M. Roy Wilson/View from the Chair

A New President? Check.

Cross off another item on the to do list.

In a widely anticipated move, our new president, signed his name last Friday to the contract he had been offered. David M. Carlisle, M.D., M.S., who becomes the university's sixth president, is scheduled on July 1 to begin what I think will be a long and fruitful tenure. 

From my emails, phone calls and text messages received since Dr. Carlisle was introduced as the sole finalist, I've heard nothing but praise for his selection. The positive reaction validated the work done during the national search, including the committee that selected the finalists, led by Cornelius Hopper, M.D., and the Board of Trustees that ultimately decided the matter.

The contract took time to work through. Having been a university chancellor and president, I can speak from first hand knowledge how important it is to be precise and clear on paper. We spent a considerable amount of time making sure the contract language was correct. We took every step necessary to accomplish our task.

In other news, the Board of Trustees met today. Three students made a five- minute pitch to become the next representative on the board. Let me say all three were impressive. The board chose Thuy Nguyen, who's enrolled in the post-baccalaureate program in the College of Science
and Health.

She replaces Ngozi A. Chukwu, a graduating student in the Charles Drew University/UCLA Medical Education Program, who soon begins her residency. I'd like to congratulate her for how she handled her role as a  student representative. It was a job well done. I, along with the other board members, will acknowledge her work in writing a resolution of appreciation. We sincerely wish her all the best in the next stage of her career.  

In other matters, the board unanimously approved the student list of graduates, all 129 of them. Board members and senior managers also will receive a draft version of the strategic plan. We're on track to present a final version to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges later this month. In doing so, we'll meet the deadline set forth by the accrediting body, crossing off yet another item from our list. 

Make no mistake about it: much more work needs to be done. But with each step forward, we're moving ahead, putting us closer to where we, as an institution, desire to be. 


M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S. is chairman, Board of Trustees.



Predicting Success for CDU Students Through Math Equations


Working to complete his reports, Al Heard remembers taking a phone call recently from a woman in Washington, D.C. It was Olivia Blackmon of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

She was conducting a national study that measured student retention and wondered if Mr. Heard, who directs the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment, would be interested. Discovering his shared interest in the subject, she invited his participation. "It was a blessing," Mr. Heard remembered
thinking as he hung up the phone.

As one of 23 historically black institution chosen to participate in the study, Charles Drew University received $5,000 in funding to help conduct research. Mr. Heard will survey first time college students enrolled at the university throughout the upcoming year. Over pizza and sodas, he will learn specific details about freshman that can help aspiring students in the years ahead, particularly those requiring heavy doses of sciences, technology and mathematics.  

"What they're trying to do is to develop an equation that will predict success and failure of a student's performance in college." Mr. Heard said. Then, he said, institutions "can focus their resources on those individuals identified as being at-risk, and intervene ahead of time, before a student even gets here."

The research helps in other ways, too. Mr. Heard cited the exposure that comes with being involved in a national study. Moreover, he will use the research to develop an equation for the university. Then, there will be a better understanding of why students succeed at the university. Of the research, Mr. Heard said, "It's a win-win all the way around."

Shining Light on Health Disparities 

At a conference that examined legislative efforts to reduce health disparities with African Americans, the university carried a dominant presence. 

Last Friday, during the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative Conference held by the California Legislative Black Caucus in Los Angeles, Charles Drew University was represented on all four panels.

The keynote speaker at lunch was delivered by David M. Carlisle, M.D., PhD., who signed a contract earlier in the day to become the university's next president. Other speakers included:


Cynthia Davis, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine and Science and College of Science and Health, participated on a about what role do community programs play in reducing health disparities?

Paul Robinson, PhD., an assistant professor in the Medical Geographic Information Systems Laboratory spoke during a session titled, "Health Disparities in the African American Community: 30 Years Later, What Remedies are in Place to Reduce these Disparities and What Factors May Be Exacerbating this Issue?

David Martins, assistant dean for Clinical and Community Affairs; Keith Norris, executive vice president for Research and Health Affairs; and Bill Releford, founder of Releford Foot and Ankle Institute and an assistant professor shared their thoughts during a session called "Why Do African Americans Still Present the Highest Rates in Certain Chronic Diseases?"

Loretta Jones, a community faculty member and through her organization, Healthy African American Families II, has been a longtime partner of the university, described her thoughts on a panel that examined, "How Do We Prevent These Disparities from Continuing Into Our Next Generation?"  

The event was sponsored by the caucus, along with Kaiser Permanente and Healthy African American Families II.





News in Brief


African Union Envoy Visiting Campus

Amina Salum Ali, the African Union ambassador to the U.S., will be visiting campus for an informal discussion on Tues., May 3 at 2:30 p.m. in the board room of the Cobb Building.

Her visit includes a day in Sacramento, followed by two days in Los Angeles. Ambassador Ali speaks on behalf of the African Union and its member states to accelerate socio-economic growth across the continent; to build partnerships between African governments and civil societies; and the private sector. 

A veteran Tanzanian civil servant and politician, Ambassador Ali was born and raised on the island of Zanzibar and educated in India. She has held various ministerial positions in the Tanzanian government. As the union's first female ambassador, she is committed to promoting women's rights and children's issues.   


 Library Hours 


The Health Sciences Library will offer extended hours until May 6. Open hours will be Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Extended hours for Saturdays and Sundays will be posted.



Good News Radio

"Good News Radio Magazine," a weekly broadcast, inspires people across Southern California. Co-hosted by Nell Forge, Ph.D. and Charles McWells through the university's Division of Community Engagement, their program can be heard on KTYM-AM 1460 or
www.ktym.com  from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information, call


Become a Mission Maker Today

The Mission Maker campaign has raised just over half of its $50,000 goal. If you would like to donate to the campaign, which supports the university, its mission and its students, then please contact Blanch Ross. She can be reached at 323-563-4992, or at blanchross@cdrewu.edu.  


Please send news items or comments by email to
newsletter@cdrewu.edu, or call 323-563-4983.


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Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E. 120th St., Los Angeles, CA 90059

Phone: (323) 563-4800


Charles Drew University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, Charles Drew University has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research. Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians, according to the Greenlining Institute.