Attracting and Retaining Diverse Faculty


June 2016

Chris Clements: [00:01] Chip, Bentley University is part of The PhD Project, which is focused on increasing the diversity of business school faculty. What kinds of challenges has Bentley faced in attracting and retaining a diverse faculty?

Chip Wiggins: [00:23] Several. On the one hand, the pool that you're drawing from is very small to begin with. I think this is one of the areas where The PhD Project has made huge inroads. There was a recent piece that said, in 20, 21 years, they've increased the pool by three x.

[00:41] The problem is, we're all competing for that small pool. The second challenge we've had is the New England area, particularly recruiting out of the southeast. Getting somebody to come in to our much higher-cost living area is always a challenge, particularly if they have a family that they're hoping to bring with them.

[00:59] The second piece in that is, I think you have to have a very strong social support mechanism. If you're not able to find a community that has similar backgrounds, history, it's very difficult to pick up and uproot your family and move.

Chris: [01:15] Chip, can you tell me a little bit about the Business School Collaborative?

Chip: [01:20] The Business School Collaborative is a group of nine schools in the Boston area that have come together as a mechanism that enhances our ability to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups into the Boston area.

[01:33] We share resumes. If we have resumes coming into our individual searches, but we don't have an opportunity to use that candidate, we put it into the pool. It's been very beneficial when you have dual academics in a family, and may be recruiting somebody for the Finance Department, but I don't have an opening in the Accounting Department.

[01:54] Being able to work very closely with deans and other administrators from the nine member schools has really enhanced our opportunity. We take this group to discipline-specific conferences and really promote it as a way of bringing Boston to the forefront as, we hope, an increasingly attractive destination for candidates.

[02:20] We've had great success collaborating with The PhD Project and bringing some of those candidates in the Boston area.