AACSB Applauds The PhD Project’s 25 Years of Achievements

Press Releases
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Over 5 times the number of minority faculty now work in U.S. business schools.

Tampa, FL, USA (November 21, 2019)—AACSB International (AACSB) congratulates The PhD Project on 25 years of impact in developing minority leaders in business education and business.

In 1994, fewer than 300 black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic American or Native American professors worked in U.S. business schools. Today, thanks to the KPMG US Foundation and long-time supporters like AACSB, more than 1,500 minority business professors and doctoral students teach and mentor undergraduates, contribute research, and serve communities at more than 530 U.S. business schools, many taking on leadership roles in administration.

In recognition of its achievements over the past 25 years, The PhD Project is hosting a gala event on November 22 in Chicago, Illinois. “The event presents an opportunity to reflect on the organization’s progress and achievements while looking toward its future,” said Bernard J. Milano, president of The PhD Project and the KPMG US Foundation. “The success of The PhD Project was made possible by the continued investments of sponsors, supporters, and participants. We have quintupled the number of diverse faculty, but the underrepresentation of minorities in business school faculty continues, and much work remains to be done.”

As the world's largest business education association, AACSB has supported The PhD Project since its inception.

“Business schools have a crucial role to play in enabling more diverse and inclusive workplaces and communities,” said Juliane Iannarelli, senior vice president, chief knowledge officer, and diversity and inclusion advocate at AACSB. “Research shows that innovation is spurred by bringing together diverse perspectives and mindsets. By cultivating greater diversity in front of the classroom and in business school leadership roles, The PhD Project plays a critical role in creating more inclusive learning environments and a more diverse pipeline of talent for businesses to draw upon.”

AACSB board chair John Elliott, interim provost of the University of Connecticut and former dean of the UConn School of Business, was also present when The PhD Project was formed. Recognized as a member of The PhD Project’s 2011 Hall of Fame, Elliott has been called “an incredible resource” for diversity in higher education administration.

“The PhD Project works to encourage, mentor, support, and enhance the education of emerging leaders from underrepresented communities,” Elliott said. “It’s clear that diversifying the faculty attracts more minorities to study business and better prepares all students to function in a diverse workforce. The PhD Project has been remarkably successful in its mission and AACSB is proud to support its work.”

At the heart of The PhD Project: its annual informational and recruiting conference. The event connects prospective minority doctoral students with PhD Program representatives from across the nation. Once enrolled in an AACSB-accredited U.S. business school, each student becomes a member of one of The PhD Project’s five (accounting, finance and economics, information systems, marketing, and management) Doctoral Student Associations (DSAs). The PhD Project holds annual conferences for each DSA, to help students form strong support networks and gain tools to navigate their programs.

“The challenge of achieving faculty diversity is critical. Just 4 percent of U.S. business school professors are black/African Americans, Latinx/Hispanic Americans or Native Americans," Milano said. “The job must continue with an even greater sense of urgency.”

AACSB executive leadership and staff will attend the November 22 dinner to celebrate The PhD Project achievements, and AACSB has pledged continued support for the organization. The November 22 dinner will also celebrate Milano’s passion and leadership, as he steps down as president of The PhD Project on January 15, 2020. During his tenure, he has been leading the effort to change the face of business education and is both respected and admired in the academic, nonprofit, and corporate communities.

About The PhD Project

The PhD Project was co-founded in 1994 by current Sponsors KPMG US Foundation, AACSB International, and Graduate Management Admission Council and became a separate 501(c)(3) in 2005. Since its inception, The PhD Project has been responsible for the increase in the number of minorities earning a business Ph.D. from 294 to 1,550, of whom 1,327 are teaching in U.S. colleges and universities. For more information, visit phdproject.org.

About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and learning and development services to more than 1,700 member organizations and over 850 accredited business schools worldwide. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. The global organization has offices located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Singapore. For more information, visit aacsb.edu.

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