Dr. Marilyn Sanders Mobley is the Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity and Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Appointed to this inaugural Cabinet-level position in 2009, she provides strategic leadership for the university-wide effort to develop and sustain a welcoming environment for faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Her efforts have been recognized by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, DiversityInc, the Women of Color Foundation and Insight into Diversity. She is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2010 and serves as a trustee for the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation, and Women of Hope, a non-profit devoted to assisting women seeking to re-enter their communities. She was elected in January 2013 to serve on the board of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Prior to her appointment at CWRU, 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. Dr. Mobley 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 PhD 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 has done coursework at the Howard University School of Divinity and completed the executive leadership program in higher education at Harvard 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 Vice Chair 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. She has consulted in these areas for more than 25 years, and has presented her research and scholarship at various conferences around the country and in Canada, England, Russia, Austria, Paris and Kenya.
HHer 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, Inc, and is the proud mother of two adult sons—Rashad (a Hampton alum) and Jamal, and grandmother of three grandsons. She serves as a lay minister at Arlington Church of God and resides in Akron, Ohio.