AACSB accreditation a 'gold seal' for MSU's School of business

Montclair State University's School of Business has joined a select rank of schools in the nation accredited by the AACSB --The International Association for Management Education, the premiere national accrediting agency for business schools.

As of March, only 375 of the approximately 1,500 college business schools in the United States were AACSB accredited. Montclair State's accreditation, which became official yesterday (April 9), makes it only the third public university in New Jersey (along with Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology) to achieve accreditation for both its undergraduate and graduate programs.

"Employers realize the importance of the AACSB symbol and the quality of students who come from accredited schools," said Alan Oppenheim, dean of the School of Business, which is entering its 20th year of operation. "It also validates the excellence of our faculty, who are regarded as experts in their fields and are seen as potential partners in professional project development."

"This confirms what employers and alumni have been telling us for some time; That our students are an exceptionally qualified and effective in their organizations," said Karen Dennis, assistant dean of the School of Business. "This, however, puts the gold seal on it." A seal that, in the business world, is a recognized sign of excellence in business and management education.

Currently, the School of Business has 63 full-time faculty, almost 1,300 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students. The accreditation process began eight years ago when the School of Business decided to seek AACSB recognition. In June 1992, after receiving the School's two- volume self-study report, the AACSB sent a visiting team to campus for a three-day inspection. The team included school of business deans from the University of Dayton, the University of North Florida and Tennessee Technological University.

"This was a very experienced team," said Oppenheim. "They were very professional and extremely thorough," Oppenheim explained that the accreditation process is a rigorous review of the school's mission and objectives and how effectively those are met.

At Montclair State, business students are well aware of that mission, which is detailed in a Strategic Charter that also includes the School's educational philosophy, vision and core strategies. The Charter hangs on bulletin boards throughout the School and is outlined in brochures about the various programs.

"The accreditation process literally transformed the School," Oppenheim said. "We had to take a hard look at ourselves, our processes, the way we access the curriculum. We had to look at disciplines as a whole and measure everything against this external benchmark. It also prompted the faculty to have constant conversations about measures and standards. I think it was a beneficial experience all around."

Congratulations Ad (pdf) from the Association for Management Education.