West Liberty University’s new President, Dr. Stephen Greiner, took office this week and began his official duties as the leader of the oldest institution of higher learning in the Mountain State.
“I’m pleased to begin my work and am most interested in listening and learning. I’ve been walking from building to building, stopping in offices and getting acquainted with people. It’s really enjoyable. I’ve discovered I have a great team,” he said as he finished his first few days in office.
“I want to know every employee by name and learn their goals, aspirations and thoughts for the university,” he added.
The new president also looks forward to working with the students and cheering the student athletes. He and his wife Nancy purchased season tickets to the basketball games by becoming members of the Hilltopper Athletic Club.
He meets returning Resident Assistants and housing staff this weekend and attends his first Student Government Association meeting at 9 p.m., Tuesday. He has even stated that he plans to help students move in as they return for class on Jan. 11.
“I enjoy working with and assisting students as they achieve their goal of a college degree. West Virginia needs more college graduates and we want to do everything we can to help our students succeed,” he said.
Greiner also plans to work closely with the community and outreach to alumni, donors and civic groups.
“I plan to visit and meet with alumni and make as many friends as possible in the community,” the Weirton native said. “I am grateful to all our partners in the community for their support to West Liberty University. Without them, our students would not have the employment and opportunities they have. I will also visit high schools, and meet with principals, counselors and superintendents. I plan on staying busy.”
Greiner’s demeanor is calm and curious, marked by a sense of thoughtful confidence. Perhaps that’s because he’s been a college president for nearly 15 years, after serving 27 years as a university faculty member and administrator.
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WLU announced its selection of Greiner at a press conference on Oct. 29, 2015. He and Nancy then visited campus several times but didn’t move into the official presidential home, Colonial Heights, until late Friday. Though they are still getting settled, they find the home and hilltop campus very comfortable and welcoming.
Nancy, a petite and friendly woman, agrees and finds the president’s house interesting from a historic standpoint. She is a former high school teacher, experienced in special education and a native of Norfolk, Va.
“I’m just glad to be back home, back where I grew up. The campus is beautiful and the staff have been so helpful,” said Greiner. “Together, I believe we will accomplish much and advance West Liberty University’s mission to offer a high quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.”
A graduate of Weir High School, he has several family members in the region. His brother, Jon, is a retired Pittsburgh broadcast reporter who lives in Toronto, while his other brother, Nick, lives in their childhood home in Weirton. His sister Lisa DiCarlo works in Wheeling and is a resident of Mingo Junction.
The Greiners also have two grown children who live outside the area, 27-year-old twins John and Jacquelyn.
Greiner most recently served as CEO of Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard, Ky., a comprehensive multiple campus public degree-granting institution serving approximately 4,000 students in seven counties in eastern Kentucky. He has also served as president of Brunswick Community College in North Carolina, and as president of Virginia Intermont College.
He holds an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree from Western Kentucky University and a doctorate in higher education from Virginia Tech.
President Greiner’s office is located in historic Shaw Hall.
“I welcome visitors and encourage folks to stop by. I’m here to serve our students, staff and the community. I’m proud to be West Liberty University’s president and look forward to the future,” he said.