As society demands more from the world’s business schools, dramatic changes in higher education are creating new challenges and opportunities. To provide leadership for this new era in management education, AACSB International (AACSB) released a new set of accreditation standards for the world’s leading business schools.
Dean and Professor Emeritus Jan R. Williams of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration is past chair of the AACSB and is a member of the AACSB Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality (BRC) that helped create these new standards. He also is a member of the Accounting Standards Working Group that simultaneously developed revised standards for accounting programs.
After over two years of study and collaboration with the global management education community, the BRC critically examined market needs, re-considered definitions of excellence and the role of accreditation, and focused on defining new standards that:
· Drive innovation in business schools to create and sustain value for students, employers, and the communities they serve.
· Go beyond quality and ensure that business schools also have an impact through both scholarly education and the creation of new knowledge.
· Require significant engagement between faculty, students, and business professionals, fostering meaningful interactions to create and share knowledge that is both scholarly and relevant to practice.
“This has been a rigorous process and one that is already having a significant impact on business schools worldwide,” says Williams. “The emphasis on innovation, impact, and engagement is more than a label. These principles permeate both the business and accounting standards and will significantly challenge our schools. Having a leadership role in AACSB during this important initiative was a privilege, and I am looking forward to implementing the unanimously approved new standards for both business and accounting.”
Just as every organization and individual has been challenged in the past decade to reconsider how to create value in a rapidly changing global economy, so too have business schools faced questions about their approaches to educating future leaders.
“Business schools are at a time of unprecedented change. To remain current, leaders within the industry had to stand back and evaluate where management education needed to go,” said Joseph DiAngelo, chair of the AACSB board of directors and dean of the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. “Throughout this process, we looked deeply at the marketplace to determine new routes to relevance, to ensure business schools are developing the type of leaders that society needs for the future. The changes will keep business schools at the heart of global commerce.”
Designed to give business schools the flexibility to innovate to meet the rapidly changing needs of the employer and student markets—while still holding institutions to the highest standards of quality—the new standards will provide a new benchmark for excellence.
AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), founded in 1916, is an association of more than 1,350 educational institutions, businesses, and organizations in 83 countries and territories. Its mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services. AACSB is the leading accreditation body for institutions offering degrees in business and accounting.