Student diversity at SF State might not be news to those who study here, but officials at the Princeton Review Board took a special interest in the SF State College of Business, ranking it number three in opportunities for minorities.
The results were based on percentages of minority students enrolled in the college, faculty members, and student surveys.
“We’ve known it all along,” said marketing chair, Professor Sanjit Sengupta. “I’ve always been impressed. The major thing was to be recognized for something by the Princeton Review.”
Sengupta said the SF State CoB makes a conscious effort to hire staff from underrepresented populations because a diverse faculty enriches the college experience, and prepares students to deal with a variety of situations.
Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences Sada Soorapanth said that diversity helps students to become good managers by giving them the opportunity to gain experience in working with others from a broad range of backgrounds.
“We’re very proud to have lots of international students,” she said.
Dean Nancy K. Hayes said positions on the business faculty are advertised nationally and internationally to ensure a broad range of candidates with varied expertise. The CoB also reaches out to African American and Latino populations by visiting high schools and community colleges.
According to the SF State College of Business 2003-2004 report, about 48 percent of the CoB’s resident undergraduate student body is Asian American. The next largest group is “White Non-Hispanic” at 19 percent. Filipino Americans come in at 10 percent, people of “Chicano, Mexican American, other Hispanic” heritage make up 3 percent.
The national average for business majors, which places “Non-Hispanic Whites” at 79 percent, is significantly higher than SF State’s College of Business. The diversity of the CoB is a reflection of the population of the Bay Area, but not a completely accurate portrayal. For example, only 5 percent of business students are African American.
Business Communication Professor Catherine Siskron believes that the CoB should do more to encourage enrollment of minority groups.
“I think if we take the whole Bay Area, I would guess that Latino and African American populations are underrepresented.”
Dean Hayes said the mix of students at SF State was a key factor in her decision to accept the position as dean of the CoB. She sees the variety at the college is both a reflection of the local population and a result of efforts on the part of the university to increase its diversity.
“A diverse faculty is important because it reflects the business environment … the global population,” she said.
While there is always room for improvement, Hayes is proud of the diversity in the College of Business and that it is such a strong part of SF State’s culture.