Over 350 Minority Professionals Attend Award-Winning PhD Project Conference

by LP Green, II

The PhD Project, an award-winning program to create diversity in management, gave over 350 minority participants an in-depth, three day opportunity to change their lives, and the face of management education in the U.S., by becoming business professors.

The PhD Project addresses the severe under-representation of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in management by diversifying the front of the classroom-the business school faculty. A diverse faculty encourages more minorities to pursue business degrees, thereby increasing the pool of minority applicants for positions in today’s multicultural corporate environment. Primarily due to The PhD Project, the number of minority professors has quadrupled since the Project’s inception in 1994.

At its annual conference in Chicago, The PhD Project brought African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans together to explore the benefits of pursuing a business Ph.D. and becoming a business professor.

“At this year’s conference, over 350 potential doctoral candidates were encouraged to change careers and consider becoming business school professors,” said Bernard J. Milano, President of The PhD Project and the KPMG Foundation, founder and lead funder of the program. “The PhD Project gave these participants all the tools they need to make an informed decision about entering a doctoral program. We hope to see many of them begin their Ph.D. journeys soon.”

The conference participants, who were selected from nearly 800 applicants after a rigorous application process, listened to presentations by deans, professors and current minority doctoral students. They were also able to meet with representatives from more than 100 doctoral-granting universities at the university recruiting fair.

When The PhD Project was created in 1994 by the KPMG Foundation, there were only 294 doctorally qualified African-American, Hispanic American or Native American minority business professors in U.S. university business schools. Today there are 1,217 minority business professors. Further, 361 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and will take a place at the front of the classroom over the next few years.

Some of America’s top companies, foundations, associations and academic organizations support The PhD Project. They are:KPMG FoundationGraduate Management Admission CouncilCiti FoundationAACSB Internationalover 275 participating universities, AICPA FoundationDiversityIncMicrosoft CorporationJPMorgan Chase FoundationDixon Hughes Goodman LLPThe Merck Company FoundationRockwell CollinsWal-Mart Stores, Inc., John Deere FoundationAmerican Marketing AssociationAT&TCIGNAADPLincoln Financial GroupEdison International/California State University SystemAmerican Accounting AssociationAerotekTEKsystems (operating companies of Allegis Group)3M, and The Hershey Company.

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