Roth + Weil = $$$ 4 U(!!!)

“And just like he said, I coulda told ya / M. Roth, the holder of a boulder, the money folder.”


Michael Roth and Professor Kari Weil, notorious cutest couple of Arguses past, have opted to donate $100,000 to Wesleyan’s endowment for financial aid. Repeat for emphasis: President Roth and Professor Kari Weil have opted to donate $100,000 to Wesleyan’s endowment for financial aid. Special thanks to the Wesleyan Connection for the tip, and slightly specialer thanks to Roth and Weil for, err, the 100 grand. Seriously: thanks, you guys! This is grand stuff. As Trustee-in-Chief Joshua Boger ’73 wisely put it,

I can’t thank Michael and Kari enough for their generosity. Their gift represents the kind of ‘stretch gift’ that we are frequently soliciting from other alumni and their families, and I hope that all members of the Wesleyan community will follow their lead in making Wesleyan a philanthropic priority.

According to the Connection report, Wes is spending $47 million on financial aid this academic year. (In 2011, you may recall, Wes raised $37.74 million, nearly half of which went towards aid. At the time, Roth spoke hopefully about strengthening the university’s “economic foundation” and minimizing the need to hike tuition again, as Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted to do a year ago this week.)

In other Roth-related updates? Well, there’s a new blog post about creativity at Wes. Roth references Saturday’s Jubilee event in Crowell, as well as Aaron Peisner ’12’s senior thesis concert in the Chapel, which he calls “a labor of affection, intelligence and joy.” It’s all about enhancing student creativity, the president surmises. Whether that objective requires a 10,000-freaking-word report by a Director of Strategic Initiatives or a $100,000 presidential donation or just a megaphone and some freakish bird costumes is honestly anyone’s debate.

[The Wesleyan Connection]
[Roth on Wesleyan]

  • studentlOaWNED

    Am I the only one utterly unimpressed by this?

    Sure $100k sounds like a hefty chunk of change when you think about how many delectable S&C meals that could buy, but think about how much a single student has to pay to attend this school for four years. 

    As a student in the middle class income bracket my education has cost me far more than $100k (about twice that much actually) and that money has been a combination of the almost complete depletion of my parents savings and loans all around. (not to mention the additional cost of books, printing, thesis binding and every other fun little add on Wesleyan likes to throw in here and there.)

    So while I guess I’m happy he’s doing something, I’d much prefer Ross focus his energy on tackling a real problem in the financial aid system at this school. Any generous alumni can throw money at this broken system, but Roth is in a position to actually address it’s issues and instead he shows his support for financial aid by donating about a little under one fifth of one year’s housing and travel expenses paid $565,000 salary?

    Forgive me if I hold my applause for when he actually does anything meaningful.

    • josepheodonnell

      I strongly agree with the student above who, like many others, is owned by rising tuition and consequently rising student debt.  I elaborate fully on my views of rising tuitions, President Roth’s absurd and unjustifiably high salary, and, most importantly the excess praise and adulation he receives in this March 5th Wespeak I wrote: http://wesleyanargus.com/2012/03/05/questioning-president-roth-on-wesleyans-rising-tuition-his-half-million-dollar-salary-and-excessive-public-praise/

      On the third problem, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed Zach.  I have a lot of respect for you as a writer/blogger, and appreciate much of what you post on Wesleying, but between this and the gratuitous Happy Birthday post to Roth a few days ago, I see little objectivity or raising of the substantive facts: rising tuition, increased student debt, Wesleyan’s stagnant place in the USNWR rankings at 13 (Williams and Amherst are 1 and 2 with lower tuition), and the general norming and administrative restriction that has taken place in the past few years.

      I hope to see some more balanced reporting in the future, even if it’s just giving an opportunity for a differing perspective like me or owned student a chance to voice the serious concerns we have.

      Roth’s contract may have been (mistakenly, in my opinion) extended for another 7 years last year, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to answer to students, parents, and faculty.  I sincerely hope more people start speaking out and questioning him–almost nobody is currently–and that, hopefully, Wesleyan starts to get back on track.

      Joe O’Donnell ’13

  • Boger FTW

    Yo, Boger demands his own congratulatory post. He donated $1.47 million last semester as part of his fundraising challenge. So, my financial aid love goes to Boger on this one! But, Roth and Weil, y’all are pretty cool too.