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Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Ph.D., Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity and Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University

Friday February 5, 2010
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues,

Many universities are making continually more extensive, and public, efforts to increase the racial and gender diversity of both the communities of university faculty and students. The challenge involves not just recruiting diverse groups but creating an environment in which students or faculty from underrepresented groups can and do succeed. This task is generally perceived to be especially challenging for science- and engineering-oriented universities.

The National Science Foundation has created programs to assist universities in the institutional transformations needed to achieve greater diversity. CWRU was the first private university to be awarded a major grant through this program, and our ACES (Academic Careers in Science and Engineering) program included a variety of promising innovations. ( The University has now hired a distinguished scholar, academic administrator, and alumna, Dr. Marilyn Mobley, as Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. So there has been a lot of effort and commitment -- but results have been rather modest.

Why is it hard to increase the racial and gender diversity of faculty? Are race and ethnicity different problems from gender? How much of the challenge is due to obstacles outside the university (such as competition for small pools of candidates) and how much due to obstacles within universities (such as members of unrepresented minorities being excessively recruited to committees)? This is a riddle that needs to be looked at from many angles. Dr. Mobley will offer some thoughts about the challenge as she sees it, and then many of us should be able to offer observations from our own experience.

As usual, we will gather in Room 9 of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, on the lower level of Crawford Hall, for free cookies, beverages, and brown bag lunch.

Best regards,
Joe White

About Our Guest

Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Ph.D., was appointed the inaugural Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at Case Western Reserve University on January 5, 2009.

Prior to this appointment she served as Provost at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina. Prior to her provost appointment, she was the Associate Provost for Educational Programs at George Mason University and a tenured Associate Professor of English, where she was also a faculty member for 19 years. She founded the African American Studies Program at George Mason and served as its first director for six years. She has taught at Howard University, Marygrove College and Wayne State University. She has a Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University, a master's degree in English from New York University and a bachelor's degree from Barnard College of Columbia University.

She is a published author and Toni Morrison scholar, whose first book—Folk Roots and Mythic Wings in Sarah Orne Jewett and Toni Morrison: The Cultural Function of Narrative (LSU Press, 1991)—was one of the first cross-cultural studies on the Nobel Prize winning author. Dr. Mobley is the former president of the Toni Morrison Society and now serves as a member of its advisory board. Her teaching, research and scholarship in literary studies, cultural studies and higher education have all focused on race, gender, diversity and inclusion and she consulted in these areas for more than 25 years. Her two books in progress include Spaces for the Reader: Toni Morrison's Narrative Poetics and Cultural Politics and The Strawberry Room: And Other Places Where a Woman Finds Herself, a volume of reflections on a woman's passage from family trauma to spiritual recovery. Dr. Mobley is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and is the proud mother of two adult sons—Rashad and Jamal—and two grandsons. She resides in Beachwood, Ohio.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

February 12: Long-Term Care in the United States and the Netherlands. With M. C. Terry Hokenstad, Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

February 19: An Actuary's View of Health Care Reform Estimates. With John Bertko, former Vice President and Chief Actuary, Humana Inc.

February 26: Is Deindustrialization Bad for America? With Susan Helper, AT&T Professor and Chair, Department of Economics; David Clingingsmith, Assistant Professor of Economics; and Joe White.

March 5: Ohio's State Budget: Now What? With Zach Schiller, Research Director, Policy Matters Ohio.

March 12: Spring Break, No Discussion

March 19: Science in the Courts. With Wendy Wagner, Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor, University of Texas School of Law.

March 26: Observations in Beirut. With Bill Marling, Professor of English.

April 2: Abortion, Health Care Reform, and the Moral Dimensions of Political Compromise. With Susan Dwyer, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland.

April 9: Business and Sustainability. With Roger Saillant, Ph.D. Executive Director, Fowler Center for Sustainable Values, Weatherhead School of Business.

April 16: : Does Environmental Responsibility Mean the Elderly Should Accept “Natural” Deaths? With Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Professor of Philosophy, Brown University.

April 23: What the Health Care Reform Law Will Do; or, Why Health Care Reform Failed; or, Health Care Reform: What Next? or, All of the Above. With Joe White, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion.

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

February 1, 2010

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Upcoming Events

Reporting on the World Behind Islamic Terrorism

Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 7 p.m.; Garden Room at the Cleveland Botanical Garden,11030 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106, (216) 721-1600. No admission. Light refreshments. Free parking. Sponsored by the CWRU Department of English - Journalism Lecture Series

Lawrence Wright is the co-writer (with Ed Zwick and Menno Meyjes) of The Siege, starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Annette Bening, which appeared in November 1998. He also wrote the script of the Showtime movie, Noriega: God's Favorite, directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob Hoskins, which aired in April 2000.

His history of al-Qaeda, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf, 2006) was published to immediate and widespread acclaim, spending eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and being translated into twenty-five languages. It was nominated for the National Book Award and won the Lionel Gelber Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Award for History, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

In 2006, he premiered his one-man play, "My Trip to al-Qaeda," at The New Yorker Festival, and then enjoyed a sold-out six-week run at the Culture Project in Soho. It is now being made into a documentary film, directed by Alex Gibney, who won the 2008 Academy Award for Feature Documentary.

Wright has published six previous books. City Children, Country Summer (Scribner's, 1979), In the New World: Growing Up with America, 1960 - 1984 (Knopf, 1988), Saints & Sinners (Knopf, 1993), Remembering Satan (Knopf, 1994), Twins: Genes, Environment, and the Mystery of Identity (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1997; Wiley & Sons, 1998), and God's Favorite (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

China a Security Perspective

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 4:30 p.m. ; reception starting at 4:00 p.m. Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, 11402 Bellflower Road, Cleveland Free Public Lecture

China's security perceptions, requirements and priorities are changing in response to a host of internal and external drivers. The People's Liberation Army is undergoing a transition to adjust to these new opportunities and potential challenges. How are China's security priorities changing and why? What impact will this change have in the region and beyond? This presentation will address some of the important security shifts underway, highlight key drivers and discuss the implications for China's neighbors and in particular, the United States.

Albert S. Willner is the Director of the China Security Affairs Group at CNA in Alexandria, Virginia. Before joining CNA, he was an Associate Dean at Georgia Gwinnett College. A retired U.S. Army colonel, Dr. Willner completed his service as the first active-duty U.S. Defense Attaché equivalent since 1979 assigned to Taiwan. He has served in various Defense Department positions coordinating Asia-Pacific strategy, plans, and policy, and as the Director of International Relations and National Security Studies in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.

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