UW-W’s COBE extends AACSB accreditation


Dylan Piccolo, Biz & Tech Editor

UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics was approved for extension by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) this spring. 

Because of the rarety of the accreditation, the process of being accredited and renewed for accreditation is difficult and takes a lot of time and financial efforts. The planning starts with Ahmad Karim, the associate dean of COBE who heads the assessment of the college, which starts with the most important assessment, the AACSB.

“The AACSB separates business schools because it weeds out the weak,” said Karim. To get this accreditation the college must undergo a full audit which encompasses all phases of a higher education program.

Some of the key phases they look for quality in are teachers, job placement (internships/postgrad), curriculum and quality of facilities and support for the students.

This vigorous review takes a full five years to plan out for both UW-Whitewater and the AACSB committee. It starts with COBE collecting data, which they compile every fall semester.

“It is a long and full audit of the college and you cannot sneak anything past them, so you must be careful in your research to make the best case for your school,” said Karim.

Hence the five-year plan to get all the information compiled, but it doesn’t stop there. Once they have the information its up to the college to create a thorough audit of themselves before their school is toured and inspected.

Once the year of your accreditation renewal is up, the school will be inspected by deans from other AACSB accredited business colleges. They will investigate the school from top to bottom, a process that takes place through interviews with current/former students, teachers and administration.

From their findings, the group of deans will write a formal recommendation to the committee and the program will know shortly after if their accreditation is renewed or granted for the first time.

The AACSB’s mission according to their website is “to challenge business educators to pursue excellence and continuous improvement in their business programs.”

With that in mind, the AACSB and UW-Whitewater are working together to create a rigorous environment for their students by creating classes, resources and outlets for them in hopes of getting the best possible education.

According to the AACSB website, “AACSB achieves this purpose by defining a set of rigorous criteria and standards, coordinating peer reviews and consultation, and recognizing high-quality business schools.”

UW-Whitewater tries to meet those goals by hiring several PhD teachers for each major, creating relationships with companies for students to get internships or jobs, and continuing support for students in their classes and with technology.

While students may not always have AACSB in their top priority in school, it sets an overall tone for the college knowing that standards have been set and met. This is also beneficial in finding quality teachers.

“When I finished my PhD program, I made the decision that I would only work at an AACSB school because I knew that it was the best I could get,” said Karim.

Karim and his team will start data collection for the 2023 review this fall.