SBI on the way to accreditation

Chief executive of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business dismissed the notion that exclusive programs developed by founding dean Sybil Mobley will be cut if the School of Business and Industry receives accreditation.

“Our purpose is to enhance curriculums,” said John Fernandez, chief executive of AACSB. “SBI already has high quality programs…accreditation will provide external representations of those qualities on a global scale.”  

Fernandez said achieving accreditation is a process of rigorous internal review, evaluation, and adjustment and SBI is “well on its way.”

Fernandez said if SBI receives accreditation, the school would become part of an elite group that makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools. The group includes schools like Harvard and Yale. Today there are 559 accredited schools, 460 based in the United States and 99 internationally.

Fernandez’s words, spoken at a SBI student forum last Thursday, cleared things up for students who questioned him about losing the uniqueness of SBI’s programs.

“His [Fernandez] message was very understandable and it’s something we needed to hear,” said Christopher Strong, 23, a graduate business administration student from Memphis, Tenn. “Now we need to know what changes will take place after accreditation.”   
Fernandez said once a school becomes accredited a peer review is conducted every five years. Professionals who understand the changing demands of the business market conduct the review.   

“We represent more than 1,100 educational institutions and businesses in 70 countries that are dedicated to the advancement of management education,” Fernandez said.

“Accreditation will provide incomparable networking and brand marketing.”       

In addition to explaining the benefits of accreditation, Fernandez encouraged students to pursue a PhD in business and teach at the university level.                    

“The decline in doctoral degree candidates is an urgent and continuing issue,” Fernandez said. “Unless decisive action is taken to reverse declines in business doctoral education, universities and society will be faced with the inevitable erosion in the quality of business education and research.”

According to the AACSB Web site more than a third of all newly minted business PhDs never enter the academic job market.

“It is important that we have PhD educators from certified programs,” said Charles Evans, associate dean of SBI. “If not, the quality of programs will be diluted.”

Fernandez said with the number of business doctorates dwindling, the business school establishment is facing a future of faculty vacancies, overcrowded classrooms, and declining quality.               

“We are working hard to attract more students of high quality to business PhD programs,” Fernandez said.                                                

“More minorities should pursue business PhDs,” said Ashley Richardson, 21, a junior business administration student from Tallahassee. “It would provide us the opportunity to give back and make a living.”    

Fernandez said he was thoroughly impressed with the caliber of students and it was hard for him to speak to such a well-versed audience.                                    

“SBI students have displayed unparalleled professionalism and human relations skills,” said Fernandez. “Their questions were thought provoking and kept me on my feet.”