Transforming Management Education, The ACBSP Way

When 160 institutions met in Kansas City nearly 30 years ago to consider the creation of a new specialized accreditation body for business education, I wonder if they ever envisioned the potential of what is now known as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

After all, back in 1988, ACBSP had no formal bylaws, no governance structure, no adopted mission, and most significantly; no members.

Imagine yourself as a university president or the dean of a business school and receiving what pretty much amounted to either a hand-written note or a phone call inviting you to come to a city known more for being close to the geographical center of the United States than anything else. Candidly, I might have been a bit skeptical.

It all began with a vision to promote continuous improvement and recognize teaching excellence in the accreditation of business education programs, and it would include programs at all levels of education including associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctoral degree levels.

A vision to help business schools be the best they can be and make the world a better place while doing so.

It took a giant leap of faith by our founding fathers and mothers to help us move from the planning stage to reality. From zero members to one and beyond. It is this faith that has continued over the past 29 years and has propelled ACBSP from a fledgling start-up to the respected and influential organization it is today. With the trust and support of members like you, ACBSP continues to grow throughout the world with nearly 1,200 members in 60 countries on the six inhabited continents. During the past year, we saw tremendous growth in Latin America and welcomed new members from Australia and China, both of which became the first universities in their respective countries to pursue ACBSP accreditation.

I always joke that if a quality business school is ever established in Antarctica, we will fly the ACBSP corporate jet down there and extend an invitation so we can get that last continent covered. By the way, we don’t really have a corporate jet.

What we do have, however, is the same vision today that we had years ago, which bears repeating: To help business schools be the best they can be and make the world a better place by doing so.

We are making a difference.

As part of our mission, ACBSP will continue to build on its portfolio of services & programs including the introduction of the highly popular Deans Symposium and Access Accreditation Workshops, and the soon to be unveiled Associate Degree Forum. In addition, we have dramatically increased our impact by accepting an invitation to join the UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Steering Committee, formalizing a MOU and joining The Alliance for Performance Excellence (Baldrige), and remaining a leader of the CHEA International Quality Group.

We have now published two issues of our scholarly journal, The Transnational Journal of Business. In fact, ACBSP was the first accrediting body for business schools to support scholarly research by publishing a peer-reviewed journal.

The ACBSP Board of Directors and Marketing Committee established the Educational Impact Award to be given each year to an executive from a company based in the conference host city who has positioned his/her company to benefit students or further education in the community.

We were very pleased to recognize Tami Bui, Principal Manager of Corporate Philanthropy and SCE Corporate Communications, from Edison International as our recipient of the 2017 Educational Impact Award at last month’s annual conference in Anaheim.

Edison International was selected because of its partnership with “Educating Young Minds,” a non-profit designed to reduce dropout rates. Remarkably, its program participants have a 100% graduation rate from high school and 92% graduation rate from a four-year college.

#ACBSP4Change works with the local public school district office in the conference host city to identify a need that ACBSP conference attendees might assist. This year, with your generosity, we provided $2,500 to the Anaheim Union High School District to support their Partnership for 21st Century Skills, also known as the P21 program, which is a coalition founded by the District that brings together the business community, education leaders, and policymakers to help students prepare for 21st century careers.

Lastly, we awarded our second Andy C. Saucedo Memorial Scholarship Award to Brady Tolleson.

As we look to 2017 and beyond, ACBSP will continue to expand its global reach by continuing to build relationships with universities in China, India, Europe, and Latin America, as well as the United States to promote an accreditation process that recognizes quality, fosters continuous improvement, and supports responsible management education.

On behalf of our Board Chair, Mary Vaughan; your Board of Directors, Boards of Commissioners, the Accreditation Governance Board; and your professional team at the home office in Overland Park, KS, as well as our global directors in Belgium, Perú, and Africa…it is our honor to work with you and for you.

As always, we are grateful for the trust you place in us,

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To connect with Jeffrey Alderman for business matters or just to say hello, please email him at jalderman@acbsp.org or call the ACBSP headquarters at (913) 339-9356.

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