B-School Accrediting Body Retools Its Standards

Apr 9, 2013 by


Seeking to balance academic rigor with respect for individual schools’ teaching and research missions, the main accrediting body for business schools voted on Monday to revamp its standards. But the changes seem to make accreditation easier, not harder, for schools to attain.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a 97-year-old nonprofit body that issues a seal of approval to business and accounting programs world-wide, says it needs the flexibility to support a growing group of programs from around the world. The organization currently accredits 672 business schools in 44 countries and territories, a number that has increased sharply in recent years and helped boost the organization’s revenue.

Linda Livingstone, dean of Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and a member of the committee that created the new standards, says the most substantive change is the way the organization reframed its rules to encourage “innovation” and “engagement”—seen by some as fuzzy terms with few specifics. It has also eased the restrictions on faculty, making it easier for international schools to hire instructors who don’t have Ph.Ds.

The moves have been welcomed by new programs seeking to build credibility and compete with established schools, though some worry that the credential has lost its value.

via B-School Accrediting Body Retools Its Standards – WSJ.com.

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