Diversity at Chapman? Psh, where?
When thinking of an event or issue that related to Chapman, there was a reaccuring fact in my head: there are no black professors in the Argyros School of Business & Economics, let alone a black woman. I wanted to uncover a little bit about why & hear how the heads of the business school at Chapman felt about this situation. I sat down with Jon Kaplan, Assistant Dean of MBA Programs for The Argyros School of Business and Economics, and Kenneth Murphy, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs for The Argyros School of Business and Economics to ask them a few questions. I have transcribed our interview below.
How many black women professors are in the business school?
Um, currently I dont think we have any. We have had some in the past, but currently we dont have any.
Why is that?
Honestly, I dont make the faculty decisions so it’s hard for me to answer that question. I know it is a point of emphasis.
Do you think the business school faculty are diverse?
We have a lot of diversity in terms of where people have come from in the business world. It’s diverse in a way, but based on the pretense you’re asking it could be more diverse.
How could it be more diverse?
One thing we could do is hire more African-American women as well as African-American men. And not just African-Americans, but we could go a lot of different directions
Do you think it would benefit our business school?
No question, no question because it just adds a new and different perspective and it allows people to kind of hear from a different place where people are coming from. Obviously being a minority in the business world youre going to have different trials and tribulations and obstacles you have to overcome so I think it’s important for students to hear.
How many Black women professors are in the business school?
Why is that?
Im guessing there are not very many qualified Black women professors in business would be my guess. I mean in other words, theyre probably out there, but there are not very many of them so it’s hard to find them. We don’t even have very many women professors.
Do you think the business schol faculty are diverse?
No, I wouldn’t say so.
What can you do as Assistant Dean of the business school to make sure our business school is more diverse?
Im not in charge of hiring, but I think we make every effort to find [them]. Essentially, it works like this: when youre hiring a faculty member you put out an invitation for anyone to apply that is qualified. I think the problem is the qualifications, right? So do you take some who is less qualified who comes from a lesser school, or background, or do you take the most qualified person you can find? I think that’s the issue. It’s not an issue of equally qualified, pick this person or that person it’s a question of best qualified. We’re really picking from a small pool so it makes it difficult. I do think there is a perception of Orange County. You live here too, you know what it’s like (laughs). So, maybe that too. If we were in Washington D.C. or New York City, it might be a different situation. But, we should be more diverse. We are diverse in terms of international factors. We’re just not diverse… especially African Americans we’re very low I would say. But, all the school I have been at that’s been that way. Its a challenge, definitely. We only have one African American person that works in the business school that I know of.
I could tell from the interviews that I approached Mr. Kaplan and Dr.Murphy with a topic they dont think of. It was also interesting to me that they both mentioned that hiring is not their job, so essentially it’s not there problem. As a black woman at Chapman pursuing business, that saddens me. I think it should be everyones job to make sure we have a diverse faculty. I have noticed that Chapman is more worried about having international diversity than diversity that exists right here in our own country. I understand they want to make us global citzens, but I think it is important that students learn through perspectives of diverse faculty right here in the U.S.