[Drastically corrected version] Fr. Charles Currie, [not] the sole Wheeling Jesuit U. trustee [this was Fr. Edward Glynn] who did not collaborate in the firing of fellow Jesuit Fr. Julio Giulietti from the WJU presidency a year ago, is stepping down as president of the Assn. of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Colleagues heap praise on him in comments at The Chronicle of Higher Ed’s “The Ticker” blog.
Tom Ingram, president-emeritus, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB):
The 28 Jesuit colleges and universities will be losing an extraordinary leader next year, and so will the rest of higher education. Father Charlie Currie has inspired his colleague presidents to be sure, but he has also shepherded his Church and Catholic higher education across the board through some very very, very challenging issues ranging from threats to academic freedom in classrooms and institutional self-determination, as well as to their adequately preparing for their inevitable transition to lay Catholic leadership.
I’m certain that what he has done to help Catholic colleges and universities to begin addressing their futures while honoring the values, traditions, and teachings of the various religious communities that founded each of them will prove to be one of his true legacies.
I know Father Currie less as a professional colleague than as a fellow tenant of the fourth floor of 1 Dupont Circle [DC]. To put it succinctly, to know him is to love him, and to chuckle with him as well. Father Currie’s moral authority within the higher education community, stemming as it does from a unique combination of intelligence, geniality, and learning, will be missed. But I will miss him more as a friend.
And an otherwise anonymous “raslowski”:
Charlie has served the Society of Jesus and the Jesuit Colleges and Universities with distinction. His has been a clear and consistent voice for an education in which the promotion of justice is a critical component. His efforts have shaped the world of higher education for the better.
Currie had the job 14 years. His stepping down is set for next June. He previously served as president of Wheeling (WV) Jesuit and Xavier University, in Ohio. Succeeding him will be the Rev. Greg Lucey, a former president of Spring Hill College, in Alabama.
In the course of post-firing controversy, [not] his email exchanges [but Fr. Ed Glynn’s] with the WJU board of directors chairman and the Jesuit president of the all-Jesuit trustees, appearing on a pro-Giulietti web site, shed much light on the firing itself, which happened after Giulietti, now at Loyola U.-Chicago, had been president two years. Glynn and Giulietti were trustees. The three others held a brief telephone meeting on Aug. 5, 2009, without either, agreeing to fire Giulietti after the directors had come close to doing so but failed to muster the required 2/3 vote. The trustees required a unanimous vote for the decision, from which Glynn was absent.
[Indeed, Currie from the start papered over the unexplained aspects of Giulietti’s firing, and indeed the firing itself, apparently going along with the whole business.]