School of Business Obtains Highest, International Accreditation
June 01, 2006
Southern Utah University is one of 11 institutions of higher learning from five countries to be granted international accreditation from AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International, founded in 1916, is the premier global accrediting body for business schools offering undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
“We congratulate Southern Utah University and welcome it into the AACSB family of internationally accredited business schools,” said John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “AACSB accreditation represents the highest achievement for an educational institution that awards business degrees. The faculties, deans, directors, and administrative staffs are to be commended for their important roles in helping their schools earn initial accreditation.”
SUU President, Dr. Steven Bennion, happily enjoins: “AACSB is the top business accreditation available to schools of business. Less than 10 percent of the world’s collegiate business programs attain this prestigious ranking. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Dean Carl Templin and the entire faculty and staff of the School of Business for their persistent preparation and high quality work over many years.”
Bennion continues, “The maturation of the business programs at SUU is reflected with two thriving master’s degrees and a consistent performance by business seniors of 95 to 98 percent on the nationally-normed Princeton exam over the past seven years.”
SUU Provost Abe Harraf also heralds the success of the School of Business. “To receive this distinction is a testimony to quality of our business programs, faculty, and students. This recognition will serve our students in seeking employment, attending graduate schools, and competing internationally. Our programs now rank well with those of highly sought-after institutions. It is fabulous news and a tribute to our continued pursuit of excellence in our programs.”
SUU joins the ranks of AACSB-accredited schools of business at Harvard, Penn, Dartmouth, UCLA, Northwestern, LSU, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Bowling Green and Drake, just to name a few.
To earn AACSB accreditation, a business school must undergo meticulous internal review, evaluation, and adjustment—a process that can take from three to seven years. During this period, schools develop and implement a plan intended to meet the 21 AACSB standards that require highly qualified faculty, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and keeping curricula responsive to the needs of business.
“It takes a great deal of determination and dedication to earn AACSB accreditation,” said Jerry Trapnell, chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “Schools not only must meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculties and staffs make a commitment to ongoing improvement that ensures that they will deliver a high quality education to students.”
The AACSB Board of Directors said they were impressed with the poise, maturity and overall quality of the students in the SUU School of Business; the quality of the facilities, including the school, the Hunter Conference Center, the Smith Student Center, and the Library; the relationships that have been developed between the various student support service offices on campus; the perceptions of students as to accessibility of faculty and the quality of instruction; and the leadership the Dean of Business, the department heads and the support of the upper administration in bringing the School to this important point in its development.
The Board also cited the curricula as practitioner- and industry-oriented. They noted that input from appropriate stakeholders is assuring quality graduates who are readily employable. This is in part due to the fact that most faculty members bring practical experience and appropriate academic credentials to the learning environment. The peer review team also noted that the faculty, staff and students have formed an organizational culture that is student-driven, and produces high-quality graduates.
The accreditation team also cited the student services model that they see as being characterized by on-site availability of professional, well-trained staff members who conduct recruiting, degree planning, academic advising, enrollment management, prerequisite review and enforcement, graduation auditing, and career planning.
Dean Templin was extremely gratified with the news and highly complimentary of his faculty, staff and students. “This has been a huge team effort by a long list of colleagues and friends,” says Templin. “We knew going into this process that it would require a massive effort but we felt the benefits outweighed the costs. This is great news, especially for our students who will now graduate from a business program accredited by the AACSB.”