The new leader of the Kelley Indianapolis Office of Student Diversity plans to take the Kelley message to diverse audiences on and off campus to help people better understand the opportunities and advantages of the local business school.
Darrell Brown returns to familiar ground at Kelley Indianapolis, where he served as a clinical associate professor of management before briefly leaving in late 2010 to serve as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Art Institute of Indianapolis. He served as a Kelley faculty member from 2003-2010.
“Personally, I’m really looking forward to this challenge,” Brown said.
“If our goal is to increase diversity initiatives for the recruitment of minority students into the Kelley School of Business, we need to look at how we can do that both internally and externally,” he added.
Brown also will teach international business and organizational behavior to Kelley students, courses he taught during his previous tenure here. His priority, however, will be to intensify the school’s effort to reach and recruit more diverse students.
“You have to be out in people’s faces, out in the community talking about what you have to offer,” Brown said of taking the Kelley mission to the public. “People need to hear your story. If they don’t hear your story, they’re hearing someone else’s story.”
Brown has experience in diversity training for large corporations like Kroger as well as local organizations such as the Indiana Blood Center. He said the competition to get diverse students to pursue business fields is just as challenging as convincing them that Kelley Indianapolis is their preferred choice.
“How do we get the business school to stand out to make students consider business as opposed to education or science or other school’s competing for their attention? We have to battle for our fair share,” Brown said.
That battle begins by first strengthening the relationship between Kelley and local high school guidance counselors, especially those with Indianapolis Public Schools.
He hopes to initiate programs specific for prospective Kelley students on the IUPUI campus. A college day, where recruits can come visit campus and maybe even stay overnight at the Kelley House, and the creation of a student ambassador program are a few of the ideas he is considering. More diversity-specific scholarship dollars and clear diversity recruiting goals also are important, he said.
Brown also said he hopes to better integrate the plethora of student groups at Kelley and IUPUI with diverse students.
“I’m a big believer in let’s try something. If it’s great, let’s keep it. If it falls on it’s face, let’s ditch it.”
“If you’re not failing, you’re not learning, and you have to be willing to try something new and better the next time,” Brown continued.