What makes a business school stand out among the rest?
Every school strives to make their mark and offer the most to their students and community but as a student, how do you know that the education you are receiving is of a good quality?
Students, faculty, administrators, and recruiters rely on a set of standards to evaluate and compare schools. For nearly 100 years, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) has set the standards for business education, and George Mason School of Business Dean Jorge Haddock has been integrally involved in working with the AACSB during his time at George Mason.
Established in 1916, AACSB is a global, nonprofit membership organization of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities devoted to the advancement of management education. In 1919, AACSB adopted a set of accreditation standards with the primary objective of improving collegiate business education. The organization defines accreditation as "a voluntary, non-governmental process that includes an external review of a school's ability to provide quality programs."
Throughout the years, the standards have been continually revised to reflect the ever-changing needs of business and its students. Today, the AACSB Accreditation Standards are used as the basis to evaluate a business school's mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas. Seen as the gold standard of accreditation bodies for business schools, only AACSB business schools are considered for U.S. News & World Report rankings.
As a leader in the field of business education, Dean Haddock is a committed supporter of the AACSB mission and understands the value of AACSB membership as well as participating in AACSB committees and events.
"AACSB provides us with a network of high quality schools globally that enables the business school communities to learn from each other, contribute to each other and to share best practices, challenges and opportunities with each other," shares Haddock.
While George Mason's School of Business has been AACSB accredited since 1991 and is one of only 10% of business schools worldwide accredited in both business and accounting, Dean Haddock has focused on expanding the school's involvement with AACSB during his tenure.
He is a member of AACSB's Initial Accreditation Committee and actively participates in the review and feedback of business schools seeking AACSB accreditation. This is an important step in ensuring business schools are maintaining the highest standards in their business programs and shapes the future of business education. The Initial Accreditation Committee oversees the acceptance of eligibility applications, approves standard alignment plans, guides institutions in the implementation of the plans and oversees processes for initial business accreditation.
"Accreditation is about quality assurance and continued improvement. Nowadays, more than ever, it's becoming important for universities (especially business schools) to continue to be nimble and adapt to changes in the needs for business education," says Haddock.
Dean Haddock has also presented at AACSB conferences and webinars on various topics ranging from accreditation standards to business school financial strategies. In the past year alone, he participated in an AACSB webinar about business schools persevering through tough economic times (challenges and solutions), and also served as a presenter at the 2013 AACSB Dean's Conference in which he presented on Preparing for the Future of Accreditation: Participants and Curriculum. Professor Robert Grosse was also recently tapped to present at the 2013 AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM).
Dean Haddock and Dr. Grosse also teamed up to write an article for AACSB's magazine BizEd. Published in the May/June 2012 issue, the article compares and contrasts the practices of business schools in Latin American countries to those of the U.S. This frequent involvement at AACSB events provides Dean Haddock great exposure to meet and network with his counterparts at other business schools. The gathering of thought leaders in the field of business education leads to greater dissemination of best practices and advancement in administrative and classroom practices that serve to further enhance the learning of our students and provide a truly transformational educational experience.
"AACSB provides us with a network of high quality schools globally that enables the business school communities to learn from each other, contribute to each other and to share best practices, challenges and opportunities with each other," says Haddock.
"For me as a dean, this is a great conversation to be part of, not only for what I achieve but for what I contribute to my professional peers, and the community in general."