Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

The Perspective of Faculty Hired after Aacsb Accreditation on Accreditation's Impact and Importance

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

The Perspective of Faculty Hired after Aacsb Accreditation on Accreditation's Impact and Importance

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Obtaining AACSB accreditation is a long, resource consuming exercise. In this study 62 faculty hired by 24 schools that had recently received AACSB accreditation between 1997 and 2001 were surveyed to determine their impressions of the impact and importance of accreditation on various stakeholders. Their responses are subsequently compared to the responses of faculty who were employed by their school prior to gaining AACSB accreditation. Overall, accreditation was perceived as being beneficial to the business school, students, and faculty, and to the employers of students. This is consistent with the perception of faculty who were employed at newly accredited institutions prior to receiving AACSB accreditation. Newly hired faculty perceive that they value research and teaching more than established faculty. In contrast, previously published results indicate faculty employed prior to receiving accreditation believe those hired since accreditation value teaching less. Importantly, everything else being equal, respondents decidedly prefer working at AACSB accredited schools.

INTRODUCTION

Obtaining AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation is a major undertaking. It takes time, diverts a lot of administrative and faculty time from other activities, is fraught with uncertainty, and takes money. A fundamental question is whether or not it is worth the effort and expense.

A previous paper addressed the results of a survey of faculty who went through the accreditation process regarding their perceptions of the impact of AACSB accreditation (Roberts, Johnson & Groesbeck, 2004). Faculty from recently accredited schools rated the impact of accreditation on the business school, faculty who were with the school before accreditation, faculty hired since accreditation, the programs, and students and employers of students.

In this paper we seek to supplement the insights gained from that study by focusing on faculty who were newly hired by schools that had recently received AACSB accreditation. Understanding the perceptions of potential new faculty should be an important consideration in deciding whether or not to pursue AACSB accreditation. How do new hires differ from established faculty with regard to the perceived impact of AACSB accreditation? Do those who are drawn to newly accredited programs feel differently about accreditation than those who j oined programs that were not then accredited, but who later instigated the accreditation process? Are the values of new faculty different from established faculty, and is AACSB accreditation an important consideration injudging alternative schools?

AACSB ACCREDITATION

There are currently 466 AACSB accredited business programs (AACSB International, 2004). The cost of gaining this accreditation can be high. The direct costs - application fees, conference fees, air fares, meals, and the ever-present cost of hiring consultants - can be well over $50,000. If the school is aggressive, these costs typically approach $100,000 (see Roberts, Johnson & Groesbeck, 2004).

In addition to the direct costs of pursuing accreditation is the time and effort that faculty and administrators are required to invest to achieve compliance. While it is true that a substantial amount of the effort required by AACSB is really nothing more than the good management practices that most schools should be doing whether or not they are pursuing accreditation, there remains a large amount of reporting and compliance work, which crowds out more important work. Overworked faculty do most of it (Holmes, 2001), and they see such work as unrewarded service work (Henninger, 1998).

With regard to ongoing costs, inevitably a school in candidacy will have to hire academically qualified faculty, and those faculty are not cheap. For the sake of comparison, the average salary of an associate professor at a public AACSB accredited school was about $85,000 in 2002-03. …

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