AACSB Minorities Affinity Group Takes Shape
Posted February 14, 2017 by Christine Apple
- Senior Coordinator, Member Engagement - AACSB International
In partnership with founding co-chairs Earl Avery, Ed Davis, and Barron Harvey, AACSB International is delighted to announce the Minorities Affinity Group, a special peer networking group charged with facilitating open discussion and sharing among members self-identifying as a minority within their society and/or country of origin. “Many AACSB members are working to increase the number of minority deans at their institutions. While this is an important goal, it must be accompanied by strategies to support retention. All too often, [minority deans] are faced with unique issues that arise because of their social identity. The Minorities Affinity Group will provide a safe space in which they can discuss these issues, enter into supportive dialogue, and learn from each other’s experiences,” says Earl Avery, special assistant to the president and ombudsman at Bentley University. AACSB entrusts this group with bringing into view these critical issues and areas of support required to promote diversity among the membership, and with serving as key advocates advancing the mission, vision, and values of the organization.
While promoting diversity is a long-standing cornerstone of AACSB, the development of this group is a timely response to recent events and is supportive of the AACSB Statement to Higher Education Community: Stand United for More Inclusive, Accepting Global Society. Ed Davis, interim dean at the Clark Atlanta University School of Business, shares how this peer group provides a more robust platform for inclusivity and best practice-sharing among the group: “I have attended various AACSB International workshops, seminars, and meetings for more than 20 years. The information gleaned during the formal sessions as well as the informal sharing has been instrumental in improving the overall operations and program offerings of our business school. However, at times many of the discussions [did] not to address issues that pertain to me as a minority at a minority-serving institution. I am elated that this new affinity group will allow the opportunity for those of like mind to more fully explore issues and share successes that are common to us and our institutions.”
“The Minorities Affinity Group will provide a safe space in which [members] can discuss these issues, enter into supportive dialogue, and learn from each other’s experiences.”
Avery and Davis are joined by Barron Harvey, dean at Howard University School of Business, to lead this new affinity group. Harvey, a past board member of AACSB, further opines, “AACSB International is a wonderful organization dedicated to assisting deans of business schools in increasing quality to their respective programs. It serves as an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas, best practices, and innovative models of learning. … I am excited that the Minorities Affinity Group will provide deans like me a platform to discuss issues and topics germane to our particular management education experience and perspective.”
As AACSB stands committed to promoting shared values among members from all backgrounds, we are delighted to establish this space specific to those members identifying as a minority. Further, we extend our deep appreciation to the founding co-chairs of this group. New affinity groups demand exceptional champions to create effective learning and development opportunities and to build momentum for these groups to become an invaluable resource for members. On behalf of the founding leadership, we invite you to get involved with the group, with a special call for international members who are interested in promoting this group within their region. If you would like to join the Minorities Affinity Group, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.