The University Record, May 21, 1996

Business School launches program to add minority faculty nationwide

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services

The Business School has launched a "Faculty of the Future Program" to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority faculty members at American business schools. The program will be funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant from the General Electric Fund.

"One of our greatest challenges over the next five years is to increase diversity in the Ph.D. program and among faculty," says B. Joseph White, dean of the Business School. "We are well positioned to meet that challenge. With the support from the GE Fund, we can become a valuable source of talented minority faculty members for business schools across the country." The U-M and the Business School also are contributing funds to the program.

In order to develop new sources of minority applicants for Ph.D. programs, the Faculty of the Future Program will join forces with Morehouse College, Navajo Community College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, South Carolina State College, and Tuskegee University to develop an Undergraduate Research and Teaching Program.

"Business faculty at each of these institutions will mentor selected undergraduates, including them in research projects and classroom presentations. During the students' junior and senior summers, they will participate in an eight -week research seminar at the

U-M Business School," says Edwin Miller, professor of business administration and co-director of the program. The summer seminars will include the fundamentals of research design, statistics in research, writing for publication and faculty career issues.

The Business School also will seek out potential Ph.D. students among non-Ph.D. faculty at other historically Black colleges and universities and Native American (tribal) colleges.

The Business School also plans to establish Graduate Fellowship and Forgivable Loan programs for minority graduate students. The programs will help provide support during summers, dissertation research, and extended years of study as well as in e mergency situations.

"We find that minority students' rates of progress on Ph.D.s are often slower than other racial and ethnic groups. For financial reasons, they tend to accept full-time academic appointments prematurely and generally accept more teaching and research assistantships than their peers," says Miller. "The extra financial support will allow them to focus on finishing the Ph.D."

The Business School also will create a Junior Faculty Coupon Program that will help "jump start" minority Business School graduates with Ph.D.s as they launch their teaching careers at new institutions. The coupons provide junior faculty members with several years of guaranteed funding for summer research.

The Business School's new Post-Doctoral Studies Program also will seek out minority Ph.D.s and faculty without Ph.D.s who are currently teaching elsewhere and want to refine their teaching and research skills before seeking a full -time teaching position.

Taylor Cox, associate professor of organizational behavior and human resource management, is program co-director.