Tag Archives: presidential search

What about the New President?

Well, this is fun. Moving away from food now, what do you want out of the new President? Many different ideas about what the role of the President should be. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Michael Roth compared to Dougie B?

Do you hope that he is more accessible to the student body? Involves himself more in on-campus activities? Are you eager to take a class with him (or his wife)? Do you think he’ll reconsider chalking? Do you think he’ll cater more to the academic interests of the school? Will he be as good of a fundraiser as Dougie?

Let’s go!

Michael Roth: Former ADP President

Check out new President Roth as old President Roth of ADP in a great profile by Isabella Vitti:

“Our strength lies in part in our diversity,” he wrote in a spring 1977 newsletter to alumni, describing the nature of Alpha Delt. “It is still a place where one can live and work in his own way. A place where, on any given night, one can find a party, an all night battle over free will, or a fire to read in front of.”

Michael Roth’s Wife to Teach, Too!

At a time when many departments are struggling with understaffing issues, new president Michael Roth pledging to teach a course came as a godsend. But then, what’s this? His wife, Kari Weil, wants to teach, too?! Argus writer Andrew Luglio reports:

Weil has been chair of Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts since 2003. Critical Studies is a non-major program involving a variety of subject-specific and interdisciplinary courses. A professor since 1985, her teaching experience in a variety of fields has prepared her for the unique COL program.

“I’m very excited by COL,” Weil said. “Much of my work has been interdisciplinary and coming now from an interdisciplinary program, I know both the rewards and some of the difficulties in working in those areas.” Argus writer

Weil received her BA in French from Cornell University and her MA and PhD in comparative literature from Princeton University. Feminism and sexuality in French literature initiated her interest in women’s studies, a field in which she has published several articles and written one book, “Androgyny and the Denial of Difference.”

Weil’s more recent passion in animal studies stems from time she spent in France, where she became fascinated with horses, particularly their relationship to humans and the evolution of their role in society. She is currently working on a manuscript titled “La Plus Belle Conquête de l’Homme: Horses, Gender and the Conquest of Animal Nature in Nineteenth-Century France.”

How impossibly, yet endearingly nerdy could this family get?!

New President Featured in Courant

Want to learn more about Michael Roth’s experience at Wesleyan? Today’s Hartford Courant provides some new insight not found on the Wesleyan homepage:

As a student at Wesleyan University in the 1970s, Michael Roth was an intellectually curious student with a keen sense of humor who could discuss 19th-century philosophy and the poetry of Bob Dylan with equal aplomb.

Since graduating in 1978 – he finished in three years, primarily to save his parents money – Roth has swiftly steered his way through the hierarchy of academia, earning a reputation as a young marvel whose ambitions matched his talent.

He earned a doctorate in history from Princeton University in 1984 and took a teaching job at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School in California. He received tenure three years later, and was promoted to full professor in 1990.

“It’s no surprise he’s been a kind of rocket,” said Jane L. Polin, a friend of Roth’s from Wesleyan who works as a philanthropic adviser in New York. “He was the first or the youngest in almost every position he has ever held.”

With more than 2,700 undergraduates, Wesleyan is roughly twice the size of the arts college and has a much more diverse campus. Roth said he is confident he will be able to lead the biologists and dancers, political scientists and physicists, Frisbee players and freethinkers who make up the Wesleyan community.

“My job has always been to try to understand the languages people need to do their work,” he said during a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “I’ve always enjoyed the learning curve. I look forward to understanding the biologists and chemists.”

The Wesleyan Roth will lead is a different place from the one he entered as a freshman in 1975. But then, as now, the campus had a reputation for intellectual rigor.

“I was very much attracted by [the] combination of community engagement … and intellectual seriousness,” Roth recalled. In the mid-70s, students at Wesleyan, like at many colleges, were busy protesting apartheid and nuclear power. The school had recently undergone significant growth, transforming itself from a small men’s college of 1,600 to a bustling co-ed campus.

The younger of two boys, Roth grew up on Long Island and attended a high school known more for its football program than its challenging curriculum. His parents did not attend college.

While at Wesleyan, Roth volunteered in the psychiatric ward of Middlesex Hospital and tutored public school children. Those experiences shaped his belief that a university ought to be a partner with the community that surrounds it, and he says he intends to continue Bennet’s commitment to building bonds with the city of Middletown.

Roth also plans to bring a commitment of his own: He plans to teach a class each semester, as a way of staying connected to the student body. At the California College of the Arts, he teaches a class on the philosophy of art, and it is one of the school’s most popular offerings.

“Contact with students is very important to me,” he said.

Wick Sloane Writes on the Presidential Search, How to Keep Wes Weird

Anonymous passes on this fascinating article about the presidential vacancies at Wesleyan and Haverford on Inside Higher Ed.

“Let’s start by blowing the whistle on the tired formula for elite higher education — accept only the perfect; incarcerate and coddle for four years; pass on to the dreariest jobs. No clothes on this emperor.
When will elites concede that students who began competitive sports, classical music, and SAT prep in utero have finished traditional college long before freshman year begins? Students said so in the buried New York Times article “The Incredibles.” The reaction of mighty Stanford to students arriving with a B.A. full of Advanced Placement credits: Simple — ignore AP exams, for credit or placement. Among my crazy ideas is that education is a process for everyone — students and faculty — to learn and to stumble and to grow.
As president, I’ll redraw the playing field. A liberal arts education is about curiosity and imagination and creating solutions from connecting disparate facts and ideas. Let Wesleyan or Haverford guarantee to create citizens with the courage to pummel the new problems of the 21st Century, not more who prattle back standard answers. Forget U.S. News college rankings. Tie my pay to the Washington Monthly rankings, which measure net contribution to a better world.”

Read the full article here.

Who is this guy?!?

Wesleyan’s Presidential Search

This past year, Wesleyan’s President Doug Bennet announced to the student body that he will be resigning after this academic year. Say what you will, I think Douggie B. was a good guy.

That said, Wesleyan has launched its new Presidential Search:

Toward that end, the Wesleyan Board of Trustees is in the process of convening an 18-person search committee composed of trustees, faculty, staff and students to undertake a comprehensive search to identify and successfully recruit Doug Bennet’s successor.

The Presidential Search Committee is interested in the views of all members of the Wesleyan community and this web site has been designed as a resource for anyone who wishes to share or seek information regarding our search.

Now, with that said, Wesleyan is an excellent institution with an excellent reputation which demands more excellence.

I ask you, dear readers, who is a more excellent candidate for Wesleyan’s next president than 1981 Wesleyan graduate Bradley Whitford?

Mr. Whitford majored in English and Theater while at Wesleyan and earned his master’s in theater from Juilliard. He won an Emmy for his role as Josh Lyman on the hit show The West Wing. He is the co-founder of a charity called Clothes off our Back.

His distinguished filmography includes:

A few notable Bradley Whitford/Josh Lyman quotes from the West Wing:

“Senator, take your legislative agenda and shove it up your ass.”

“I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land!”

In conclusion, Bradley Whitford ’81 is my nomination for Wesleyan’s next president.

The end.