Interdisciplinary Panel to Explore Topic of Unemployment

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate is hosting a panel discussion on the topic “Unemployment” on Thursday, Feb. 17

Dr. Craig White will moderate an interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring Dr. Paul Edwards, Rev. Richard Bowyer, Dr. Sunil Surendran and Dr. Mohamad Khalil. The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Falcon Center third floor conference rooms. Light refreshments will be served. A “question-and-answer” session will take place during the last hour of the forum.

  • Dr. Paul Edwards, professor and Provost Emeritus of Pierpont Community & Technical College, joined the Fairmont State faculty 44 years ago. He was instrumental in the creation of the Fairmont State Community College and served as its chief administrator for the first 25 years. Edwards presently teaches courses in Global Crisis and Race, Class and Gender. Edwards is one of the founding members of the PACE (Program Advancing Community Employment) Coordinating Committee at FSU. Prior to his administrative duties, he was professor of History at Fairmont State. Edwards has been a serious social activist for many years and recently participated in the largest protest to date in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • Rev. Dr. Richard Bowyer is the former and presently acting campus minister for the Wesley Foundation on the main campus and is presently the president of the West Virginia Board of Medicine. He has also served for many years on the board of North Central WV OIC, which has demonstrated effectiveness as a job training agency. His various organizational affiliations have allowed him to enjoy recent trips to Belfast (Northern Ireland), Arizona and Mexico to serve others in a variety of capacities and learn about issues related to unemployment, immigration and poverty among others.  Bowyer also co-wrote a paper (with the late professor Wayne Gregg) titled “Toward Redefining Work.” He has been a recent guest lecturer in courses in Social Movements and Social Problems and has also taught a course on Religion in America for the Sociology Department on numerous occasions.


  • Dr. Craig White, Senior Professor of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts at FSU, has written two books relevant to unemployment (“Toward the Resolution of Poverty in America” in 1993 and “Unemployment Ended by Community Restored” in 2009). Both publications build on and expand his plan for a “Third Sector Work Program” (Program Advancing Community Employment or PACE) to reduce unemployment and poverty.  White chairs the PACE Coordinating Committee that is planning to launch pilot projects in southern India and Marion County, to test the concept. He teaches courses in Social Problems, Social Stratification and Organizational Theory (graduate course) at FSU. White will moderate the forum.


  • Dr. Sunil Surendran, Professor of Marketing and Management in the School of Business at FSU, has published papers in a wide range of competitive national and international forums in the areas of Strategic Management, Marketing, Agency Theory and Organizational Theory, among many other areas of interest. He is presently a member of the PACE Coordinating Committee and will be traveling with fellow PACE members, Dr. Craig White and Student Government President Alicia Nieman, who is a Political Science major, to India to initiate the first steps for a pilot project. He is well-traveled and has taught business courses at six universities on two continents. 


  • Dr. Mohamad A. Khalil is a Professor, Senior Level, of Business Administration and Economics in the School of Business at FSU. He joined FSU in 1988 and currently teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Statistics, Quantitative Analysis, Managerial Economics and Quantitative Management. His publications have appeared in national and International journals. Currently, he is working on a book titled “The Great Recession of 2007-2009.”  Khalil has grappled with the many faces of unemployment as it relates to the field of economics, including the consequences of a negative GDP gap, the different types of unemployment and comparative rates by states, occupations and between countries.

The panelists plan to discuss topics including the following:

  • An overview of the problem of unemployment in America.
  • Recent facts and figures on unemployment.
  • The impact of joblessness on the individual worker and family.
  • The relationship between immigration and employment in the United States.
  • The causes and consequences of unemployment.
  • The consequences of a negative GDP gap.
  • Capitalism and unemployment: What can businesses do to reduce unemployment?
  • An innovative proposal to significantly reduce unemployment via a “Third Sector.”