By Elliot Davis
Are U.S. business PhD programs increasing the proportion of minority graduates? That was a question posed to me recently and explored in the charts below. No doubt the findings will be of interest to supporters of and participants in The PhD Project, an innovative program established by the KPMG foundation in 1994 with the mission to increase the proportion of PhD graduates who are considered African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American. AACSB, along with several other organizations, has been a steadfast supporter of The PhD Project and its goal to strengthen management education by increasing the diversity of qualified faculty for business schools.
Data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) provided by the National Center for Education Statistics helps to shed light on trends with respect to the business doctoral completions for these groups over the past two decades – from 1994 (the start of The PhD Project) to 2012 (the most recent available data set).
The following graph illustrates completions, as a percentage of total completions, for the aforementioned minority groups from 1994 to 2012, at all schools in the United States (including non AACSB-accredited schools).
Linear trendlines are provided to offer a better sense of the overall trends occurring. African-Americans have seen the greatest percentage increase, up to 13.45% (2012) from 2.48% (1994). Hispanics have seen positive growth (though slight) and Native-Americans have seen relatively little change.
When narrowing the completions to only those at AACSB-accredited schools (using the current list of AACSB-accredited schools), we see some stark differences.
The slope of the trendline for African-Americans at U.S. AACSB-accredited schools is far less steep than at all U.S. schools. A potential reason for this difference can likely be accounted for (in part) by the increase in PhD accessibility through the rise of certain non AACSB-accredited schools, such as University of Phoenix, Walden University, Argosy University, and Capella University.
There are certainly many other factors that have gone into these changing trendlines, including socio-economic, cultural, and geographic differences. Tracking this data moving forward will be of particular interest to organizations such as The PhD Project and AACSB International. What do you think about this? Are these trends positive for management education and for workplace diversity?
In an upcoming blog post, I will focus in on the specific minority groupings and provide more targeted data regarding business doctoral completions attributed to each.