FOR RELEASE: March 4, 2017
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Wesleyan University Renews President Michael S. Roth’s Contract
President Michael S. Roth has committed to lead Wesleyan University through 2023 after the University offered him an extension of his contract earlier today.
Roth, a 1978 graduate of Wesleyan, became the university’s 16th president in 2007. A historian, author, and public advocate for liberal education, he was previously Associate Director of the Getty Research Institute, President of the California College of the Arts, and Hartley Burr Alexander Professor of the Humanities at Scripps College. During his term as president, Wesleyan’s reputation as a leader in pragmatic liberal education has continued to grow as record numbers of students from around the world have sought the opportunity to study here.
Roth led the most ambitious and successful fundraising campaign in Wesleyan’s history—with financial aid as the highest priority—which concluded in June 2016 with over $480 million raised.
“For almost ten 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,” wrote Board of Trustees Chair Donna Morea in an email to the Wesleyan community on March 4.
Roth’s other accomplishments as president include overseeing the launch of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Shapiro Creative Writing Center, and four new interdisciplinary colleges in the areas of the environment, film, East Asian studies, and the sciences. His most recent book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (2014), is an argument for the kind of education that has, since the founding of the nation, cultivated individual freedom, promulgated civic virtue, and instilled hope for the future. He regularly publishes essays, book reviews, and commentaries in the national media on topics ranging from intellectual history to the value of liberal education to campus free speech. He continues to teach undergraduate courses and through Coursera has offered popular MOOCs.