Wheeling Jesuit University

Rev. James Fleming, S.J., Ph.D.
Tenth President, July 1, 2013

Jesuit Father James Fleming has been a key member of the leadership team of Wheeling Jesuit University since 2010. Most recently, he has served as executive vice president, with responsibility for the university's operations and functioning. He also provides strategic leadership for program development, implementation and assessment, and leads university-wide efforts to facilitate innovation and collaboration between programs. He previously served as the vice president and chief of staff.

Prior to joining Wheeling Jesuit, Fr. Fleming was on staff at Boston College for ten years. He served as director of mission planning and assessment from 2004-2010, where he developed and oversaw the implementation of a strategic planning process for the office. From 2000-2004, he was an assistant professor in the Lynch School of Education. His courses included Teacher as Researcher; Family, School & Society; Culture, Community & Change; and Principles of Outreach Research. He also conducted funded research that informed his scholarly work, which focused on university-community partnerships and institutional change at American colleges and universities.

His interest in university-community partnerships began in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, an old mill town where his father was mayor and active in downtown redevelopment and a member of the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus for 45 years.

Fr. Fleming also has been a lecturer at the University of San Francisco, where he served as the Director of the University Academy, a university-school-community partnership in San Francisco, CA. From 1997-1999, he taught courses in urban education at Santa Clara University.

The author of numerous articles and publications, Fr. Fleming earned a Ph.D. in educational policy analysis at the University of California, Berkeley in 1999, where he was awarded the Wilson Research Fellowship and the Edgar and Camilla Morphet Fellowship. As a research associate at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development, he worked with a team of researchers from UC Berkeley and was project director of the Design Study for an Evaluation Methodology of the Community Outreach Partnership Centers.

He served on the board of trustees at Boston College High School and the Nativity Preparatory School in Boston, and is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges' Executive Leadership Program.

Fr. Fleming entered the Jesuits in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1995. As a Jesuit educator, Fr. Fleming has dedicated his life to academic investigation, service to and with the poor, and spiritual reflection. He follows in a long line of Jesuits dedicated to bringing their academic and spiritual preparation to the Northern Ohio River Valley.

Mr. Rick Beyer
Ninth President, 2010-2013

Rick Beyer, a successful business executive, was appointed the ninth president of Wheeling Jesuit University in October 2010. He had over 23 years of senior executive office experience and more than 16 years of experience in higher education, including board governance, strategic planning and financial modeling, before joining WJU.

During his presidency, he initiated a university strategic planning process. Enrollment reached record levels, alumni and corporate support significantly increased, and new fine arts, engineering and health sciences programs were established.

He previously served on the board of trustees at the American University in Washington, D.C. was chairman of the board of trustees for his alma mater, Olivet College in Michigan, and is a member of the board of directors at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), a national higher education governance organization.

Beyer was the first non-Jesuit president to serve at WJU.

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