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The PhD Project Makes Strides with Diversity in Business Schools

April 2013

By Sari Wakefield, Manager, Digital Communications, AACSB International

Business school faculty positions in the United States are no longer for individuals of one race, color, or gender. Today, U.S. business school faculty members are increasingly diverse, all of which is helping to create a more robust and heterogeneous learning environment for students. Significantly contributing to this achievement is the PhD Project, which recently celebrated a milestone—the 1,176th minority business professor in the U.S.

Dr. James Alvarez-Mourey (right) is the 1,176th doctoral graduate. He is also a soon-to-be professor at DePaul University's Driehaus College of Business. Dr. Alvarez-Mourey "represents a quadrupling of minority business school faculty since 1994," when the PhD Project was first established by the KPMG Foundation. The milestone has prompted Dr. Alvarez-Mourey's nickname, "Dr. Cuatro," which illustrates this effect. Dr. "Cuatro" earned his doctorate degree from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in marketing last month. He will begin his new teaching assignment at DePaul in September.

The news regarding the increasing minority faculty representation at U.S. business schools is significant. The work the PhD Project has been doing since its inception has truly provided pathways for minorities to pursue careers in business academe. If you take a look back nearly twenty years ago, there were "fewer than 300 minority business professors with PhDs in the U.S." The PhD Project projects that there are some 30,000 business school faculty in the United States, which means minorities only represent less than 4% of that population. But, the numbers are improving each year, particularly with help from organizations like the PhD Project that make entering doctoral programs possible.

Dr. James Alvarez-Mourey

To provide additional information on the topic, AACSB data related to full-time faculty members in the United States during the last 10 years has been gathered. At AACSB-accredited institutions in the U.S., an increasing representation of minorities can also be seen. At 297 AACSB-accredited schools that reported data to the annual Business School Questionnaire (years 2002–2003 through 2011–2012), the fastest growing ethnicities are Asian/Pacific Islander (34% increase), Hispanic (25% increase), African American (14% increase), and Native American/Alaskan (3% increase), respectively.

2002–2003 to 2011–2012, Full-Time Faculty Ethnicity
AACSB Business School Questionnaire, n=297, AACSB-Accredited Institutions, United States Only

% of FT Faculty 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012
Native American/Alaskan 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander 10.9% 11.3% 11.8% 12.5% 12.8% 13.5% 13.8% 14.0% 14.2% 14.7%
African American 2.9% 2.9% 3.1% 3.2% 3.2% 3.3% 3.3% 3.3% 3.3% 3.3%
Hispanic 1.6% 1.6% 1.5% 1.6% 1.6% 1.7% 1.9% 1.9% 2.0% 2.0%


On a separate note, the PhD Project also celebrated another achievement, as its president and board member, Bernard J. Milano received the prestigious AABHE Advocacy Award. The AABHE Advocacy Award is reserved for individuals who have served as an advocate for marginalized groups, and whose vision or actions have dramatically expanded and enhanced educational opportunities for all groups and advanced issues of access and opportunities for Blacks and other under-represented groups in higher education. AABHE sited Mr. Milano's "stellar career as President of the KPMG Foundation and President of The PhD Project," as examples of these accomplishments.

2013 AABHE Advocacy Award Recipients


1. (2013, April 4). 'Dr. Cuatro' Achieves a Milestone for Minority Business Profs.