UMES joins the ranks of business school elite
PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (April 6, 2011) – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has earned initial accreditation of its undergraduate business degree program from AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The Department of Business, Management and Accounting in the School of Business and Technology is UMES’ 26th academic program to earn the peer-review credential. Educators and business leaders agree students in accredited business schools are viewed as well-prepared job candidates when they graduate.
“I am happy and proud that we have gained this accreditation,” President Thelma B. Thompson said. “Many of us have worked hard for over five years to achieve this accreditation. I am particularly proud because the AASCB accreditation is challenging to say the least, but we achieved this goal.”
“I thank the faculty and staff who believed this was possible and worked towards it. Graduating from an accredited business program will make a huge difference for our students as they seek employment,” Thompson said.
Nick Wiggins, a senior finance major from Littleton, Colo., said “it’s a prideful thing. You need the support of a great business school. Without that, you’re sort of on your own.”
UMES joins an elite group of institutions that has achieved accreditation from AACSB International. Only 620 schools of business – fewer than 5% worldwide – have earned this hallmark of excellence in management education.
“We warmly congratulate UMES and the Department of Business, Management and Accounting, Dean Ayodele Alade, and welcome them into the AACSB family of internationally accredited business schools,” said John J. Fernandes, AACSB International’s president and chief executive officer.
“AACSB accreditation represents the highest achievement for an educational institution and its college of business. The dean, faculty, directors and administrative staff of UMES are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement, and for their role in earning initial accreditation,” Fernandes said.
Alade called pursuit of accreditation a “great and coveted achievement” by a team of “hard-working faculty, staff, and chair of the Department of Business, Management and Accounting and the Dean’s office. We thank all the members of the University administration for their support believing that the goal was achievable.”
“I am humbled by this experience,” Alade said, “and my gratitude goes to all who helped make this achievement a dream come true.”
To achieve accreditation, the school must develop and implement a plan to satisfy 21 quality standards addressing faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, faculty and student interaction, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.
During the accreditation process, UMES was visited and evaluated by business school deans with detailed knowledge of management education, who applied accreditation standards widely-accepted in the education community.
“Accreditation of the programs in the UMES School of Business and Technology is a very significant accomplishment and provides immediate, elite credibility to the department and the university,” said Thomas L. Trice IV of Salisbury, a Certified Public Accountant and UMES Board of Visitors member.
“Congratulations to the leadership and faculty for this well-deserved recognition,” Trice said. “This accreditation also speaks to the special leadership that Dr. Thelma Thompson has provided over the past eight years as she has focused on creating academic excellence in her tenure as president.”
UMES is Maryland’s eighth university to earn accreditation.
“On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, I congratulate (UMES) on achieving this milestone in your quest for excellence,” said Dr. Otis A. Thomas, dean of Morgan State University’s business school. “Being accredited by AACSB International is a testimony to your commitment to continuous improvement and high quality management education.”
The UMES business department began in 1958 with one program in business administration. As UMES and the department grew, more bachelor’s degree programs were added, including accounting, business administration with concentrations in finance and marketing and business education. Approximately 400 students today are enrolled in the Department of Business, Management and Accounting.
UMES’ achievement will be recognized later this month at the AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting in New York.
“It’s going to draw a lot more students to UMES,” Wiggins predicted.