By Shalina Chatlani

Education Dive, August 30, 2017 —

Dive Brief:

  • In a survey of diversity in institutional faculty, the PhD Project, a program geared toward diverse management, found that North Carolina A&T State University had the greatest number of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in faculty, while Rutgers had the most across all majority-serving institutions in the 2016-17 academic year.
  • The top five institutions for the numbers of the aforementioned underrepresented groups, including NC A&T University with 22 on staff, were Howard University with 19, Florida A&M University with 15, Rutgers with 14, and Morgan State University with 13.
  • PhD Project President Bernard Milano noted that he was happy to see the number of underrepresented minorities increase, but added “there is still a long way to go” as efforts to increase minority faculty hiring university-wide “may increase faculty diversity at the individual colleges, but they do not enlarge the pie for all.”

Image credit: Getty Images

Dive Insight:

The PhD Project’s recent survey highlights that underrepresented minorities within faculty are increasing, but they are still primarily located in minority-serving institutions — though the inclusion of majority-serving institutions like Rutgers, DePaul University, and the University of Texas at Austin in the top 10 shows promise. And as Milano points out, this means there is still a lot of work to be done on not only increasing, but maintaining faculty diversity overall.

As more students come to campus with increasingly unique racial and economic backgrounds, it’s important for higher education leaders to consider the role of faculty on campus in creating not only an inclusive space, but attracting and retaining those students. And though research suggests this emphasis is growing on campuses, the statistics still show that minority representation in faculty is still lacking.

For example, a Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America report entitled “Taking the measure of faculty diversity” from last year broke down the overall 64% increase in total full and part-time faculty at colleges and universities between 1993 and 2013. It ultimately found that white faculty increased by more than 40% over the surveyed period, while Asian-American and a combination of black and Hispanic faculty grew by 170% and 143%.

But significantly, only 10% of the nation’s total tenure positions are held by racial and ethnic minorities, according to the report, which suggests that while diversity in faculty may be increasing superficially, minority faculty members still don’t have as much job security across all institutions and may feel compelled to stay at minority-serving institutions.


Business School                                                                                                                               # of AA/HA/NA Faculty

  1-North Carolina A&T State University                               


  2-Howard University


  3- Florida A&M University


  4- Rutgers University


  5-Morgan State University


  6-DePaul University


  7-Texas Southern University


  8-Florida International University


  9-University of Texas at Austin


10-North Carolina Central University


The PhD Project is a national program that has increased faculty diversity at hundreds of college and university business schools. It is the only systemic nationwide program aimed at diversifying university faculty. It attracts and enables African-, Hispanic- and Native Americans to choose college teaching as a career, and succeed in the rigorous process of obtaining a Ph.D which qualifies them to be professors.

The Project attacks the root cause of minority under-representation in corporate jobs: historically, very few minority college students study business as an entrée to a corporate career. Diversifying the faculty attracts more minorities to study business and better prepares all students to function in a diverse workforce. Since its inception, The PhD Project has been responsible for the increase in the number of minority business professors from 294 to 1,358. An additional 300 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs and will take a place at the front of the classroom over the next few years.

The PhD Project is a 501(c) (3) organization that the KPMG Foundation founded in 1994. It has received ongoing support from its sponsoring companies, participating universities and organizations, and supply alliance members. Its founding organizations in addition to the KPMG Foundation, are the Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International.