Tag Archive for Michael Roth

Roth Discusses “The Future of Education” at Social Good Summit

Logo_SGS2014President Michael Roth discussed “The Future of Education” at the 92nd Street Y’s Social Good Summit on Sept. 21.

The event is the focus of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform, which will be offered again starting in Nov., 2014.

In his second appearance at the annual two-day festival of ideas, Roth discussed why education is still the best vehicle for social change, even while it has become more controversial then ever.

Watch the video of his talk.

Michael Roth

Michael Roth

“Education remains the most potent tool for changing the world, ” he said. “And training teachers who can help students acquire the skills to keep learning, the skills to think for oneself, is one of the most pressing demands of social justice.”

Last year, Roth’s inspirational talk at the 92Y event focused on “how to change the world,” which later became the topic of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform. This year, his speech was informed by his recently published book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale Press).

This year’s summit, with the theme “Connecting for Good, Connecting for All,” brought together world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists, and voices from around the world to explore how technology and new media can be leveraged to benefit people everywhere and create a better world by the year 2030.

Trustees, Roth Discussing the Future of Wesleyan Fraternities

The Board of Trustees has asked President Michael Roth to propose a plan for the future of fraternities at Wesleyan, following a discussion at their spring meeting May 22-23.

On his blog, Roth said he would deliver a plan to the board soon, ideally before the start of the next semester but at the latest before the next board meeting in November. His thinking has changed since his first year at Wesleyan, when he wrote about his support for Greek life, Roth said.

“Six years of hearing about high-risk drinking at fraternities and dealing with fallout from highly publicized incidents of sexual violence have had an effect,” he wrote in a blog post this week. “ Of course, the larger world has changed too. Today there’s more emphasis upon Title IX and a much greater awareness of sexual assault. The U.S. Department of Education says that under Title IX, schools must “take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the sexual violence, eliminate the hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.”

Roth cited a WSA survey showing that 47 percent of Wesleyan students feel less safe in fraternity houses than in other party spaces; the great majority of those think that making the fraternities co-educational would be helpful in making those spaces safer.

“Are fraternities at Wesleyan hostile environments?

President Roth Charts the Development of Pragmatic Liberal Education in His New Book

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

The broad contextual education that Wesleyan and peer institutions offer is frequently critiqued, sometimes excoriated, by those who accuse it of not preparing graduates for success in today’s world. But that accusation, says President Michael S. Roth in his sixth and latest book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale University Press, 2014), is as old as liberal education itself – and never less convincing than now.

A historian whose previous scholarship has focused on making sense of the past, Roth charts the development of pragmatic liberal education through a succession of important American thinkers. Liberal education has deep roots in American culture and society, he says, as does the tension between liberal education and vocational education.

“The commitment to liberal learning that Jefferson described has been attacked for its potential elitism and irrelevance for more than two hundred years,” he writes. Jefferson saw education as both a key preparation for citizenship, essential for the health of the republic, and a means for fighting abuses of wealth and privilege. As the founder of the University of Virginia, he stressed that students would have the freedom there to pursue study that they found meaningful, not prescribed coursework.

“In the last few years,” Roth continues, “commentators (who usually themselves have had a liberal education) have again questioned whether we should encourage so many people to have the opportunity to make this discovery.

“If higher education is conceived only as a job-placement program for positions with which we are already familiar, then liberal learning does not make much sense. But if higher education is to be an intellectual and experiential adventure and not a bureaucratic assignment of skill capacity, if it is to prize free inquiry rather than training for ‘the specific vocations to which [students] are destined,’ then we must resist the call to limit access to it or to diminish its scope.”

Roth Authors Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth is the author of the book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, published by Yale University Press in May 2014.

From Yale University University Press:

“Contentious debates over the benefits—or drawbacks—of a liberal education are as old as America itself. From Benjamin Franklin to the Internet pundits, critics of higher education have attacked its irrelevance and elitism—often calling for more vocational instruction. Thomas Jefferson, by contrast, believed that nurturing a student’s capacity for lifelong learning was useful for science and commerce while also being essential for democracy. In this provocative contribution to the disputes, Roth focuses on important moments and seminal thinkers in America’s long-running argument over vocational vs. liberal education.

Conflicting streams of thought flow through American intellectual history: W. E. B. DuBois’s humanistic principles of pedagogy for newly emancipated slaves developed in opposition to Booker T. Washington’s educational utilitarianism, for example. Jane Addams’s emphasis on the cultivation of empathy and John Dewey’s calls for education as civic engagement were rejected as impractical by those who aimed to train students for particular economic tasks. Roth explores these arguments (and more), considers the state of higher education today, and concludes with a stirring plea 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.”

Read more about Beyond the University in this Wesleyan Connection article.

Roth to be Honored for His Commitment to Diversifying Higher Education

In recognition of Wesleyan’s commitment to equity and inclusion, A Better Chance Foundation will present President Michael Roth with its 2014 Benjamin E. Mays Award.

Named for the famed civil rights pioneer, the Mays award is presented annually to a leader in education who individually and with their institution demonstrate a clear commitment to diversifying higher education.

“I’m deeply honored to be recognized by A Better Chance,” Roth said. “The Wesleyan community has been enriched by the students who come to us through the foundation.”

The foundation’s mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society. The oldest national organization of its kind, ABC annually recruits, refers and supports about 500 scholars in grades 6-12 at more than 300 member schools in 27 states. Many of these scholars go on to elite universities.

Every year, A Better Chance recognizes its top Scholars and honors leaders in the community who are committed to promoting education and diversity.

Every year, A Better Chance honors leaders in the community who are committed to promoting education and diversity.

Wesleyan has been one of A Better Chance’s strongest college partners, with more than 250 A Better Chance Alumni matriculated over the past 50 years, more than nearly any other American university.

“Our work continues toward greater diversity and a more inclusive and equitable residential college experience,” Roth said. “And I know that with the help of A Better Chance and other partner groups, we’ll get closer to our goal every year.”

Roth will accept the award in New York on June 20.

President Roth Discusses Higher-Ed Access at White House

White House (1)

President Barack Obama addresses higher education leaders, including President Michael Roth, at the White House.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth joined  leaders from 100 universities and colleges and 40 nonprofit groups at the White House on Jan. 16, to discuss how to promote greater access to higher education.

The event is part of an Obama administration initiative to help more students afford and graduate from college. The institutions represented at the event have all made commitments to programs that would increase access to students from historically underserved communities.

“At the summit,  I learned that ninety percent of low-income people who get their BA will move out of poverty,” Roth said. “Access to education truly has an effect on inequality.”
He said that several discussions at the education summit revolved around college readiness, which he described as a critical piece of access.
“That means better K-12 systems,” Roth said. “But also, how can universities help with readiness? Universities should work closely with their local school districts.
“We do a lot (at Wesleyan), working with McDonough, with Green Street. Wesleyan has  lots and lots of people, faculty, students and staff, working with local schools, ” he said. “I’m wondering whether we couldn’t better coordinate our efforts to really have an impact on college readiness right in this area.”
 
To support the initiative,  Wesleyan has:
  • Committed to increasing the number of QuestBridge scholars on campus. QuestBridge recruits low-income and first-generation college students, who receive full scholarships.
  • Committed to expand efforts to retain students from under-represented groups in STEM fields. These efforts include a new summer bridge program that would increase students’ success in STEM fields.
  • *Partnered with the Posse Foundation to admit 10 military veterans each year. On Jan. 14, President Roth celebrated with the first “posse” admitted; they’ll join the Class of 2018 in September.

Read the White House document on the event, which includes sections on each participating institution, here

 

12 Students Elected Early Decision into Wesleyan’s Honor Society

Twelve students, accompanied with Wesleyan President Michael Roth, attended the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony Dec. 4.

Twelve students, accompanied by Wesleyan President Michael Roth, attended the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony Dec. 4.

Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan’s honor society, welcomed 12 new members during an initiation ceremony Dec. 4 in the Office of Admission. These students have been elected to early decision PBK membership, and hold a GPA of 94.89 and above.

“These new members’ accomplishments during their years at Wesleyan should be a source of pride to themselves and to their families,” said Anna Shusterman, vice president of the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and assistant professor of psychology.

At left, Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, congratulated the Phi Beta Kappa inductees.

At left, Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, congratulated the Phi Beta Kappa inductees.

To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and must have achieved a grade-point average of 93 and above.

“For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s performance at Wesleyan only through their junior year,” Shusterman said.

Also for this election, students must have completed all of their undergraduate work at Wesleyan.

The students, all from the Class of 2014, are: Amy Blum, Benjamin Jacobs, Sinéad Keogh, Carolyn Lipp , Ayala Mansky, Rebecca McClellan, Elliot Meyerson, Setareh O’Brien, Rachel Olfson, Patrick  Sarver, Ema Tanovic and Ga Eun Yoo.

Class of 2017 Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Professor of Philosophy Steven Horst, Phi Beta Kappa treasurer, presented and welcomed the new initiates. Wesleyan President Michael Roth also congratulated the new members.

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, founded in December 1776 by five students who attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi-Beta-Kappa,” which are the initials of the Greek motto, Philosophia Bio Kubernetes. This essentially means “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”

Photos of the ceremony are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Setareh O’Brien is double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and behavior double-major. Currently, she is organizing an intervention program for students struggling with binge eating. O’Brien balances her coursework with dance, assistant teaching, and involvement in several mental health-related student groups.

New Phi Beta Kappa member Setareh O’Brien is double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and behavior. Currently, she is organizing an intervention program for students struggling with binge eating. O’Brien balances her coursework with dance, assistant teaching, and involvement in several mental health-related student groups.

Follow President Roth on Twitter

Wesleyan President Michael Roth welcomes the Wesleyan community to follow him on Twitter @mroth78.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth welcomes the Wesleyan community to follow him on Twitter @mroth78.

On any given day, President Michael Roth writes in paragraphs. Clear, complex blocks of prose that build one upon another into blog posts, essays or even, books, such this one, he’ll publish in May.

Also, on any given day, President Michael Roth tweets.

A cultural historian whose last two books numbered 336 pages and 224 pages respectively, Roth is now also expressing himself in 140 characters (or fewer) nearly every day, and has attracted a following of about 490 in the month since @mroth78 joined the Twitterverse.

“I am really enjoying Twitter, perhaps more than I thought I would,” Roth said. “I like being able to reach out on a variety of topics and give a shout-out to events on campus and some of our amazing alumni.”

Roth joins a large cadre of university and college presidents on Twitter, including Little Three colleague Biddy Martin of Amherst. While some executives and university presidents have assistants to handle their social media presence, Roth Tweets his own.

A sampling of the Roth Twitter oeuvre:

*Teaching the Searchers, thinking about longing, violence, racism and carrying around memory that tortures and inspires. #philosophy and film

*@wesleyan_u Bravo!! Great faculty-student collaboration on The Seagull. Amazing acting and staging

*After all these years, why do my thoughts turn to memories of summer camp on the first cold day of the season.

Follow President Roth on Twitter: @mroth78.

 

President Roth Speaks with Members of the Class of 2017 at Dinner

On Oct. 1, the Office of Student Affairs hosted a “First-Year Dinner with President Roth.” The event gave first-year students living in Clark Hall and Bennet Hall an opportunity to visit with President Roth, staff and their fellow residents. Students dined in the Daniel Family Commons. President Roth met with students living in the Butterfield Residences, Foss Hill, 200 Church and 156 High earlier this year.

Students also met with Dean Mike Whaley, vice president for student affairs; Dean of Students Rick Culliton, and Dean of the Class of 2017 Louise Brown.

(Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

rothdinner1

Watch Live Stream of Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

President Michael S. Roth will join 54 other speakers, including former Vice President Al Gore, at the Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24 at the 92nd St. Y in New York.

The speakers will address diverse topics on the theme of “How to Change the World,” seeking innovative solutions to global problems. To view and listen to a live stream of the event, go to: new.livestream.com/mashable. You may need to select the “join” link.

The summit live stream will also be available in the Usdan University Center video lounge.

The summit will form the basis of a new MOOC (massive open online course) to be offered by Wesleyan on the Coursera platform launching Jan. 20.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others, including Wesleyan professors. The classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. Registration for the course is now open on the Coursera website.

Read more about the Social Good Summit in this past Wesleyan Connection article.

Wesleyan to Develop MOOC Based on Social Good Summit

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

In September, Wesleyan President Michael Roth will be a speaker at the Social Good Summit, to be held at the 92 Street Y in New York, Sept. 22-24. Fifty-five of today’s global leaders in new media, technology, nonprofits, international affairs and numerous other areas will explore “the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges.” The summit will be live streamed at new.livestream.com/mashable. It will also be shown in the Usdan University Center video lounge, for those on campus.

At the conference, Roth will formally introduce a new massive open online course (MOOC) on the Coursera platform to develop and share many of the ideas raised at the Summit. The MOOC, a collaboration between Wesleyan and 92Y, will be called, “How to Change the World.” The course is expected to launch in Jan. 2014, and registration is now open on the Coursera website.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the Social Good Summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others including Wesleyan professors. Classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. More details will be announced in the future.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the 92nd Street Y in this innovative way,” Roth said. “Setting the Social Good Summit in an academic context and making discussion about provocative ideas available worldwide through Coursera is an exciting prospect!”

The Social Good Summit is sponsored by 92Y, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ericsson. Speakers include former Vice President Al Gore; Global Health Corps. CEO and Co-Founder Barbara Bush; United Nations Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin; NASA Astronaut Ron Garan; The New York Times Editor Sarah Kramer; UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; Mashable Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet; American Renewable Energy Institute President Sally Renney; Tumblr Director of Outreach Liba Rubenstein; DJ and Artist DJ Spooky; Nobel Women’s Initiative Chair Jody Williams; and many more. A full list of speakers is available on the Social Good Summit website.