Krannert Diversity Program Celebrates Half-Century

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Hummels said the school began the program shortly after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Hummels said the school began the program shortly after the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the first programs in the country to help recruit minority students into a business school is approaching a major milestone. Purdue University says the Krannert School of Management's Business Opportunity Program turns 50 next year, and has produced some of the school's most successful alumni. The school says, since the program launched in 1968 with 11 people, it has served more than 1,000 students who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend business school.

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Krannert Dean David Hummels said the school began the program shortly after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. He says he hears from several company executives about the quality of the initiative's graduates, including from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), which recently hired three of those students.

Hummels says diversity is just one of his current focuses at the Krannert School of Management. Another is exports, which he says is important for Indiana companies looking to grow since "95 percent of the world's population is outside of our borders." Hummels says Krannert pairs international students with Indiana companies to help them get past language and regulation barriers.

"If you're a small company that's got a world-beating idea," says Hummels, "you need a pathway to international expansion, and that's what the program's for."

Another point of emphasis is big data, which Hummels calls a "key competitive advantage" for any company looking to grow. The school has launched master's program and center in business analytics and information, and reshaped an undergraduate program in supply chain, information and analytics.

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