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Business college, accounting program reaccredited

May 11, 2011, Christi Mathis, University Communications

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Southern Illinois University's College of Business has earned a reaccreditation held by a small percentage of the world's top business schools.

The business college learned recently that it maintained both its business and accounting accreditations from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International. The AACSB accreditation team, comprised of representatives from peer institutions, visited campus in late January and early February for a comprehensive review of all aspects of the College of Business and based upon that review, granted reaccreditation.

“AACSB joint accreditation in business and accounting places us in the top five percent of business schools globally. That’s something to be very proud of and it is a very strong standard by which to guide our future efforts. The peer-review team left us with a number of very important and valuable critiques. We immediately began implementation of several of their suggestions. I am quite confident that the College of Business will benefit greatly from this process,” said J. Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business.

The AACSB team reviewed each individual program, department and degree as well as staffing and student services during an intense 48-hour period. In preparation for the visit, which happens every five years, faculty and staff completed numerous detailed reports illustrating performance and progress in all of the areas evaluated, college officials said. AACSB International officials note that to earn accreditation, schools must meet specific standards of excellence and that the entire faculty, staff and administration must demonstrate a commitment to providing a high-quality education to students.

The AACSB, founded in 1916, is the oldest international accrediting body for business schools offering undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. To retain accreditation, a college business program must demonstrate continuing commitment to 21 quality standards pertaining to faculty qualification, resource management, faculty/student interaction, and ongoing improvement and goal achievement for the degree programs.

The business college earned reaccreditation as an entire unit and also won a separate accreditation for accounting.

“AACSB accreditation is the premier accreditation for a college of business. Having separate AACSB accreditation for the School of Accountancy sets us apart from many other institutions and signifies the quality, relevance and rigor of our programs,” said Marcus Odom, director of the School of Accountancy. “Of the 465 AACSB-accredited business schools in the U.S., only 168 have separately accredited accounting programs. We are excited about the message that maintaining our accreditation sends to our current and future students, their parents, high school guidance counselors and others that have shown their confidence in our programs. It is also a signal to our employers that they are hiring from one of the best accounting programs in the world.”

The job placement rate for the accounting school is 100 percent for those graduating with their master’s degrees and 95 percent for undergraduates, according to college officials. According to the Social Science Research Network, an organization of research networks dedicated to disseminating social science research around the world, the accounting information systems programs ranks second in the nation for faculty research productivity in the last six years and fourth for the period covering the last 19 years.

The College of Business currently has an enrollment of more than 1,425 students, including 304 in the School of Accountancy. Business students come from 30 countries and 15 states in the U.S. More than 90 percent of the college’s faculty has doctoral degrees.

SIU’s College of Business is one of only three public business colleges in Illinois offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The college offers programs in accounting, finance, management and marketing. The business college also offers online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

For more information about the SIU College of Business, look online at www.business.siuc.edu or call 618/453-3328.