School of Business Administration’s business and accounting programs receive AACSB-International accreditation renewal

After a rigorous process, the School of Business Administration (SBA) received renewal of the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International accreditation for its business and accounting programs.

The AACSB accreditation is considered prestigious in the business field. Only 836 business institutions in 55 countries and territories hold the accreditation, according to the AACSB website. Approximately 190 institutions have accreditation of both their business and accounting programs, five of which are Michigan schools.

Accreditation comes from meeting separate criteria, including 15 business standards concerning intellectual contribution, financial strategies, sufficiency, assurance of learning, engagement, effectiveness and more. To earn accounting program accreditation, six standards must be met, which include an academic unit mission, intellectual contributions, financial strategies, assurance of learning, information technology skills and faculty sufficiency.

Every five years, schools wishing to have AACSB accreditation or renewal must write their own 50-page initial self-evaluation reports with the assistance of review mentor teams and then be visited by an anticipated accreditation review team that reports on what it finds.

Dr. Michael A. Mazzeo, dean of the School of Business Administration said the department members worked hard to meet each component for this reaccreditation, and receiving it verified the quality of the business and accounting programs.

“In a sense, it’s verification of what we think,” he said. “I could tell you all day long what a great business school it is, but when an external body comes in and reviews you and says, ‘You are a very good business school’…. That’s really very telling because I could say we’re better than some school, but to be into that group of schools, it means we have gone through a rigorous evaluation.”

According to Dr. Nivedita Mukherji, associate dean of the School of Business Administration, the accreditation renewal shows OU is dedicated to adjusting its programs to fit the shifting, now fast-paced business and accounting industries.

“We may be very good, say today, because we collectively think these are the most cutting edge programs that we can offer today, but 10 years from now, this education could move to a different place…” she said. “The standards constantly change, and so you have to ensure that you are keeping up with what is being deemed to be the appropriate standards.”

Mazzeo said the SBA did an excellent job meeting the assurance of learning component, meaning the program is successful in educating students through qualified faculty, quality resources, updated curricula and more. The program met the standards so well that Mukherji has been asked to report on the business school’s successes at an AACSB meeting in March.

The next step for the SBA is to consider where it would like to grow, which Mazzeo said becomes the challenging part. Mazzeo and Mukherji said the biggest improvement in the programs since the last AACSB accreditation renewal was in strategic planning, something they plan to continue improving.

Mazzeo said part of the strategic plan is working closely with local communities, and doing so lets the school show its upholding and accomplishing its goals.

“I think we’re a very good program in Southeast Michigan,” he said, “and while I do think we have students from all over the world, we’re predominantly a regional school… In the business school, we have (it varies) an over 90 percent placement rate, most of our students stay locally, so we take it upon ourselves to say we’re really educating people for this region.”

The SBA has held the double accreditation since 1994.