AACSB accreditation team to visit campus
UW-Eau Claire College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), a distinguished hallmark of excellence achieved by less than 5 percent of all business schools in the world. As of April 2012, AACSB has accredited 648 institutions in 43 countries and territories on six continents.
The College of Business must reaffirm its accreditation every five years. 2012 is the year the college undergoes its five-year maintenance of accreditation review. If all goes as planned, the college will receive notice in spring 2013 that our AACSB accreditation has been extended for an additional six years.
Associate Dean Bob Sutton headed up the team that prepared the reaccreditation documents. We interviewed Sutton to learn more about the AACSB review process.
What is the maintenance of accreditation process?
The maintenance of accreditation process is a rigorous self-evaluation and peer-review process that AACSB-accredited institutions like UW-Eau Claire participate in every five years. Through this process, we demonstrate our continued commitment to 21 quality standards relating to faculty qualifications, strategic management of resources, interactions between students and faculty, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement in our undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Over the summer, Dean Hoadley submitted to AASCB our Fifth-Year Maintenance Report, a 50-page document that includes a situational analysis, progress update, and a strategic management section containing our mission, goals, strategic planning process and outcomes, and financial strategies. Attached to this document were several appendices containing over 450 pages of charts and graphics detailing the scholarly activity of our faculty and staff, student enrollment figures, and assurance of learning goals and outcomes.
This fall, the College of Business will be visited and evaluated by a three-person team of current and former business school deans from AACSB accredited programs that are similar in size and have similar missions to our own. During their visit, the team will meet with students, faculty and staff and the college’s administrative team to gain an external perspective of our accomplishments and progress toward achieving our mission. They will present their recommendations to Chancellor Bousquet, Provost Kleine and Dean Hoadley prior to leaving campus.
Tell us more about the visit – when is it and who will be visiting us?
The peer review team will arrive in Eau Claire on Saturday, September 22nd and they will depart Tuesday, September 25th. The team will be led by Dean Berkwood Farmer, Ph.D., who recently retired as dean of the Raj Soin College of Business at Wright State University in Ohio. Joining Dean Farmer are Dean Tom Erekson, Ed.D., dean of the College of Business and Technology at Western Illinois University, and Dean Nancy Merritt, Ph.D., former dean of the Donald W. Scott College of Business at Indiana State University, Terra Haute. All team members are experienced AACSB peer reviewers who have received detailed training on accreditation standards and how they are applied in the educational community.
When will we know the outcome of their visit?
We will know the team’s recommendation regarding reaccreditation at their exit interview on September 25th.
At this meeting, we will learn whether the team recommends that our accreditation be extended for an additional six years or that our maintenance of accreditation review be continued for a 6th year with a follow-up review to occur the following year. In the latter case, our accreditation status does not change until the final review and decision process has been completed.
Within 10 days of their visit, the team will send to Dean Hoadley and the appropriate AACSB accreditation committee chair a written report detailing their findings and recommendation. We will have ten days to respond to any comments and correct factual information noted in the report.
You said that the visitation team only makes a recommendation. Who makes the final decision regarding our reaccreditation?
Our visitation team makes a recommendation for reaffirmation of accreditation to the appropriate AACSB accreditation committee. The committee must approve the recommendation before it can be forwarded to the AACSB Board of Directors for ratification. We are not “officially” reaccredited until the board ratifies the decision. Ratification generally occurs at the AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting held each spring. We will “officially” be notified in spring 2013.
You mentioned earlier that students will meet with the AACSB visitation team. Can you tell us what their involvement will be?
The visitation team will meet with both undergraduate and graduate business students. A member of the team will attend one of the Management 449 class sessions. One or more of the deans will meet with a small group of undergraduate student leaders. Finally, the team will visit with MBA students at a meeting held in the late afternoon-early evening. We are still putting together the schedule for the visit so I can’t tell you exact details as to when and where these meeting will take place.
What will happen during these sessions?
At a typical session, the visitation team will introduce themselves, and briefly explain AACSB accreditation and the reaffirmation process. Then they will ask questions to determine the students’ perceptions of the quality of the education they have received in the College of Business. Students should feel free to honestly answer any question the team asks.
Typical questions include the following:
- What is AACSB accreditation? What does it mean to you?
- Why did you choose to attend the UW-Eau Claire College of Business? What is the college’s reputation on campus and around the state?
- The College of Business has admission standards. How difficult is it to get into the College of Business? Do these standards seem too hard, too easy or just right?
- What are your perceptions of the faculty? Do they seem knowledgeable about what is going on in the business world? How do they share that expertise?
- What is your perception of the academic advising you receive in the College of Business?
- What do you like about the college? What would you change if you could?
- How are the concepts of technology, ethics, teamwork, globalization, and communications integrated into classroom discussions? In which classes do you discuss these concepts? Do you complete any projects or assignments that enhance your learning of these concepts?
- What has the college done to help you prepare for internships and jobs?
- Which employers come to campus to recruit students?
If you have questions about any of these questions, please feel free to talk to me, Dean Hoadley, your department chair, or any of your professors and advisers.
What can students do to prepare for the visit?
Students may want to familiarize themselves with the information on the college’s website. Other than that, there really isn’t anything they should do to prepare for the visit.
Any final thoughts?
I am proud of our college and our students, faculty, and staff. We have a great story to tell, so let’s tell it! Thank you in advance for helping to make our upcoming AACSB visit a success.