President’s Letter

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

“Is c”—that’s all I have to type before the search engine jumps to “Is college worth it?” I hit return, and there are more articles on this question than even I want to read. Pundit after pundit (most of whom have had the benefit of a liberal education) question whether so many Americans should be…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

I met Henry Timms, interim chief operating officer of the 92nd Street Y, through Stuart Ellman ’88, the president of the Y’s Board. My idea was to give a lecture on education to a small group in New York, preferably about my forthcoming book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. Instead, after batting around ideas…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Since assuming the presidency I have often returned to the themes of inclusion and diversity on campus. This year we are thinking about these themes again as we aim to strengthen the residential dimensions of learning.  At Wesleyan University our mission statement reminds us that we aim to prepare students “to explore the world with…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

At this year’s winter meeting of the Board of Trustees we officially announced the launch of our THIS IS WHY fundraising campaign, during which we will aim to raise $400 million. I was especially excited to share the news that over the past few years (the quiet phase of the campaign) we had already received…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Early in the fall semester, Coursera announced that Wesleyan University is joining its partnership of schools offering MOOCs—massive, open, online classes that often enroll tens of thousands of people. MOOCs are not uncontroversial. Some see them as triggering watershed changes in higher ed, while others see basic contradictions in how they work. Founded by two…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Education depends fundamentally on our ability to generate optimism and find reasonable (defensible) ways to sustain it. When our faith in the future is shaken, whether it be by technologies we don’t understand, economic competition that undermines job security, or by cultural forms that challenge our sense of identity, when our faith in the future…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

I am spending a good part of the summer off campus, doing research for a book on why liberal education matters. Recently I’ve been reading Thomas Jefferson and also some of his contemporaries. The political importance of education has rarely found as powerful a proponent as Jefferson, one of whose proudest achievements was founding the University…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

A current debate about higher education seems actually to be an old one: practical science training vs. general education in the liberal arts. The contrast persists in the public mind even though the sciences are part of the liberal arts, and even though the best science education usually includes the arts and humanities. Two heavyweights,…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

A current debate about higher education seems actually to be an old one: practical science training vs. general education in the liberal arts. The contrast persists in the public mind even though the sciences are part of the liberal arts, and even though the best science education usually includes the arts and humanities. Two heavyweights,…

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Like many students, when I began my college education, I had little idea of what course of study would best respond to my interests and hopes. I chose some history classes that sounded familiar themes, looked to the sciences and humanities for ideas not explored by my large public high school, and harbored hopes that…