Featured Speakers

June 11 — Opening Banquet

speakers rather02Dan Rather

With a famed and storied career that has spanned more than six decades, Dan Rather has been one of the world’s best-known journalists for much of the last half century. He has interviewed every president since Eisenhower and personally covered almost every important dateline of the last 60 years.

Rather joined CBS News in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks, and in 1981 he assumed the position of anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News—a post he held for 24 years. His reporting across the network helped to turn 60 Minutes into an institution, launched 48 Hours as an innovative news magazine program, and shaped countless specials and documentaries.

Upon leaving CBS, Rather returned to the in-depth reporting he always loved, creating the Emmy Award winning, Dan Rather Reports on HDNet. Now, building upon that foundation, he is president and CEO of News and Guts, an independent production company he founded that specializes in high-quality non-fiction content across a range of traditional and digital distribution channels.

Rather will speak on the importance of university-press scholarship in these days of fake news and alternative facts. 

June 12 — Opening Plenary

speakers msmDr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley
Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity & Equal Opportunity
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley is Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She leads the university’s strategic efforts related to inclusion and equity, serves as the Chief Diversity Officer, and co-chairs the CWRU Supplier Diversity Initiatives Council. She is a tenured professor of English and a member of the CWRU Social Justice Institute leadership team. A member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2010, her TEDxCLE2013 talk was on “The Paradox of Diversity.” Under her leadership, CWRU has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from Insight into Diversity and recognition from the Commission on Inclusion. In addition, she has been recognized for her leadership in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland.

Dr. Mobley has over 30 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, scholar, thought leader and diversity professional. She currently serves on the board of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Women of Hope, Inc. She is a Toni Morrison scholar and a founding member, former President, and former Vice Chair of the Board of the Toni Morrison Society. A published author in the fields of African American literary and cultural studies, women’s studies, and diversity, Dr. Mobley is committed to helping diverse constituencies and stakeholders understand the intersection of race, gender, and class and the multiple ways that issues and perspectives surrounding diversity, inclusion and social justice intersect in multiple sectors in the United States and around the world. She has presented her research, scholarship, and ideas in the US and in Austria, Canada, England, France and Portugal.


speakers lewis

Earl Lewis
President, The Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation

Earl Lewis became the sixth President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in March 2013. Under his guidance, the Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to the humanities, the arts, and higher education by emphasizing the importance of continuity and change.

A noted social historian, Mr. Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley (1984–89), and the University of Michigan (1989–2004). He has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.

Prior to joining The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mr. Lewis served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. As Provost, Lewis led academic affairs and academic priority setting for the university.

He is the author and co-editor of seven books, including Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society (with Nancy Cantor, Princeton University Press, 2016).

June 12 — Luncheon 

speakers delateja02 exportJesús F. de la Teja
Texas State University

Jesús F. de la Teja is Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Regents’ Professor of History, and Director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest at Texas State University. He has published extensively on Spanish, Mexican, and Republic-era Texas, most recently Faces of Béxar: Early San Antonio and Texas (Texas A&M University Press, 2016) and Lone Star Unionism, Dissent, and Resistance: The Other Civil War Texas (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016).

Formerly the book review editor for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (1997-2014), he served as the inaugural Texas State Historian (2007-2009), and as president of the Texas State Historical Association (2007-2008). Currently he serves on the board of directors of Humanities Texas and on the advisory board of the San Jacinto Museum of History. He is a recipient of the Americanism Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution, a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas Catholic Historical Society, and a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and the Texas Institute of Letters.

June 13 — Closing Plenary

speakers rajrDr. Raj Raghunathan
University of Texas

Dr. Raj Raghunathan is Professor of Marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. He is interested in exploring the impact that people’s judgments and decisions have on their happiness and fulfillment. Raj’s work has appeared in top journals, including The Journal of Marketing, The Journal of Consumer Research, The Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Information Systems Research, and The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. His work has also been cited in several mass media outlets, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Inc, Fast Company, and The Los Angeles Times.

Raj writes about his views on happiness, creativity, and leadership on his popular Psychology Today blog (with over 1 million page views), Sapient Nature. His six-week long Coursera course on happiness (titled, A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment) currently has over 170,000 registered students from 196 countries, and was recently voted the Top MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) of 2015 and one of the Top 50 MOOCs of all time. Raj’s book (titled, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?) was released in the Spring of 2016 in the US, UK, and India and is slated to be released in 12 other languages in late 2016 and early 2017.