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Three Challenges for 2014

December 2013

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

Some changes are quiet and happen in moments when you're not paying attention, while others are more significant, acting as catalysts that alter your path immediately. As 2013 draws to a close, many people tend to look back on the year and reflect on all the things that have happened. Some may have kept their New Year's resolutions; some may have turned over a new leaf and tried something for the very first time, while others have worked hard to keep moving forward while learning as much as they can.

But instead of looking back at 2013 and listing out AACSB's notable accomplishments, I'd rather encourage (and even challenge) you to think ahead to 2014 and embrace three ideas that hold great potential for your business school.

The first thing we are all doing together is transitioning to the 2013 Accreditation Standards. Although the approval of the Standards continued to be a main topic throughout the course of 2013, 2014 now calls for everyone to cast a critical eye on their institutions to weave the themes of innovation, engagement, and impact into everything they do.

With that new philosophy, the second call to action is specifically for those schools we affectionately refer to as our 'early adopters' of the 2013 Accreditation Standards. We, as well as our members from around the world, will be looking to you to share insight, challenges and successes with us during those first Peer Review Team (PRT) visits. AACSB's staff has been working closely with our schools and the PRTs to prepare them for the visits in order to make the transition a smooth one. We look forward to learning more about your approaches to Standards one, two and 15, and specific examples of how your business school has answered the call of the future of management education.

And finally, as AACSB continues its commitment to helping accredited schools maintain their sustainable competitive advantage through the Marketing Value of Accreditation initiative, we challenge you to gain a deep, unbiased understanding of your b-school's position in the market. Cast a critical eye on the way you leverage AACSB Accreditation in your marketing strategy, and begin to understand how you 'measure up' in the market you are competing in. We also encourage you to share the unique, interesting, and effective ways you reach your various stakeholder groups across a diverse range of competitive environments. Get creative and share your success stories, so we can learn from your effort and help you find your voice among an increasingly competitive (and skeptical) market.

I look forward to our continued work together, as 2014 promises to build great things on the foundation of the years before it. With each new day comes new opportunity, regardless of your New Year's resolutions. So let's be open to those opportunities, embrace the challenges they bring and celebrate our wins together.

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