Rev. James Fleming, SJ, Ph.D., is Appointed the Tenth President of Wheeling Jesuit University
Rev. James J. Fleming, SJ, Ph.D., executive vice president of Wheeling Jesuit University, has been appointed the institution's tenth president by the Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2013.
He will succeed Mr. Richard Beyer, who has decided not to seek a second term. Beyer, who has been president since 2010, will work closely with Fr. Fleming on the transition.
"Fr. Fleming is ideally suited to serve as president of the university. He is a dynamic and visionary leader who possesses a keen knowledge of the university and, obviously, the Jesuit values on which it was founded and continues to operate. When Rick informed the Board that he did not plan to seek a second term as president, in part to spend more time with his family, the obvious - and unanimous - choice for president was Fr. Fleming." said Mimie Helm, chairman of the university's Board of Trustees.
She added, "In his three years as a senior member of the university's administration, Fr. Fleming has forged close relationships with faculty, staff and students, as well as political and community leaders throughout the state. He has been instrumental in guiding the development and implementation of the university's long-term strategic plan, while taking on key operational responsibilities. Fr. Fleming is distinctly qualified to build on the momentum generated in recent years and to lead the university's continued growth as one of the nation's best liberal arts institutions."
The Board unanimously voted to name Fr. Fleming president during a regularly scheduled March 7 board meeting. The presidents of the Alumni Council and Faculty Council were consulted as part of the selection process.
"Wheeling Jesuit University is a great institution possessing even greater potential. I'm excited to work with our exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends for many years to come to realize this potential. It has been a great privilege to be a part of this community for the past three years and I thank the Board of Trustees for their confidence and the opportunity to continue moving the university forward," said Fr. Fleming.
Fleming, 53, joined Wheeling Jesuit University in 2010 as the institution's first vice president for mission and identity and then chief of staff. He became executive vice president in 2012. He previously served as director of mission planning and assessment for Boston College and was a member of that faculty from 2000-2010.
At Wheeling Jesuit, he has overseen the university's operations; focused on strategic leadership for program development, implementation and assessment; and led university-wide collaboration on new initiatives. He is the author of numerous articles and publications, and holds a doctorate in education policy, organization, measurement and evaluation from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a native of Lowell, Mass., and a priest with the New England Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
"The Board is deeply grateful to Rick Beyer for his significant contributions to the university. Under his leadership, WJU has achieved record enrollment, tremendous growth in alumni giving, as well as the establishment of new academic programs in fine arts, engineering and health sciences," said Ms. Helm.
"The experience here at WJU has been tremendous and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such outstanding people. Fr. Jim Fleming has been an outstanding partner and I look forward to working with him through the balance of the year," said Mr. Beyer.
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