By Colin Nelson, Coordinator, Research and Knowledge Services, AACSB International
In an effort to continuously improve the level and quality of data AACSB International provides, a process of modularizing AACSB's largest and most comprehensive annual survey, the Business School Questionnaire (BSQ), has begun. This process will streamline the main BSQ, while affording participants the opportunity to drill down areas of particular interest in greater detail.
The BSQ Finances Module, the first in this series of planned modules, was released this year concurrently with the annual BSQ. By means of this module, AACSB International has gathered robust data on governance models within business schools for the first time. For example, one thing that is explored is the degree to which business schools have control over various, specific aspects of their governance, including:
As discussed in the most recent post of AACSB's Data and Research Blog, the first thing asked of respondents in the survey is that they define their relationship with their parent institutions, if any. Schools that identify themselves as "Type A" are standard academic units of their parent institution, while "Type B" schools identify as semi-/mostly autonomous units of their parent institution (though they still derive their degree-granting authority from that parent). Independent, standalone business schools that have no parent institution, referred to as "Type C", obviously must handle all aspects of governance autonomously. Schools that identify as "Type A" or "Type B", however, must negotiate control over aspects of governance with their parent institution:
Figure 1. Control of Governance Aspects in "Type A" and "Type B" Business Schools
Interestingly, although "Type B" schools might have been expected to indicate they control most aspects of governance independently of their parent institution, more often than not they indicated that they did so jointly, or in consultation with their parent institution. The one exception was Determining Teaching Loads, but even among the "Type A" schools, independent control over this aspect of governance was reported just as often as joint control. Regardless, it certainly is the case that "Type B" schools are significantly more likely than "Type A" schools to have independent control of each aspect of school governance.