AACSB Accreditation: Symbol Of Excellence Or March Toward Mediocrity?

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William Francisco
Thomas G. Noland
Debra Sinclair

Keywords

AACSB, academically qualified, professionally qualified

Abstract

Accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is supposed to be a symbol of excellence for business schools. However, the recent increase in the number of accredited schools and the creation of AACSB’s “professionally qualified” (PQ) designation for faculty raises some concern in the academic community.  Why has the AACSB increased the number of accredited institutions by over 75% since 1996?   What is the purpose of the PQ designation?  Does accreditation by the AACSB promote quality in business education or has accreditation become just a marketing tool? This paper argues that the AACSB needs to reconsider its mission and divide accredited institutions into tiers or classes based on criteria such as the types of degrees granted, research productivity, and financial resources. 

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