Thursday April 9, 2009

Reaffirming Excellence

The University of Dayton's School of Business Administration and the accounting program have both maintained five-year accreditation from the most prestigious business accrediting body in the world.

The premier accrediting body for business schools around the world has extended accreditation through 2014 for the University of Dayton School of Business Administration and its accounting program.

In granting the extension, peer review teams of business school deans and accounting educators praised the school's innovative curriculum, strong ties with the business community and its focus on ethics, according to Matt Shank, dean of the business school.

"AACSB International accreditation is the gold standard for quality in business schools," Shank said. "To maintain accreditation, business schools must undergo a rigorous, comprehensive peer assessment study. The designation represents a real mark of academic excellence. It's a tribute to our faculty, who offer innovative approaches to business learning to our students."

Shank said the accreditation is a significant accomplishment because AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredits fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. Only 171 have additional specialized accreditation for their accounting programs.

The University's accreditation covers all undergraduate degrees and the MBA program, including an innovative 150-hour program for accounting majors that leads to both a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's in business administration.

In accreditation reports, the peer review teams pointed out a number of notable curricular and outreach efforts:

• The school is a high-quality academic enterprise focused on connecting theory and practice and providing practical wisdom through a variety of events, programs and competitions.
• Four centers of excellence provide strong academic and practical experiences in entrepreneurship, portfolio management, derivatives trading and executive development.

• Numerous opportunities for experiential and service learning are offered.
• The advising center includes an academic success coordinator, a career services advisor and a faculty-in-residence component as well as academic advisers.
• Highly integrated curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels includes significant business and nonprofit community involvement and outreach.
• Alumni are actively involved and strongly support the school in multiple ways.
• The RISE symposium, the world's largest student investment forum, offers an interactive learning environment for students, faculty and investment professionals.
• The Davis Center for Portfolio Management administers a $8.2 million student-managed investment fund and is the only university team listed as a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
• International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are integrated into the accounting curriculum and one faculty member has a leadership role in professional and academic organizations addressing IFRS.
• Accounting majors have multiple paths to achieve the 150-hour requirement to become a CPA in Ohio.
• A professional Big Four audit partner as executive-in-residence helps develop the accounting department's strategic plan and works with students and faculty.

The University of Dayton's School of Business Administration, which has been accredited since 1983, enrolls 1,522 full-time undergraduates and 460 MBA students. The University also offers non-degree seminars in executive education through the Center for Leadership and Executive Development.

Accredited AACSB International institutions commit to a "continuous process of improvement," including an annual report, an annual summary of strategic planning and a peer review of strategic process every five years, according to Shank.

To be accredited, a business school must satisfy 21 standards that set guiding principles for strategic management; student, faculty and staff participation; and assurance of learning through regular assessment.

AACSB International is a nonprofit organization of more than 1,100 educational organizations and corporations in 70 countries. Its mission is excellence in management education in colleges and universities. AACSB International is the premier accrediting agency for institutions offering undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in business and accounting and offers conferences and seminars around the world.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.