The McCombs School of Business has maintained its accreditation in business and accounting by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.
Only 607 schools of business, or less than 5 percent worldwide, have earned this hallmark of excellence in management education. Of those 607, only 175 institutions are also accredited in accounting.
To maintain accreditation a business program must undergo a rigorous internal review every five years, at which the program must demonstrate its commitment to 21 quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.
The accreditation of the business school and accounting programs at McCombs was unconditionally extended for an additional five years.
"I'm strongly appreciative of the AACSB accreditation committee, who were both rigorous and insightful in their investigation of our program," said Dean Tom Gilligan. "This is not a cakewalk, and that's precisely why it is meaningful, not only for our faculty and staff, but also for every business student who invests precious years at The University of Texas at Austin."
The visiting committee of deans and scholars from other schools shared praise for the following aspects of the McCombs School:
- accounting program
- student selectivity
- faculty productivity
- support of the strategic plan
- portfolio of degree programs
- strong connection with the university
- morale of students
- trends in curriculum development
The committee agreed with the school's decision to establish the new Department of Business, Government and Society and praised the faculty merit review process as demonstrating "best in practices."
The committee also shared its concerns, including:
- funding and lack of autonomy, based on the school's financial relationship with the university
- anticipated faculty turnover due to competition and an aging demographic
- the state of the business school buildings and facilities
- assurance of learning, which is the process of setting and assessing educational goals for students
- the need to tie curriculum goals to the school's strategic mission and report on strategic progress
- balance in the merit review process
- the need for alternative career paths for faculty (for example, non-tenure track or research inactive positions)
In 2009-10 the McCombs School awarded 2,113 undergraduate, master's and doctor's degrees in an array of disciplines, including accounting, management, marketing, e-business, finance, supply chain/logistics, international business, quantitative methods and management of information systems.
"It takes a great deal of self-evaluation and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation," said Jerry Trapnell, vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. "Schools not only must meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty, and staff must make a commitment to ongoing improvement to ensure continued delivery of high-quality education to students."
The McCombs School's achievement will be recognized later this month, April 28-30, at the 2011 AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting in New York City.
About AACSB International
AACSB International, founded in 1916, is an association of almost 1,200 educational institutions, businesses and other organizations in 78 countries. AACSB's mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services. AACSB accreditation is the mark of quality distinction most widely sought after by business schools-less than 5 percent worldwide have earned the achievement. To learn more about AACSB International accreditation, visit the accreditation section of the AACSB International Web site at: http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/.