ROSEMONT, Ill., Nov. 19, 2014 — The PhD Project, which works to provide role models to encourage more minority undergraduates to study business and pursue business careers, reported today on its results as it marked its 20th anniversary.

Since its inception in 1994, The PhD Project has been responsible for more than quadrupling the number of those role models– African-, Hispanic-, and Native American business professors.

There were just 294 minority professors teaching college level business in the entire United States in 1994. Today there are 1,267, The PhD Project reported. In addition, another 313 African-, Hispanic- and Native Americans are now enrolled in doctoral programs to become business professors. As this group completes their studies and joins faculties, the number of minority professors will grow well beyond 1,500 within a few years.

“The last 20 years have demonstrated that African-, Hispanic-, and Native Americans are indeed interested and ready to excel as business professors, and they are making an impact in classrooms across the country. In 1994, that wasn’t a universally held belief,” said Bernard J. Milano, The PhD Project’s co-founder and President of the KPMG Foundation, creator and lead sponsor of the program.

“With 313 minorities now in doctoral studies to become business professors, and several hundred more prospective doctoral students applying each year to our annual informational program, the pipeline is filled with many more future business professors of color,” Mr. Milano said. “Still, the underrepresentation of minorities continues and much work remains to be done.”

The PhD Project was created in 1994 to help solve a problem that has long hindered American businesses that want to diversify their managerial workforce: College-educated minorities historically gravitated to other fields and professions, because they saw virtually no one in the business school who looked like them. Because there were virtually no African-, Hispanic- or Native American business professors to be role models, minority students shunned the business major.

The PhD Project, a 501(c) (3) organization founded by the KPMG Foundation, works to increase faculty diversity by recruiting midcareer business professionals to switch careers and become business professors. These individuals complete a rigorous PhD program in business with support from The PhD Project, and become professors who will inspire and encourage the next generation of business professionals.

Each year, qualified candidates are invited to The PhD Project’s annual conference where they learn about the benefits of pursuing a business PhD. More than 100 universities hold an exhibit fair to further inform and recruit them. So far 94% of universities that award doctorate degrees in business are supporting faculty diversity through The PhD Project.

This national conference has taken place in the Chicago area every year since 1994. For the 21st consecutive time, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel, Rosemont, Illinois, on November 19-21.

The PhD Project has received ongoing support from its sponsoring companies, participating universities and organizations, and supply alliance members.

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Its founding organizations in addition to the KPMG Foundation, are the Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International. The leading corporations, foundations and associations funding it include: over 285 participating universities, AICPA Foundation, DiversityInc, The Merck Company Foundation, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Rockwell Collins, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., American Marketing Association, John Deere Foundation, CIGNA, ADP, Edison International (on behalf of the California State University System), Lincoln Financial Group, Aerotek/ TEKsystems (operating companies of Allegis Group), 3M, American Accounting Association, The Hershey Company, VMware and Academy of Management.