Ogletree Speech Fills Hall at Inamori Center

Charles Ogletree

Charles Ogletree Jr. drew a full house at the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence last week with his lecture, Why Diversity Matters in the Obama Era.

Ogletree peppered his speech with personal anecdotes about Barack and Michelle Obama from Harvard’s law school, famed lawyer Johnnie Cochran and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., whose name was propelled into the news after a controversial arrest by Cambridge, Mass., police in 2009. Ogletree wrote about the case in his book, Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America.

“Diversity is not rocket science,” said Ogletree, who delivered the inaugural lecture of the Power of Diversity Lecture Series.  “It’s harder than that.”

Recalling the mid- and late-1980s when he taught Michelle (LaVaughn Robinson) and then Barack Obama (before they knew each other), Ogletree described Barack Obama as “the smartest kid in the room, bar none,” and even then he was passionate about diversity and inclusion of everyone regardless of race, gender or ideology.

Ogletree repeated his statement that diversity is harder than rocket science.

“Diversity involves everybody,” Ogletree said. “Diversity is not a project, it is a goal. Diversity is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Diversity is not achieved by appointing someone. It’s achieved when your team looks like the country looks and no one even notices, because diversity is … not the exception, it’s the rule. That’s what we need to have.”

Campus News

The Case Western Reserve University MLK Celebration Week Advisory Board is now accepting funding requests for programming for Case Western Reserve’s fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, “The Weight of History and the Challenge of Change.”  In the past, co-sponsorships have helped support speakers, films, workshops, receptions, and field trips. To see last year’s schedule of events, please review the website

MLK Week kicks off Jan. 17, and academic departments, schools and colleges, student organizations and university offices may submit proposals online.  The annual MLK Convocation will be Jan. 21 during the Community Hour and will feature noted historian and author Nell Irvin Painter. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 12.  Proposals should be submitted online. You may email with any questions.

The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities is sponsoring a Video Contest for students, faculty and staff.  Create a DVD video based on the 2010-2011 Baker-Nord Center theme of Globalism and Its Origins and submit by Oct. 29. Videos will be shown at the Globalism Video Festival on Nov. 5 and prizes, including a Flip camera and gift cards, will be awarded to top entries. More details are available online.   

Marv Schwartz has been appointed to coordinate and lead the overall research agenda as well as serve as a key public face for the Case Connection Zone, the nation's first gigabit fiber-to-the-home research program in the United States.

Schwartz brings a unique blend of academic and business skills to the Case Connection Zone. He received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1973. He was the founding chair of the Corporate Advisory Board for The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME), and a past member of the Advisory Committee for the Case School of Engineering.

The Case Connection Zone chief scientist reports directly to Lev Gonick, CIO of Case Western Reserve University. In the weeks ahead the Chief Scientist will be announcing the formation of the Case Connection Zone Advisory Board on matters regarding the Case Connection Zone research agenda. For additional information on the Case Connection Zone, the work of the Chief Scientist, and the Advisory Boards please contact Marv.Schwartz@case.edu.

For Faculty and Staff

UCITE on Thursday presents Tenure and Promotion, a session geared toward those faculty who are either tenured, on the tenure track or anticipate a tenure track position. The typical criteria for tenure and promotion are scholarship, teaching, and service. All universities subscribe to this but how these terms are interpreted can vary from institution to institution, school to school, and even department to department. Learning how they are applied and measured at CWRU is an important aspect of becoming familiar with the culture of the institution.

Provost William “Bud” Baeslack, and Deputy Provost Lynn Singer will attend this session to share with you what the university is looking for, how you should set about preparing your case for tenure, and to answer your questions. The session is noon-1 p.m. Thursday in the Herrick Room on the ground floor of the Allen Building. Pizza lunch and sodas will be provided at the sessions. To help us estimate the amount to order, please let us know if you plan to by email. More information is available online.


Women's assistant basketball coach Freeman Blade and the Case Western Reserve women's basketball team will conduct a basketball clinic for the children of Case faculty and staff 4-6 p.m. Sunday at the Veale Center. Cost for two hours of training and teaching is $25, which goes toward funds for the team to play in Italy and Netherlands in August 2011. It’s a great way for kids to learn the game of basketball and support the women’s basketball team. Register by email as soon as possible. Call 368.3626 for more information.

For Students

The Undergraduate Student Government would like to invite all students, undergraduates and graduates, to the second annual Student State of the University Address on Wednesday in Strosacker Auditorium. The doors open at 6 p.m.  and President Snyder will be speaking at 6:30 p.m. about the University's exciting new initiatives. Students will also have a chance to ask questions and address any concerns. Refreshments will be provided.


The Weatherhead School of Management Undergraduate Programs Office is sponsoring a Weatherhead Power Lunch from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Friday at the Peter B. Lewis Building. Come for lunch and the opportunity to meet faculty, staff and students from accounting, economics, finance and marketing. More information is available online.


Case Western Reserve University presents Kevin Krumenauer, Chamber Music Retrospective at 8 p.m. Saturday at Harkness Chapel, a concert of chamber music by Case Western Reserve University faculty member Krumenauer, featuring vocal and percussion works, and the premiere of Sonata for Two Guitars. Free and open to the public. Complete schedule is available online.


Department of Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars presents a colloquium with Robert Buckingham, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 3 p.m. Friday in Department of Mathematics Yost 300. Refreshments at 2:30.  The colloquium: Spectra of Random Hermitian Matrices with a Small-Rank External Source. This is joint work with Marco Bertola, Seung-Yeop Lee, and Virgil Pierce. More information is available online.


Negotiations: The Gender and Culture Divide, sponsored by Dynamic Weatherhead Women in Business (DWWB), featuring Paul F. Gerhart, Weatherhead professor, and Kathryn L. Mercer, Law Professor, will be presented 6-8:30 p.m. Monday at the Peter B. Lewis Building Room 02. There is no fee, but registration is recommended. Registration and more information are available online.

Book and arts lovers can enjoy Octavofest this month, a series of events in the region that showcases  the spectrum of  book and paper arts from rare to contemporary items. Case Western Reserve University is a participating member and the Kelvin Smith Library hosts events on Wednesday afternoon as part of  “An Afternoon/Evening in University Circle” with a 3-4 p.m. opening lecture by Jayme Jamison from the Intermuseum Consercation Association. Read more details on the KSL NewsBlog.


The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.

The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center’s Prize Essay Committee has announced that Bryan Conn, PhD., a member of the English Department of Case Western Reserve University has won the Center’s 2010 essay competition for his essay, “Clinging to Love, Loving to Cling – Race and Sexuality in James Baldwin’s Another Country." More information is available online.


On Oct. 1, professor George Dent, associate director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation, presided over the annual meeting of the Ohio Association of Scholars, the state chapter of the National Association of Scholars. At the meeting he was re-elected president of the OAS for 2010-11.

Oct. 19, 2010

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Multimedia Moment

William Claspy, humanities librarian and coordinator of library instruction, interviews English professor Jim Sheeler for Off the Shelf, a series of podcast interviews with Case Western Reserve University faculty authors. Sheeler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2006, published Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives. He is the new Shirley Wormser Professor of Journalism and New Media.

In the News

Researchers study vitamin D as way to avert esophageal cancer

Plain Dealer, Oct. 19, 2010
Researchers at University Hospitals and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are exploring a link between levels of vitamin D and esophageal cancer. “What we're looking at is a protein called 15-PGDH [15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase],” said gastroenterologist Linda Cummings, professor of medicine, principal investigator of the study.

This Week Kicks off the First National Science Expo

Kansas City Star, Oct. 18, 2010
Case Western Reserve University will have a presence at this week’s USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., which is expected to draw more than a million people to all of its events.

Plump faces look younger

Tennessean.com, Oct. 19, 2010
A study in 2009 at Case Western Reserve University looked at identical twins with at least a 20-pound difference in weight. Among sets of twins older than 40, the heavier twins were rated as looking significantly younger.

Higher Ed News

Brand New Dilemma

Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 19, 2010
American University’s recently launched “American Wonks” campaign made an early splash with a largely upbeat front-page article in The Washington Post. But the campaign, which drew upon “wonk,” a common inner-Beltway term, to position American as a place where experts thrive, drew critics as well.