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Off to a Great Start: Implementing the 2013 Accreditation Standards at AACSB

August 2013

By Bob Reid, Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer, AACSB International

The approval of the 2013 AACSB International Business and Accounting Accreditation Standards wasn't the end of a two-year process; in some respects it was the beginning. The AACSB staff, in collaboration with the members of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality (BRC) and members of the accreditation committees, have been planning for the implementation of the standards for months.

The pillars on which the 2013 standards are based–innovation, impact, and engagement—are reflective of the changes being implemented in the processes, structure, and infrastructure. Among the most noteworthy enhancements are:

Continuous Improvement Review

To better align with the accreditation pillars of innovation, impact, and engagement, the terms 'Accreditation Maintenance' and 'Maintenance of Accreditation' will no longer be used. Instead, the process which accredited schools undertake will be called a 'Continuous Improvement Review.' Successful completion of this process will result in the 'Extension of Accreditation' but the timing, structure, and expectations will remain intact. As a part of the Fifth-Year Report, schools will report on their most significant accomplishments in the areas of innovation, impact, and engagement. The peer and committee review will continue to focus on strategy, continuous improvement, and consultative feedback. The Maintenance of Accreditation Committee (MAC) has been replaced by the Continuous Improvement Review Committee (CIRC).

Geographic Deployment of Accreditation Staff

To better serve the increasingly global set of institutions committed to excellence and continuous improvement, AACSB restructured the Accreditation and Member Services departments. Lucienne Mochel, vice president for accreditation services, will provide leadership, as well as responsibility for accreditation-related services in Europe. Amy Roberts, Ginger Ausloos, and Erika Washburn will continue to support accreditation operations. The accreditation managers will be deployed as noted below and will have primary responsibility for their respective geographic regions:

Suzanne Mintz
Asia and Oceania

Bee Lian Goh
Asia and Oceania

Maria Baltar
Latin America and the Caribbean, USA Southern, and Southwestern Regions
Accounting Accreditation

Jane Lawler
Middle East, Africa, and USA Western Regions

Brenda Knebel
Canada and the USA Mid-America Regions

Barbara Higel
USA Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions

Training for School Leaders and Volunteers

To help schools and volunteers prepare for the implementation of the 2013 standards, several projects are underway or have been completed. First, all of the documentation and templates have been updated and are available on the AACSB website. Second, the Business Accreditation Seminar and the Continuous Improvement Review Seminar have been updated to reflect coverage of the 2013 standards. Both seminars have been offered on multiple continents, and we continue to implement the feedback received to make improvements. Check the AACSB website for offerings that are most convenient for you and your colleagues.

In order to insure that Peer Review Teams are prepared to conduct reviews using the 2013 standards, we have updated the online volunteer training. If you have questions about this service, please contact Erika Washburn or any member of the Accreditation and Member Services staff. In addition, several volunteer training sessions have been scheduled adjacent to meetings this fall.

Committee on Accreditation Policy (CAP)

The AACSB Board of Directors has approved a recommendation from the BRC to create the Committee on Accreditation Policy (CAP). This committee will perform the functions previously assigned to two committees, the Accreditation Quality Committee and the Accreditation Coordinating Committee. The CAP will:

• oversee policies related to AACSB Accreditation and recommend changes to the accreditation standards,

• engage thought leaders from the Committee on Issues in Management Education (CIME) and the Business Practices Advisory Council in advancing accreditation,

• authorize improvements to the processes and procedures supporting accreditation activities,

• oversee the review of satisfaction of Eligibility Criteria by institutions in the application, initial accreditation, and continuous improvement review phases of accreditation process and the determination of the scope of the institution's accreditation review.

The first reviews using the 2013 accreditation standards will be done in the first six months of 2014. The AACSB International staff, along with the many volunteers have been working diligently on a smooth transition.

Bob Reid
Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer, AACSB International