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Early Retirements at Wheeling Jesuit

May 10, 2017
 
 

About one-tenth of the employees at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia have opted to take part in a voluntary early-retirement program as the Roman Catholic institution attempts to change its cost structure.

About 40 faculty and staff members opted to take part in the program, which takes effect at the end of the current academic year. Wheeling Jesuit has almost 400 employees. A quarter of them were eligible for the early retirement offer.

“Like many other small, private institutions, we must continually examine our ability to attract students and talent while maintaining a strong and sustainable operating model,” Kelly Klubert, Wheeling Jesuit’s executive director of alumni and communications, said in an email. “We are reviewing every opportunity to strengthen Wheeling Jesuit University’s future in the Jesuit tradition.”

Wheeling Jesuit has about 1,300 students, 945 of them undergraduates. The university is also making changes to its core curriculum and hiring for some new positions like director of career services and director of admissions. Klubert said it is investing in infrastructure at its 60-acre campus as well.

Officials did not provide a breakdown of the employees taking early retirement between faculty and staff members. Wheeling Jesuit had 77 full-time and 78 part-time instructional faculty members in 2016-17, according to its Common Data Set.

The early-retirement offer is the latest in a series of several significant changes at the university. Last summer Wheeling Jesuit partnered with the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in a move billed as expanding the university’s services and helping it financially. The partnership came after Wheeling Jesuit agreed in 2015 to pay $2.3 million to the federal government to settle claims it misspent research grants.

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