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UW College of Business Receives Reaccreditation for Five Years

February 4, 2011 — Not only is the new College of Business building at the University of Wyoming a major attraction, the quality undergraduate and graduate programs offered also lure students to the UW campus.

Those were just two of the qualities recently noted by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International in granting maintenance of accreditation to the UW College of Business for the next five years. The latest review occurred early last October.

Of the more than 11,000 business schools worldwide, only 604 have earned AACSB accreditation -- less than 5 percent. AACSB-accredited business schools have the world's highest-quality programs, teachers, research and students, says Penne Ainsworth, UW College of Business associate dean who spearheaded the multi-year effort on behalf of the college.

"Retaining our accreditation is a significant milestone for the college," Ainsworth says. "We began preparing for our accreditation team's visit approximately three years ago by undergoing a complete evaluation of our curriculum, faculty, staff and students. The entire process was rigorous and challenging, but very productive. Frankly, there's a reason why only 5 percent of business schools meet these standards."

The AACSB accreditation team commended the College of Business (COB) for its strengths and effective practices in the following:

-- The new $55 million COB building and the new Peter M. and Paul Green Johnson Career Center.

-- The endowment for the college is $41.5 million, an "exceptional amount given the size of the institution" and number of COB alumni. Continued endowment growth also is expected because some of the naming rights for the "marquee facilities" are still available.

-- The establishment of the Hathaway scholarships, which is an asset to the college and the university.

-- Adopting the Code of the West as a model is a unique and positive feature, and so are the Code of Professional Expectations for Students and the Code of Professional Expectations for Faculty and Staff.

-- The innovative Ph.D. program in marketing is well documented with a solid emphasis on sustainability.

-- Student advising conducted by professional advisers is a strength for the college.

-- The COB annual performance evaluations of tenure-track faculty are well established and provide positive feedback.

"Congratulations to everyone involved with achieving this distinction for the college," Brent Hathaway, UW College of Business dean, says. "Our faculty, staff, students and advisory board all played key roles in this effort.  When you combine this achievement with our new building, I think it's clear that we are launching a new era of excellence in business education in Wyoming."

Maintaining AACSB International accreditation is important to business schools, such as UW's, Ainsworth says, especially in attracting potential students.

"Choosing the right business school can be difficult for students. There are many things to consider -- degrees offered, rankings, quality of the classes, location, costs and more. AACSB accreditation is a good way for students to narrow their list of schools," she says. "Many employers look to AACSB to ensure that the graduates they hire have earned a high-quality, up-to-date business education."

The AACSB's next on-site accreditation review for the College of Business is scheduled for the 2015-2016 school year.

The University of Wyoming's new College of Business building and undergraduate and graduate programs were among reasons the college was reaccreditation for the next five years by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

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