BREAKING: Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees Extend President Roth’s Contract Through 2023


At around 1:45pm today, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Donna Morea ’76 sent out an all-campus email announcing the extension of President Michael Roth‘s contract. He will continue to remain President of the University through 2023.

Morea’s email highlighted the success of Roth’s “This Is Why” fundraising campaign; his launch of multiple academic programs during his nearly decade-long run as President; and his future plans for the “Beyond 2020” initiative (although the email doesn’t go into much detail on this front). It makes no mention of the fact that last October, over 200 students called for the removal of President Roth and Vice President of Equity & Inclusion Antonio Farias in a town hall.

Here is the full email text:

Dear friends,

I’m pleased to announce that today, the University recognized the extraordinary leadership of President Michael S. Roth and offered him an extension of his contract. I’m delighted to report that he has committed to lead Wesleyan through 2023. 

This is truly an exciting time for Wesleyan. With the support of our community and Michael’s outstanding leadership, our reputation for being at the forefront of pragmatic liberal education continues to grow. Michael led our highly successful THIS IS WHY campaign, which raised significant funds for financial aid. He has worked to deepen our resolve to cultivate a supportive campus community where all have ample opportunity to thrive and participate fully in our vibrant culture. Thanks to a concerted effort to expand recognition of Wesleyan, record numbers of students from around the world have sought the opportunity to learn here. Through a consultative process with all university constituencies, Michael is developing a vision for the future in “Beyond 2020: Strategies for Wesleyan” that will encourage and support innovations such as our new course offerings in design and engineering.

For almost 10 years now, Michael’s leadership has been crucial to Wesleyan’s success. We have been fortunate indeed to have a president who believes so deeply in our mission and advocates for it so effectively, so eloquently. He has done much to secure Wesleyan’s future and enhance recognition of our crucial role in American higher education. Under his leadership, Wesleyan has gained long-term fiscal stability through changes to our fundraising, spending and debt management. We’ve launched innovative programs, including the Shapiro Creative Writing Center, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and four interdisciplinary colleges.

Now more than ever, our country needs Wesleyan graduates whose liberal education has prepared them to address complex problems and create powerful opportunities. With Michael’s bold, visionary leadership and the continued support of our community, I am confident that we will meet if not surpass our high aspirations. 

Donna Morea ’76, P’06

Chair of the Board of Trustees

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6 thoughts on “BREAKING: Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees Extend President Roth’s Contract Through 2023

  1. Sigh

    Trustees: We are pleased to extend Michael’s contract for another 5 years.
    Translation: We’re too lazy to search out a minority or female candidate who isn’t as arrogant and spiteful as Michael. Plus it’s not our $3.5m

    Roth: This is where I want to be.
    Translation: No Ivy or anybody else would hire me so I have to stay at Wesleyan which is clearly beneath my capabilities. Well at least I can run it as my little kingdom, completely unchecked.

  2. '18

    Happy with this. Remember that over 3000 students didn’t sign the petition, whereas only ~200 did.

      1. '18

        If I were using my Wes education, I’d point out that we can’t know how the over 3000 who didn’t sign would have signed if they’d found it important enough to show up. If I were using my Wes education, I’d point out that the ~200 who did sign were the only ones who found October’s town hall important enough to attend.

        I’m not doing any of that. I’m pointing out that over 3000 didn’t sign, possibly because they found the situation overblown given that Backer had been quickly fired.

  3. leahcim htor

    Wes is successful in spite of Roth, not because of him. This is depressing news.

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