The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading accrediting body for university business education, has approved the re-accreditation of all degree programs at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
The re-accreditation culminates a yearlong process in which a team of deans from peer institutions conducted a review of nearly all facets of school operations. In addition to studying data submitted by the school, the re-accreditation team visited the campus in December 2013 to meet with constituents and collect additional information.
“Our last re-accreditation took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so it really wasn’t a full and comprehensive AACSB review,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “In a sense, this is the first rigorous review we’ve undergone in a decade, so it’s very gratifying to learn that our peer review team shares the belief that we’re moving in the right direction and accomplishing the goals we set out to achieve.”
While accredited institutions are required to demonstrate that they meet certain specific standards of excellence, Associate Dean Clifton E. Brown said the process is less about compliance and more about ensuring that schools remain committed to continuous improvement.
“A main focus is whether we have processes in place that will successfully achieve our strategy and goals, particularly our learning and research goals, and whether we have processes that allow us to employ continuous improvement,” said Brown, who coordinated the re-accreditation process. “So its focus is on improvement, basically.”
In notifying Dean Solomon of its decision to extend accreditation, Robert Sullivan, chair of AACSB’s Board of Directors, commended the Freeman School for six specific strengths and effective practices.
• Development of a strategic plan
• Commitment to experiential learning
• Implementation of the MBA Global Leadership Module
• Ongoing programs with international partner schools
• Extraordinary efforts on the part of faculty and staff in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
• Integration of nodes of excellence and comparative advantages across all programs
The extension of accreditation is for five additional years. The Freeman School’s next Continuous Improvement Review will take place in 2018-2019.
Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest-serving global accrediting body for collegiate schools of business. The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University is one of the 16 founding members of the association. Today, nearly 100 years later, AACSB accreditation has become the internationally recognized hallmark of excellence in business education, with fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business programs earning the prestigious certification.