Minority Faculty Retention in Business Schools

Bernie Milano, president of The PhD Project, sits down with Christine Clements to explore business schools' minority faculty retention rates and The PhD Project's role within the issue.


Minority Faculty Retention in Business Schools

Christine Clements: [00:00] Even for schools who attract faculty, sometimes the challenge is actually to retain them. I wonder if you'd be willing to talk a little bit about what you think business schools might do to better be able to retain their minority faculty, in particular.

Bernie Milano: [00:29] Retention of faculty is difficult no matter whether it's minority, majority, male, female. It doesn't really matter. One of the things that we've done in the PhD Project is to encourage people to understand the job they're taking and what the expectations are.

[00:43] It's not just about getting into a doctoral program. It's getting out successfully. It's getting out with enough in the pipeline that you then get some publications so that tenure becomes more possible.

[00:54] Then, in selecting what institution hires you, if you're just so hell bent on doing research, and teaching gets in the way, then fine. Figure out what schools require that.

[01:09] If you went into this because you want to give back and you want to teach, you want to spend a lot of time with students, then don't go to a school where the expectations are very high research standards. It's about fit.

Clements: [01:20] Are there any other aspects besides going to the right school for fit that schools might think about doing? You have talked before about how the pool is not very large and, sometimes, schools are basically trading the same faculty. Is there any way to prevent that?

Milano: [01:38] When a school, a business school, or a department doesn't have a critical mass, define it any way you want to, being the only Hispanic American professor in that department or in that business school, the only African American, or the only Native American, it is really, really difficult for the individual.

[01:59] There's no community. There's no sense of community. There's no sense that they're going to be a pioneer again in their life. So many of these individuals, whether it was their corporate job or where they went to undergraduate, they were like pioneers, and they're really tired of being pioneers.

[02:13] If that's the case, then intentionally form some community. Look over at the School of Arts and Sciences, look at the School of Engineering, whatever it may be. Try to make sure you create a community.

Clements: [02:25] PhD Project has done fantastic work and has had a real impact on diversifying faculty population. We hope you will continue in those efforts for many years to come.

[02:38] Thank you for the work you do.

Filmed February 2017 on site at AACSB's Deans Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.