Announcing CWRU's Civil Discourse Advisory Group

Dear Case Western Reserve University Faculty, Staff and Postdocs,

Earlier this year, President Kaler announced an initiative to engage our campus community in civil discourse. Our goal is to make Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) an exemplar for open-mindedness, listening and critical thinking.

As a campus, we can more fully meet our educational mission when we promote civil discourse, which involves respectful debate and disagreement, along with mutual understanding among those with differing viewpoints. This is particularly critical for our students to master while at CWRU, especially as they prepare to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens.

Today, I am pleased to announce the members of a new Civil Discourse Advisory Group, who will meet for the first time on Feb. 8. This group will work with me to create a plan to advance the skills of all CWRU students in civil discourse, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Throughout the semester, the Civil Discourse Advisory Group will provide guidance on how to best elevate skills for our students, such as active listening, empathetic understanding, moderating challenging conversations, managing conflict, and speaking compassionately inside and outside of the classroom. These skills can then be utilized in the most sensitive discussions, ranging from topics such as conflict in the Middle East, civil rights, reproductive health access, climate change, immigration, and election integrity, to name a few. We will also plan programming that allows students to practice these skills, and we will rely on the deep experience of our faculty in planning these events.

I will share updates with the campus community. I am also most grateful for the work that every member of our community does on a daily basis to promote civil discourse. This work is crucial, and together, we can make a significant difference in how our diverse community of campus thinkers learns and grows together.


Joy K. Ward
Provost and Executive Vice President
Case Western Reserve University
Representatives of this advisory group include:

  • Bryan Adamson, the David L. Brennan Professor of Law and associate dean of diversity, School of Law
  • Jonathan Adler, the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and director of the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law, School of Law
  • Mark Aulisio, the Susan E. Watson Professor and chair, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine; and professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
  • Katie Brancato, vice president, chief of staff, and strategic advisor to the president, Office of the President
  • Lisa Camp, chief of staff and vice provost for strategic initiatives, Office of the Provost
  • Shannon French, director and Inamori Professor in Ethics, Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence; professor, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences; and professor, School of Law
  • Ayesha Hardaway, director and research coordinator, Social Justice Institute; and professor of law and director of the Social Justice Law Center, School of Law
  • Greg Harris, assistant vice president for student affairs and senior associate dean of students in the Division of Student Affairs
  • Andrea Hauser, executive director, President's Leadership Development Program
  • Maysan Haydar, assistant professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Anna Maria Hibbs, professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine
  • Justine Howe, associate professor and chair, Department of Religious Studies, and director of the women’s and gender studies program, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ramez Islambouli, full-time lecturer of Arabic, Department of Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kenneth Ledford, Hiram C. Haydn Professor in History, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences; and associate professor of law, School of Law
  • Barbara Mann, Stephen H. Hoffman Professor of Modern Hebrew, Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Danny Manor, professor and vice chair, Department of Nutrition, and professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine; and member of the Molecular Oncology Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Peter Giano Poulos, vice president, general counsel, secretary of the corporation, and chief risk management officer, Office of General Counsel
  • Deepak Sarma, professor, Department of Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences; and professor, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine
  • Peter Shulman, associate provost for curriculum and Elizabeth and Raymond Armington Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Art and Sciences 
  • Robert Solomon, vice president, Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Engagement
  • Glenn Starkman, Distinguished University Professor and vice chair, Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Camille Warner, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • Aaron Weinberg, chair and professor, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Dental Medicine; professor, Department of Otolaryngology and Department of Pathology, School of Medicine; and member, Population and Cancer Prevention Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Peter Whiting, interim vice president for student affairs, and professor, associate dean and director, Environmental Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences