Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM PDT


I recently was appointed to AACSB’s Initial Accreditation Committee (IAC).  The first meeting was this week in Tampa.  The IAC makes recommendations on granting initial AACSB accreditation to business schools from around the world. 


As you might guess, many more schools in candidacy are from outside the US, since the US is somewhat saturated with accredited schools.  As I anticipated, serving on this committee really allows you to learn a lot about business schools outside the US.  Just the first meeting was enough to verify that.  Nearly half the committee members come from outside the US, and of course their insights are very valuable and necessary.


This committee is a committee that has a lot of work on its plate.  There were plenty of reports to read for this meeting (about 50 were on the agenda!), and I was told that the load was on the light side!  Reports vary in scope depending on where the school is in the accreditation process, but some are several hundred pages long.


I was struck by the rigorous standards the committee holds schools to.  If anyone thinks that initial accreditation comes easy or that different schools receive different treatment, think again.  This group is committed to quality!


This trip to Tampa was long and quick.  Leave Seattle on Thursday at 8:00 AM.  Get to the hotel in Tampa at 7:30 PM (EDT).  Meeting starts at 8:00 AM Friday morning.  Head to the airport at 2:30 PM.  Get back to Seattle at 10:00 PM (PDT), in time to get up in the morning for an 8:30 AM flight to Peru.  More on that in another blog!


It turns out the committee plans to hold its March, 2012 meeting in Seattle, which was quite a surprise to me.  Since it will be on the Friday of finals week, we should be able to host the meeting on campus.  A number of committee members come from European schools, so I hope they will be able to take advantage of Seattle's non-stop flights from London, Paris, and Amsterdam.


I learned that each year the committee holds a meeting outside the US.  Last year the location was Istanbul.  But this year, in light of the sluggish economic recovery, they decided to be conservative and keep all the meetings in the US, with one in Tampa, one in Boston, and one in Seattle.  No exotic trips abroad for me!  At least not this year – I’m serving a three year term. :}