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IUPUI professor and Kelley School of Business graduate attributes success to Consortium

Oct. 12, 2016

This year, the IU Kelley School of Business celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which has encouraged more than 8,000 men and women of color to earn a graduate business degree since its establishment. 

Darrell Brown


Darrell Brown is one of those graduates, and he is now a professor at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis.

Brown received his bachelor’s degree from Kettering University. But coming from an "IU family," the choice to attend IU Bloomington for his MBA in marketing and management was a natural one. Upon graduating in 1980, Brown said he had seven job offers to choose from. This he attributed to IU and the Consortium program.

"IU really put me on a road to success and had a huge impact on my life," he said.

Brown spent the first 15 years of his career in the corporate world, but he said that making the transition to higher education happened partially by accident.

"A university director of human resources at my church said to me, ‘If you can train sales associates, with your background and education, I know you can train and educate students in a university environment,’ Brown said. "That was the beginning of my entrance into higher education, and I will be forever grateful to this person for recognizing that I could make a contribution to others in higher education."

He spent another 10 years learning the ropes of higher education before returning "home" to teach at IU. Now, in his 12th year at IUPUI, Brown serves as clinical associate professor in management and as the Kelley School Indianapolis’ director of diversity.

"It feels like a circle of life," Brown said. "I really never envisioned that complete turn, but it is so great to be back." 

As the school’s director of diversity, he mentors two students in the Diversity Scholars Program as well as organizes various events to celebrate the legacy of diverse leaders in history, such as the Cesar Chavez Celebration Dinner. 

Brown said that being an educator has likely always been a destined path for him, as both of his parents were teachers. While he enjoys all aspects of his work at IUPUI, he finds it most rewarding to be able to impart knowledge on his students and make a difference in their lives. 

To read more stories like Brown’s and learn about the legacy of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, see IU Communications’ newest longform project, "Never Daunted."

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