Survey Reinforces Value of Faculty Diversity in the Classroom - Higher Education

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Survey Reinforces Value of Faculty Diversity in the Classroom

by Black Issues

Survey Reinforces Value of Faculty Diversity in the Classroom

MONTVALE, N.J.

A survey of undergraduate and graduate students at U.S. colleges and universities reveals that diversity in the front of the classroom enhances the educational experience for all.

The survey disclosed that minority professors have significant influence on the education of both minority and non-minority students. When asked, 96 percent of minority respondents said minority professors are positively impacting their education. Furthermore, 83 percent of non-minority respondents believe that minority professors are having a positive impact on their education.
The survey was conducted by the Bernard Hodes Group on behalf of The PhD Project, a corporate and academic-led effort to increase minority representation among business professors. Since The PhD Project was founded in 1994, the number of minority professors at U.S. business schools has more than doubled, from 294 to 642.
The PhD Project surveyed undergraduate and graduate students taking classes from minority professors to gauge the impact those professors are having on minority and non-minority students’ education.
“The PhD Project’s goal is to diversify the front of the classroom as a means to better prepare students for a diverse work environment,” says Bernard J. Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation, a founder and the administrator and lead sponsor of The PhD Project. “It is reassuring to know students feel minority professors are impacting positively on their education. Now we know we are succeeding in our mission.”

Other results from the survey include:

• 93 percent of all respondents feel that minority professors are positively impacting the education of minority students.
• 84 percent of all respondents feel that minority professors are positively impacting the education of non-minority students.
• 88 percent of all respondents feel that minority professors positively impact career decisions of minority students.
• 69 percent of all respondents feel that minority professors positively impact career decisions of non-minority students.
• 69 percent of all respondents feel that students will be better prepared to work in a business environment as a result of their having had a minority professor.
The 1,094 respondents to the survey are currently enrolled in at least one course taught by a minority professor or doctoral student (African American, Hispanic American or American Indian). Among the respondents, 46 percent are White, 31 percent African American, with the remaining 23 percent consisting of Hispanic (White and Black), Asian Americans, American Indians or “other.” 



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