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Chair's Exchange: The Next Phase

June 2015

Linda Livingstone

By Linda A. Livingstone, Chair, AACSB Board of Directors, and Dean, the George Washington University School of Business



For just shy of 100 years, AACSB International has been guiding business schools in advancing quality management education all around the globe. And during that time, the organization has undergone significant changes, growing into the impactful worldwide organization we are today.

It is fitting, on the eve of our centennial celebration, that this year marks a significant transition for AACSB International. Not only have we experienced change in leadership, but we have also taken a big step in a new direction for how AACSB approaches its mission to advance quality management education on a global scale.

With all that has happened in the past year—including a new CEO, the addition of an office in Amsterdam, continued growth around the world, and initial steps in the development of a new, comprehensive strategic plan, I would be remiss if I did not pause and thank our retiring CEO John Fernandes for his years of dedicated service, sacrifice, and guidance. The solid foundation on which we are building was laid under his leadership. For 15 years, John led advances within AACSB that have not only impacted the present but, more importantly, will yield some exciting developments in the future as we pursue our strategic vision.

As we begin a new phase of globalization, AACSB is engaging in more and new ways with its membership, as well as with a growing audience of media, global business school leaders, prospective students, and industry partners. And through a collaborative and engaging process of examining where management education should go, we are on the verge of issuing a new vision for global management education to meet the demands of ever-changing global business and society. As we look to this new vision, we seek to pave a new pathway for business schools as they work to deliver on their missions and prepare graduates for a very different world.

Engagement, not only with business schools but also with organizations that rely on sound business practices, will be central to AACSB as we curate and further encourage a global conversation to shape the direction of management education worldwide, helping drive positive economic and social change.

When we look to the future, engagement becomes even more important in bridging gaps, not just of distance, but also of culture and of economics, to meet new challenges and opportunities. Through engagement and innovation, we will continue to globalize accreditation, expand our reach, explore new paradigms, and impact business and society in meaningful ways.

As my term as chair comes to a close, I feel this is a time of celebration rather than reflection—celebration of what has been achieved not only by AACSB but also, and more importantly, by our members. And as our organization continues to grow and engage new global stakeholders, I am excited and optimistic about what we will realize in the next 100 years.