, 2022. The institution will be expected to provide a progress update during the meeting.”

HEPC stated that the institution shall provide the Chancellor with a copy of all correspondence with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The resolution further stated, “This provisional reauthorization is contingent on the ability of Wheeling University to provide, without interruption, essential services such as instruction, financial aid processing and the timely delivery of student records. If the institution fails to deliver the information requested or to provide these key critical student services, the Commission may suspend this provisional authorization.”

The university has made headlines in the past few years, as in April the organization that oversees the placing of Catholic priests at Wheeling University announced it would reassign the remaining priests this summer.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted in July 2019 to change the name after the Society of Jesus announced in April 2019 that it was ending its affiliation with the school because Jesuit teaching was being eliminated on the Wheeling campus.

In August 2019, the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese gifted Wheeling University $2 million in support. Later on in August 2019, Wheeling University was reauthorized by the HEPC for the 2019-2020 academic year to confer degrees, but by slim margins. HEPC leaders credited the diocese’s gift in saving the university financially.

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