Diversity, equity and inclusion have been brought into sharper focus in recent months. Although this focus on DEI may feel new for some, the Broad College and MSU have had an advocate for DEI for many years.
Matthew Anderson, associate professor of accounting and information systems, has an unwavering commitment to education and DEI, both within and beyond the Broad College. He was recently inducted to the Ph.D. Project Hall of Fame, recognizing his work on a national level.
“Induction into the Hall of Fame is a highly significant and critically important honor, but as part of a process, not as the culmination,” Anderson said. “DEI is my life, so this represents a significant degree of external validation. Involvement with the Ph.D. Project is a critical part of my life and an important priority statement.”
The Ph.D. Project, started by the KPMG Foundation, is aimed at diversifying faculty in business schools across the country. After attending the project’s formative meeting in 1994, Anderson has been involved in a variety of ways, attending nearly every event and serving as a keynote speaker, faculty mentor and university recruiting representative.
“We are so pleased that Dr. Anderson’s contributions are being recognized nationally by KPMG and the Ph.D. Project,” Chris Hogan, chairperson of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems and Russell E. Palmer Endowed Professor of Accounting, said. “Dr. Anderson’s unwavering commitment to increasing the diversity of faculty, and the inspiration and support he has provided to so many on their journeys to becoming professors, has made a significant difference nationally as well as at the Broad College and MSU.”
This honor for Anderson completes a circle of recognition for his work in the DEI area, including receiving MSU’s Excellence in Diversity Award in 2003, being selected as the inaugural winner of the Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Award in 2009 and receiving the Jason Richardson Foundation “Saluting Greatness” award, based on service to the teaching profession and diversity and inclusion efforts, in 2012.
In 1993, Anderson was the first person of color to serve as the director of the Broad College’s doctoral accounting program and the first to do so at a research university nationally. As director, Anderson helped MSU lead the country in recruiting women and people of color for doctoral accounting education. He also served as the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and a faculty excellence advocate with Broad from 2010 to 2014.
Before his time as an involved faculty member, Anderson attended MSU as a Broad student, graduating with an MBA in 1978 and a Ph.D. in 1982. Today, he serves as senior advisor to the dean for DEI and continues to serve as a faculty excellence advocate, helping to increase the recruitment and hiring of underrepresented minorities and women on the Broad College’s faculty.
“My inspirations include my father, who wanted to be known as a ‘bully boy’ — willing to fight for what he believed in — and Dr. Martin Luther King, who aspired to be a drum major for justice,” Anderson said. “Michigan State is a unique place that has afforded me the opportunity to develop these themes and other opportunities beyond my initial aspirations. Nonetheless, the work continues, and, like all Spartans — I will.”
There’s no question about it: Anderson truly represents the Spartan spirit, advancing the common good in uncommon ways. His recognition is well deserved, and his work will have a lasting impact on the Broad College and MSU.