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Susan Deniker appointed to West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities board of directors

Charleston, W.Va.: The board of directors of the West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities (WVICU) unanimously voted to appoint Susan Deniker to the board of directors for a three-year term. Deniker is an attorney with the law firm Steptoe & Johnson in its Bridgeport, W.Va. offices where she has built a reputation for being one of the top higher education lawyers in the region.

“Susan is a friend of private higher education as demonstrated by her impeccable service to many of our member-institutions,” said Dr. Tim Barry, chairman of the board and president of Alderson Broaddus University. “As the WVICU looks to grow and strengthen our impact on our communities and state, we will need sound counsel from our board. Susan will bring with her vast knowledge of the higher education landscape as well as her perspectives as a member of one of West Virginia’s corporate partners.”

Deniker focusses her law practice in the areas of labor and employment law, higher education law and litigation. She is frequently called upon to present at various higher education conferences across the country including the Council for Independent Colleges and the National Conference on Law and Higher Education.

“I am honored to be nominated and elected to the board of directors of the WVICU,” said Deniker. “The WVICU and its member-institutions play a critical role in preparing future entrepreneurs and spurring economic growth in West Virginia. WVICU touches nearly every region of our state and I hope my contributions will help further its impact.”

The board of directors also thanked outgoing board member Fred Williams, formerly an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson, for his many years of service to WVICU, including his past role as chairman of the board. “Fred has a heart for the impact private higher education has on students. To him, his service to WVICU was personal. He frequently credited his career and success in life to Wheeling University (formerly Wheeling Jesuit University) where he attended and graduated,” said Barry. “We will greatly miss Fred’s presence and counsel on our board and wish him well.” Williams’ term expired at the end of 2020.

The current board members of the WVICU include:

Dr. Tim Barry, Chairman (President of Alderson Broaddus University)

Dr. Chris Wood, Vice Chairman (President of Davis & Elkins College)

Mr. Frank Baer, Vice Chairman, Corporate Member (Assured Partners)

Mr. John McCuskey, Secretary, Corporate Member (Shuman, McCuskey & Slicer)

Ms. Julie Gurtis, Treasurer, Corporate Member (United Bank)

Dr. Daniel Anderson (President of Appalachian Bible College)

Dr. Joel Thierstein (President of West Virginia Wesleyan College)

Mr. Michael Ross (President of Ohio Valley University)

Dr. Tamara Rodenberg (President of Bethany College)

Ms. Ginny Favede (President of Wheeling University)

Dr. Marty Roth (President of University of Charleston)

Mr. Peter Holloway, Corporate Member (Hazlett Burt & Watson)

Mr. Eric Mohan, Corporate Member (TMC Technologies of WV)

Ms. Cameron Nutting Williams, Corporate Member (The Nutting Company)

Ms. Susan Deniker, Corporate Member (Steptoe & Johnson)

Mr. Ben Beakes (non-voting), Executive Director of WVICU


The West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities is made up of the eight not-for-profit private higher education institutions in West Virginia. It was founded in 1964 and its members currently serve over 7,500 students and have an estimated $600 million annual economic impact in West Virginia. In 1997 the WVICU established the Circle of Vision Scholarship Program and has awarded $6 million to over 3,300 West Virginia students since its inception. The WVICU’s mission is to advance collectively the interests of West Virginia's independent colleges and universities and their students.


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