March 20, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 12

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    Professorship endowed in Human Rights Program

    By William Harms
    News Office


    Susan Gzesh, Director of the Human Rights Program


    The College will bring a senior-level scholar in human rights to campus through the Pozen Visiting Professorship in Human Rights, which has been newly endowed with a $1 million gift from Richard Pozen (A.B.’69) and his wife, Ann Silver Pozen.

    The scholar, who will serve a quarter-long appointment, will teach a College-level course in the Human Rights Program and participate in workshops and other campus activities to increase the understanding of human rights, said John Boyer, Dean of the College.

    “We are extremely grateful to Richard and Ann Pozen for investing in the future of our Human Rights program and in the educational accomplishments of the College more generally,” Boyer said.

    “The Pozen Visiting Professorship will enable us to bring many talented and accomplished scholars to campus to teach courses in various fields of human rights,” he added. “I find it especially encouraging that Richard and Ann have provided such meaningful support to enable our students to engage problems of fundamental civic importance and to provide intellectual leadership in the theory and practice of human rights.”

    Susan Gzesh, Director of the Human Rights Program, said, “We will be looking for a scholar who has done strong theoretical work in human rights who can also help us explore the major contemporary questions in the field.”

    The visiting professor will be part of a community of scholars at the University engaged in the study of human rights, she added.

    The Human Rights Program’s curriculum includes a core sequence of the history, philosophy and practice of human rights, as well as courses based on various disciplinary, thematic and regional perspectives on human rights. It also offers an internship program, which provides fellowships to students seeking practical experience at organizations across the country and abroad.

    The Human Rights Program also leads a project on teaching human rights in the liberal arts, working with colleagues at Macalester and Carleton colleges to stimulate the development of new human rights courses and establish a national online resource center. The establishment of the visiting professorship will enhance Chicago’s leadership in the field, Gzesh said.

    Pozen and his wife have been involved in the Human Rights Program for a number of years and have supported student interns. “We were impressed with what they wrote about their experiences. They were able to integrate their experiences from their human rights internships with their academic work.

    “We hope that the new professorship will provide a new resource to students, so they can have greater exposure to human rights, beyond what the excellent faculty at the University now provides,” he added.

    The Pozens and their children have been actively involved in Human Rights projects as volunteers and supporters of human rights and relief organizations, including Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam International.

    A philosophy major, Pozen started his career as a medical doctor and specialized in cardiology.

    He left the practice to become a consultant for a number of health maintenance organizations and helped start a company that provides insurance companies with payment policy management.