LIVEBLOG: #AFAMIsWhy Meeting with President Roth and Provost Striegel Weissman


If you haven’t heard, there’s a meeting going on in PAC 001 with President Roth and Provost Ruth Striegel Weissman. This meeting was scheduled after a March on Wesleyan this afternoon to protest the administration’s lack of support for African American Studies. For those of you stuck in Olin right now, here’s a liveblog of what’s happening. Stay tuned for a longer post about the issue soon.


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15 thoughts on “LIVEBLOG: #AFAMIsWhy Meeting with President Roth and Provost Striegel Weissman

  1. Wondering

    For those of us just catching up on the events, where are the two professors heading? I’ve heard differing things about Mahurin, but nothing about Wright.

    1. kgibbel

      Professor Mahurin will be a Dean at Yale next year and Professor Wright will be teaching at Harvard.

  2. Cesar A. Chavez

    I think that the question asking President Roth to cut his salary is an important one. He mentioned earlier in the discussion that if the University was to increase funding from AFAM it would have to take the money fro somewhere else. Well we have already sacrificed poor students and increased tuition, why doesn’t President Roth sacrifice some of his salary? I am sure we can reduce his salary by at the very least 100K and still do fine. In the past President Roth has mentioned that he loves Wesleyan and that he wishes to make it a better place, why doesn’t he sacrifice himself as well? Why only sacrifice poor students?

    1. alum

      You can debate the economics, but the fact that someone asked Roth randomly like that is completely immature and counterproductive – you put him on the defensive, the question is personal and mostly rhetorical, and you shut down any dialogue you’ve generated. You’re really gonna ask someone that in front of 100 people? Please.

      As for him cutting his salary to pay for the professors’ tuition, my question is, why isn’t there an endowed professor position? Any maybe it should be a goal of the This Is Why campaign? Also it sets a bad precedent – should Roth cut his salary every time Wes needs another professor? Should he just work for free? Slippery slope.

      1. Cesar A, Chavez

        I think that the principle is what matters. The issue is that Roth is constantly saying that the university needs to move resources from one program to another to make it sustainable. During the AFAM meeting Roth specifically said that in order to hire more AFAM professors the university would need to borrow money from somewhere else. Again why doesn’t he put his money towards AFAM? Why does he continue to sacrifice other people but himself? To me it seems that he is being hypocritical and willing to put himself above others. Yes Wesleyan is a business and yes it has problems but should our president set an example but cutting his salary and put more money towards AFAM or for scholarships? I am not asking him to work for free but I am sure he can do without some of the money he is currently making. I think the question was in fact very provocative and Roth’s reaction shows how much of a hypocrite he is.

        1. alum

          Did you even read what I wrote? The question was completely inappropriate and as I’ve said, he makes the going rate for college presidents. Say he donates some of his salary and then the Romance languages need more professors – does he donate some if his salary to that too? It’s a bullshit argument that has zero basis in reality. Zero. Idealistic? Yes. Pragmatic? Hell no. Roth isn’t putting himself above anything – he’s just not putting himself below anything.

  3. wentworth

    i was more interested in seeing more from the students of color who were not necessarily deep in the AFAM program but found it needed and important in their own way. Why did the livebloggers leave out the voices of the students who are not necessarily in the obvious organizing group? Like that one freshman girl just yelled things she thought people were already saying, she made no arguments with premises or original contributions. Has reporting for wesleying just come to what the loudest person or most obvious person thinks? No one wanted to see what one freshman had to say. Liveblog=fail

    1. kgibbel

      Thank you for your comments. Writing a liveblog is actually very difficult in a crowded room where people are entering and exiting–it’s hard a) to hear everything and b) to record everything everyone says quickly enough, but I think you make a very valid point about including more opinions. After all, making excellence inclusive is the framing scaffold for this entire #AFAMisWhy movement. I think both hermes and I tried to do our best to record the most salient points as they came up in real time, but as I said, it is difficult. And for clarification purposes, there WERE comments from people in CSS, NSB, FGSS, English, and other departments that were featured in the liveblog.

  4. alum

    ““President Roth why don’t you cut down your salary?”” Probably the least productive comment of the forum.

    Will be interesting to see what the admin comes up with as a response. I think it was unreasonable to think Roth and Striegel Weissman would have answers just hours after they agree to come to an impromptu meeting…

    1. 2015

      wake up… they should have had answers 3 months ago. It shouldn’t take a sit in for them to realize what’s going on.
      Roth’s salary is like 500K. It’s a legitimate question to ask why he’s still making this much while important programs like need blind and AFAM are being cut.

      1. alum

        Take it easy, there. Let’s be realistic here.

        First of all, again, that comment was completely counterproductive, and second of all, Roth makes the GOING RATE (excuse the caps) for a liberal arts college president. Yeah he make a lot of money. You wanna ask your doctor to take a pay cut so your insurance can be a bit cheaper? Doesn’t work that way. As for need blind, as I’ve mentioned in my other posts, Wesleyan can’t afford it RIGHT NOW, and it has NOTHING to do with Roth’s salary. Could he take a smal pay cut in solidarity? Sure, but it’s gonna do jack shit except make everyone feel a little better about themselves. After the next capital campaign, the endowment will be large enough to once again support need blind. It’s actually not a legitimate question to ask about “why he’s still making this much while important programs like need blind and AFAM are being cut,” when you understand the economics.

        As for AFAM, what does the department have to say for itself? Is it that requests for additional professors being actively denied? What about soliciting alumni for a gift to endow some professor positions? Seems like it might not just be about the money though, and something else is going on… whether it be lack of “support” or something not yet public on Wesleying…

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