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KPMG Foundation bestows $470,000 in minority scholarships

July 16, 2012

The KPMG Foundation announced that it has awarded a total of $470,000 in scholarships to minority accounting doctoral students for the 2012-13 academic year.

The $10,000 scholarships will go to 12 new recipients and 35 students whose scholarships have been renewed. Scholarships are renewable annually for up to five years.

“The KPMG Foundation is proud of the very positive influence it has had in helping to increase the number of diverse faculty members at our nation’s colleges and universities,” said Jose Rodriguez, KPMG Foundation chairperson, in a statement. “The Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship will play a critical role in transforming these 47 talented students into educators who will shape tomorrow’s business leaders.”

The KPMG Foundation has awarded over $10.5 million to 309 African American, Hispanic American and Native American scholars pursuing doctorate degrees since 1994. Currently, 194 of those recipients have successfully completed their doctoral programs and are professors at universities across the country.

The Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarship initiative’s complementary program, The PhD Project, was also created in 1994, with the goal of increasing the diversity of business school faculty. In that time, the program has increased the number of minority business professors from 294 to 1,128.

“Business leaders realize success by understanding the complexities of a global marketplace,” stated Stacy Sturgeon, KPMG LLP’s national managing partner of university relations and recruiting. “These lessons begin in the classroom and diverse educational environments provide future leaders with the perspective that is necessary to thrive in their professions.”


Comments (2)
Dear Jdausell,

I couldn't agree more that it is it is very important for minorities to become successful entrepreneurs in greater numbers. What is as important, if not more important, however, is that those entrepreneurs need to learn the skills of business and the science of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, many minorities do not see role models for successful businesspeople, especially in those businesses that have the potential to grow in revenues and number of employees.

Minority professors fill both needs. One professor can teach thousands of students over the years, and mentor/role model/inspire thousands more since most have had first careers in business.

Entrepreneurship is a major subject at many b-schools. Because the men and women who are pursuing their PhDs with the support of the PhD project overwhelmingly have business experience, they are better positioned than those who do not to help their students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Further, we are finding that more and more young people today are interested in being entrepreneurs than in being corporate employees. Thus, many schools, like my own, have entrepreneurship programs to train not only our students, but those in the community so that they have a better chance of having long term success as business owners.

It is a remarkable leveraging of minority talent and one with huge long term benefits to the community for minority professors to stand in front of the classroom. We not only have an impact on minority students as role models and counselors, but on all students from all over the world, who for the first time for many of them, see a minority person in a position of authority because of his or her intellect and scholarship, rather than in the stereotypical roles portrayed in the media. That is a powerful effect of having minority professors in front of the classroom!

Finally, to clear up any misperceptions, more than 90% of the minorities who enroll in a business PhD program complete it, and they are going on to become professors, professors with tenure, department chairs, and deans in historic, unprecedented numbers. The landscape has changed greatly for minority PhDs over the past 18 years since the PhD Project started. Whereas many people who started their PhDs in the past faced the situation you describe, with the mentorsing and support of the Project and the Doctoral Student Associations, people are getting stable positions at great schools. It is not perfect, but it has vastly improved. When I got my doctorate in 1994, many schools had no unrepresented minority professors. Now, it is difficult to find any school without at least one, and in many schools more than one, minority professor.

So, yes, we do need more entrepreneurs, but suggesting that those people with business experience who chose to leave their corporate careers to get their PhDs not to do so, but to become entrepreneurs instead, is not the answer. (As an aside, quite a few minority professors do eventually have their own businesses.) What is the answer is that those professors can, like my colleagues at Rutgers and other colleges and universities, help those top business and engineering students to think of entrepreneurship as a career alternative and help prepare them to be successful if they choose the entrepreneurial route.
Posted by Drdto | Thursday, July 19 2012 at 4:15AM ET
It is indeed commendable to see so many "top" minority students aspiring to be PhD's; however, we need our top business and engineering (and others) students to fill the void in the entrepreneur arena. There are many minority entrepreneurs (baby boomers) leaving legacies without anyone to carry on their legacy. Our communities need strong business leaders to encourage and mentor future business leaders. As a business owner and professional in the financial world,I have seen so many excellent students start to pursue the PhD project just to be disappointed on how hard it is to get a stable (tenured position) and a rewarding position at prominent institution of higher learning. There must be a balance in this area of concentration, one that will make sense to ensure sustainability and equality in the minority communities. There is a need to talk up succession planing which includes not just PhD's but entrepreneurs as well.
Posted by Jclausell | Tuesday, July 17 2012 at 12:43PM ET
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