Wheeler began his career at the University in 1956 as an instructor of English and of religious studies. He chaired the Task Force on Undergraduate Education and was the chair of the national Phi Beta Kappa Committee on Qualifications, among other activities. He has held a variety of administrative positions since his first major administrative role as faculty master of the residence halls in the mid-1960s. He devoted his life to students as a professor of English and of religious studies in Arts & Sciences for more than 40 years and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1966 to 1978. From 1990 until his retirement in 1996, he was the grand marshal of Commencement.
Part of the William Greenleaf Eliot Residential College, Wheeler House opened in 1998. Inside Wheeler House there are suite style rooms for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Most suites contain 4 single bedrooms, a common room, and a bathroom. There are also study rooms and lounges on each floor.