MBA Minority Enrollment Numbers Not Always What They Seem

By Chris Hassan
Posted July 06, 2012 04:43 PM

Many business schools not as diverse as they seem.
Many business schools not as diverse as they seem.
Based on a quick look at many business schools’ enrollment numbers for minority students, some people will assume that members of the African American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American populations are flocking to Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. However, upon closer examination, data does not always paint a positive picture.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many business schools that boast a high number of minority MBA degree seekers often have student bodies comprised mostly of Asian Americans. This, in turn, means that the actual number of African American and Hispanic students remains low.

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is one example of an institution where diversity is low, despite what enrollment numbers say. According to the Journal, 34% of next spring’s graduating MBA class will be comprised of minorities. However, when Asian Americans are removed from this total, only 12% of graduates will be from a minority population.

As business schools work to attract more underrepresented students, one of the problems they may need to focus on is their lack of minority professors. In 2011, Bernard J. Milano, president of the PhD Project, an organization aimed at creating more diverse business school faculties, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that only 3.5% of these professors and administrators were members of an underrepresented minority group.

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