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The University of Alabama

UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce Maintains Accreditation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

AACSB Accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education, and it has been earned by less than 5 percent of the world’s business programs. The business school’s Culverhouse School of Accountancy also received notice that it has maintained its accreditation.

“It takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation,” said Robert D. Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students.”

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to the faculty and staff for the outstanding report the College has just received from the accreditation team,” said Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce.

Hardin noted that accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process that includes an external review of a school’s ability to provide quality programs to ensure that students are learning relevant material the right way. The rigorous process includes self-evaluations, peer reviews, committee reviews and the development of in-depth strategic plans. It also includes reviews of a school’s mission, faculty qualifications and curricula.

“The review team was particularly impressed with the thorough preparation for the accreditation review and the College’s strong sense of mission that is reflected in the culture of shared vision and values across the College,” Hardin said.

Hardin said that in the future, business schools will be required to take an increasing role in economic development and entrepreneurship. The team felt the Culverhouse College of Commerce, through its self-funded research centers that provide outreach services to several constituencies, can become a model for other business schools.

The team also took note of the strong commitment to academic research on the part of the faculty and administration of the College, as well as the innovative steps being taken by the College administration to instill ethical behavior in its students, its on-line programs and its programs to retain faculty with high potential. The review team was also impressed by the establishment of very strong undergraduate scholarship support which increased from $414,159 in 2007-08 to more than $2,000,000 in 2011-12.

Hardin said the accreditation team found no areas to be addressed prior to the next review, and the latest review was the most complimentary of the past three.

“There are challenges to be sure,” he said. “We need to continue to align degree programs and enrollment with resources and mission, find more ways to fund research, make sure the physical facilities remain in good shape, identify new revenue streams, and manage faculty workloads. But I am confident that the faculty and staff will continue to make The University of Alabama and the people of the state of Alabama very proud.”

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.