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The 2020 Business Accreditation Standards Are Approved!

After two years of reimagining, listening, revising, and adapting, the collective work of the BATF and the AACSB network is complete—to inspiring results.

Changing the world is not easy, but its pursuit will change you profoundly.
—Leroy Hood

Today is a great day for AACSB, our membership, and business education! I’m very proud to relay to you that the 2020 business accreditation standards are officially adopted! For quite a while it looked like we would have to delay the vote by the Accreditation Council since we could not have an in-person business meeting at ICAM this past April, as planned. Luckily, we were able to utilize a written consent process allowed by the statutes of the state of Florida to gain approval by the Accreditation Council.

The written consent process was far more arduous than a show of hands at the annual business meeting, which is the traditional route for gaining approval to adopt new standards. The traditional process requires approval by a simple majority of accredited school designated representatives who are in attendance at the annual business meeting. For example, if 300 representatives are present, 151 affirmative votes would be required to approve the new standards. In contrast, the written consent process requires a majority of the entire Accreditation Council—874 schools as of April 27—to provide explicit consent over a 90-day period. This was altogether a much more daunting task.

I tell you all of this to say that, not only did we get a majority of the entire Accreditation Council, we received 708 approvals, or 81 percent, through written consent! This is an amazing show of support for the new standards. Thank you to everyone who participated over the past 20 months, from the Business Accreditation Task Force, composed of 16 deans representing all regions of AACSB, who worked tirelessly and selflessly to obtain your input, to the hundreds of you who gave us feedback from all over the world. We listened carefully and thoughtfully, and your support in the written consent process is a strong validation of your enthusiasm for the final standards.

What I’m most enthusiastic about with respect to these standards is that they embody the belief that, working together, we can make a positive impact on society. The new standards are a path to how we intend to change the world and realize AACSB’s vision of business education as a force for good.

This coming year you will hear much more about how we aim to connect business schools with each other, with businesses, with government and regulators, and with communities. If we want to change the world, we must not only be co-conveners of people and organizations who share our vision, but we must also then create action plans that are carried out collaboratively. That is our plan through these new standards.

I hope you are as enthusiastic as I am about this vision. Change and growth are hard and often painful. But through the collective efforts of our accredited business schools, we will change the world, and ourselves, for the better.


Stephanie BryantStephanie Bryant is executive vice president and chief accreditation officer at AACSB International and is based in Tampa. Follow her on Twitter @StephMBryant.