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The Crisis

The PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program is designed to help address the critical shortage of minority professors in business disciplines nationwide. Estimates of the participation of historically under-represented minorities (African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) as faculty members in US business schools range from 4% to 7%, at a time when these under-represented minority groups already comprise nearly a third of the nation’s total population, with increasing projections for future decades.1The PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program is an innovative intervention designed to help address this national problem.

The academic community has long been aware that information and access for faculty careers in business disciplines have not been widely available to historically disadvantaged populations in the United States. During 1990-1993, AACSB and GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) led the sponsorship of a national Minority Summer Institute, held at the University of Michigan. Beginning in 1994, the KPMG Foundation led the establishment of the PhD Project in partnership with AACSB, GMAC and others. The PhD Project primarily targets under-represented minorities in the corporate workforce who are interested in exploring a career change towards teaching in business schools. As such, the PhD Project has played an important role in the increase in minority faculty members from 294 to over 1000 during the past 15 years.

Still, under-represented minorities occupy barely 4%-7% of the business school faculty positions. Even more alarming, the proportion of business doctoral degrees awarded to under-represented minorities fell from 7.6% in 2005 to 6.5% in 2008. [1]

As the business disciplines become increasingly quantitative and require more formal analytical knowledge, the educational foundation for success as a business faculty relies more heavily upon specific mathematical and technical coursework. Under-represented minority college students too often lack systematic access to the mentorship generally required to identify and successfully sustain the pathways to the rewarding careers of the business school faculty members. The PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program includes programmatic components to address these concerns. The PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program includes direct participation by business school leaders and corporate executives focused upon achieving success that can be leveraged for replication in colleges and universities across the country.


[1] Present estimates of the participation of historically under-represented minorities (African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) as faculty members in US business schools range from fewer than 4% by the PhD Project to no more than 7% by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

 

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