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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dr. Boyce: It’s Time for Black Scholars to Escape the Academic Plantation

by Dr. Boyce Watkins – Scholarship in Action

When I first thought about getting a PhD in Business, I found out about the PhD Project. This ground-breaking initiative had the simple goal of creating more black professors to sit in the front of the classroom. It was established by the KPMG Foundation, and from what I understand, might have been in response to a series of complaints about racism that the organization had received in the past.

Since that time, the group has produced scores of black scholars in the field of business, an area that is in dire need of meaningful diversity. I was the only African American in the world to earn a PhD in Finance during the year 2002, and my university had never hired a black Finance Professor in its entire 130-year history. Business tends to be a very conservative field, where black people are still locked out at every turn (the Business School here at Syracuse, along with many others around the nation, has several departments that have never given tenure to an African American, which is downright racist and shameful).

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