A recognized leader in diversity and inclusion in higher education, Marilyn Sanders Mobley often is approached for insight and perspective on the issue.
On Oct. 26, Mobley, vice president for inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity and a professor of English, will deliver the opening keynote address at SATHE 2015, a symposium in Coimbra, Portugal. (SATHE stands for Study and Advancement of Teaching in Higher Education.)
Susana Gonçalves, director of the teaching and learning center of the Polytechnic of Coimbra, a Portuguese state university of applied sciences, and her colleagues invited Mobley after hearing her TEDxCLE 2013 talk, “The Paradox of Diversity.”
Polytechnic’s teaching center, CINEP, organizes an annual symposium for the teaching staff to meet and discuss relevant professional issues. This year’s theme is diversity on campus. The goal: to better understand the challenges and opportunities an increasingly diverse student population presents for teachers and administrators, methods of teaching, curriculum, institutional values, rules and procedures, justice and fairness.
Mobley will present, “The Evolving World of Diversity and Inclusion: New Challenges in Higher Education.”
“I plan to share the kinds of programs Case Western Reserve and other major research institutions nationally deploy to address issues of campus climate, recruitment and retention,” she said. “I also hope to discuss possible future collaboration between our university and theirs, such as faculty and/or student exchanges and opportunities for study abroad programs.”
More specifically, Mobley will discuss how diversity—broadly defined across the spectrum of differences—in the classroom poses opportunities and challenges for course design, classroom climate and learning styles. She also intends to explain how an institution’s leadership and campus-wide engagement—from the president to those who support students and faculty—work to address student success and faculty satisfaction.
Under Mobley’s direction, Case Western Reserve has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from the national magazine Insight into Diversity for four straight years, and most recently in 2015. The university is recognized nationally for such progressive efforts as Sustained Dialogue, Diversity 360 and various programs CWRU schools and colleges use to recruit and retain students and faculty of color.