In case you missed it, Wesleyan has missed yet another opportunity for ranking and recognition. We might not care about U.S. Newsor The Princeton Review or The Huffington Post, but this one hurts. Westboro Baptist Church skipped over ole Wesleyan to select Vassar College as its “Ivy League Whorehouse” (despite the fact that Vassar is not, in fact, a member of the Ivy League), and Vassar students are taking the honor with pride.
In a press release and their schedule, Westboro attacks not just Vassar but the whole of American academia. They hone in on Vassar’s especially inclusive culture:
WBC will picket Vassar College to warn the students, faculty, and alumni that the satanic policies of this nation, especially those of the colleges and universities, are causing God to pour His wrath out upon this nation. Doomed american academics fancy themselves to be smarter than God. They promote the fag agenda with all their might and mock the word of God and His messengers at every turn. Let’s see how that works out for them on the Judgment Day!
God Hates Vassar College for following the satanic Zeitgeist by professing the soul-damning lie that it is “OK to be gay.” That is what the men of Sodom and Gomorrah professed and we see how well that worked out for them. WBC will kindly warn everyone affiliated with Vassar College that the Lord that destroyed those ancient cities on the plain yet reigns. Repent or Perish!
How did Vassar students react? Since our friends over at Mads Vassar are no longer with us, let’s take our own look.
Vassar has found itself embroiled in quite the legal morass(…er) — now that you’ve been sufficiently nauseated by that, you might be interested to learn of the comparably reproachable actions of former Vassar employee Arthur Fisher and his wife, Jennifer Fisher, who were arrested last Friday in connection with the embezzlement of approximately $1.9 million from Vassar College.
The good people of Mads Vassar have provided excellent coverage of the developing legal situation so far. For those of you not inclined to venture far afield in the blogosphere, here are the central details of the case:
Fisher, a construction project manager at Vassar, ostensibly managed to leech the money from the school’s construction capital budget under the pretense of funding a nonexistent project over the course of his five year tenure, which concluded last December.
Financial inconsistencies found during an examination of project reports tipped off administrators to Fisher’s withdrawals (no word has yet been issued on the precise methods used by the defendants to accrue the cash money flo’).
A search of the Fishers’ Ossining home turned up five vehicles whose total value hovers around half a million dollars, several Rolexes (appraised at around $50k), and perhaps most disturbingly, a staggering cache of unregistered firearms and forged government identification.
Links to further reportage (Washington Post, Huffington Post, Poughkeepsie Journal, Associated Press) can be found here.
Our friends at Vassar (i.e., that school you’d probably be at right now if you hadn’t chosen Wes) are celebrating the school’s Sesquicent—okay, fine, 150th birthday this week, and the Mads Vassar blog (because “Vassaring” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it) is atwitter with excitement. (Twitter is also atwitter. See what I did there?) In fact, they’re so pumped about this so-called Sesquicentennial, they’re attempting to pronounce it! Check it:
Speaking of President Roth, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual salary report is out. The report lists the compensation in 2008 of university presidents throughout the country. The New York Times points out that thirty presidents of private colleges were paid over a million dollars. It goes on, (down from 82%) “78 percent of presidents of private colleges, however, had total compensation packages of less than $600,000 in 2008.”
The President of Wesleyan Wellesley came in 19th among the “Baccalaureate colleges – Arts & Sciences.” Michael Roth came in 28th with $535,344 as his 2008-9 total compensation package. You can view more information about his compensation here. The site considerately puts the institution revenues ($197,167,000 for Wes) and expenditures ($225,619,000 for Wes) down also for comparative purposes.
In case anyone cares, here’s an abbreviated chart of Wesleyan and some of our “peer institutions.” The highest college in the category, Franklin & Marshall, pays its president about $326,000 more and Vassar, who we seem to rank near often, pays its president about $73,000 less.
Personally, I love President Roth. We should keep paying him. A bit of transparency doesn’t hurt though.
With all this talk about rankings and all the fire that for-profit schools have come under recently, Gawker decided to try and rank the ‘real’ colleges whose students have amassed the most debt. They took total debt, which made bigger schools come out on top, giving NYU a not-so-surprising win.
But what about Wesleyan? What about debt per student, which is probably a better measure in the first place? We’ve always know that Wesleyan is an expensive place to go to, with one of the highest tuitions and comprehensive costs in the nation, but let’s take a look at the debt burden it places on the students. The “Median Federal Debt for Those Entering Repayment” for Wesleyan was $11,384.
Yes, Wesleyan’s $11,384 median looks meager compared to NYU’s behemoth of $28,649 (which isn’t even the highest). But what about comparable institutions? Our Little Three ‘frenemies’ Williams and Amherst have nearly identical medians at about $7,700 (are they even distinguishable schools anymore?), over $3,500 less than us. Nearby Connecticut College, however, has a similar if higher load. Vassar, who we seem to be compared to a lot, is also essentially similar to us in Median Federal Debt. Our “Estimated Repayment Rate” is lower than any of our peers though.