MAILED: May 12, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's College of Business has been reaccredited at the undergraduate level and accredited at the graduate level."I am proud of the College of Business, its faculty, staff and outstanding students," said Dr. Tom Miller, UW-Eau Claire's Interim Provost. "We know we have a quality undergraduate and graduate business program but it is always gratifying to be included among the select universities accredited by the AACSB."
There are 352 colleges and universities that have achieved AACSB-The International Association for Management Education accreditation for their degree programs in business. This total consists of six institutions outside the United States; the remaining 346 are U.S. educational institutions. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 1,200 U.S. institutions offering baccalaureate and master's degree programs in business.
"For a business college, AACSB accreditation is comparable to a product getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," said Dr. V Thomas Dock, dean of the College of Business. "It's a sign of quality, a special recognition that only 30 percent of all business colleges and schools in the United States can claim."
The AACSB accreditation process is intended to assure quality and promote excellence and continuous improvement in undergraduate and graduate business education programs. To achieve accreditation, the business programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality standards relating to curriculum, faculty resources, admissions, degree requirement, library and computer facilities, financial resources and intellectual climate that are mission-linked.
The AACSB is among the most demanding accrediting bodies in the country, Dock said. The organization's board of directors ratified its Business Accreditation Committee's recommendation of reaccreditation and accreditation in April.
It will be 2008 before UW-Eau Claire's College of Business has to go through the reaccreditation process again, Dock said, noting that the length between reviews has gone from seven to 10 years.
Among the strengths noted by reviewers is UW-Eau Claire's College of Business' leadership team, strong faculty-student relationships, global emphasis and encouragement of its students to study abroad, and the interesting, creative and high quality of its Master of Business Administration program.
It was particularly encouraging that the visitation team noted the positive relationships between faculty and students in the programs, said Dr. Thomas Bergmann, interim associate dean of the College of Business.
"Their report reaffirms what students tell us all the time - that business faculty members are open, supportive and respectful of students," Bergmann said.
The accreditation visiting team - comprised of three educators who visited the UW-Eau Claire campus last fall - also had positive words for UW-Eau Claire's MBA program.
"The MBA is one of the more creative programs we've seen," members of the visiting site team wrote. "It is truly an interesting and high quality program. Students are very pleased with the quality of the program and its flexibility."
UW-Eau Claire's MBA does a particularly good job of meeting the needs of nontraditional students, Dr. Robert Erffmeyer, head of the MBA program, said, noting that about 90 percent of the students enrolled in the program work full time. "Our students like that what they learned in class last night, they can use on their job today," he said.
Accreditation is extremely important to business programs in Wisconsin because without it, federal and state grant dollars are hard if not impossible to come by, said Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean/external affairs of the College of Business. Seven of the UW System schools have business programs that are accredited.
"The accreditation process took teamwork," Dock said. "It took all of us - faculty, staff and the business community - working together to attain the quality benchmarks set forth by AACSB."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 12, 1998