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June 11, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU School of Business earns 10-year ACBSP accreditation

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's School of Business has met all of the standards required to receive its initial 10-year accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

The ACBSP board of commissioners for the baccalaureate degree commission has given its stamp of approval to SRU's School of Business programs in accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing. The school was cited for its strong faculty member support system and its student-learning outcomes and effective system for listening to its key stakeholders.

"We are extremely pleased and honored to be presented this prestigious accreditation, particularly because our School of Business faculty, including David Culp, professor and chair of the school, have worked so hard to see that our business programs are meeting and setting standards for business majors," said Charles Curry, who served as acting president when the accreditation process reached culmination and serves as vice president for finance and administrative affairs.

The SRU accreditation included no conditions or notes calling for program changes.

"Congratulations on maintaining such a high-quality business program," wrote Steve Parscale, director of ACBSP accreditation, in informing Curry of the board's actions. "It would be extremely rare that a school receive accreditation without these condition and notes given ACBSP's Core Value of Continuous Improvement and Organizational Learning that "Business schools and program should pursue regular cycles of planning, execution and evaluation of every process and system.

"This is truly an accomplishment for the entire University. Our report was flawless. Our faculty are to be commended for their hard work in meeting ACBSP's high standards," said Kurt Schimmel, dean of the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences that includes the School of Business. "This accreditation was more than two years in the making and is testament to the hard work shown by our faculty in compiling the information and then preparing the required self-study report. This is a very important accreditation and was certainly hard earned."

"Our faculty certainly understand the importance of accreditation, and while our students may not fully understand the accreditation process, the know it is important to graduate from an accredited program particularly when it comes time for employment," Culp said. "Everyone can say they are part of an outstanding program, but the proof is in an accreditation where outsiders have looked at and reviewed the program to see that it is meeting nationally recognized standards."

"The time we spent on building our case for accreditation gave us the opportunity to fully evaluate and review our programs and make improvements and refinements as part of the intensive process," he said. "We did not undertake this project just to obtain another certificate; we saw it as a quest for excellence. We came through it with only three minor suggestions for improvement in the way we report data. That is outstanding."

"Our self-study report was so impressive the mentor assigned by ACBSP to help us has asked to share our report with his own faculty as part of their accreditation process," Culp said.

Both Schimmel and Culp also pointed to the fact SRU faculty have won the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award two years in a row. Diane Galbraith, assistant professor in Slippery Rock University's School of Business, has been named to receive the 2012 award, and Theresa Wajda, associate professor in SRU's School of Business, won the award in 2011.

SRU will receive its accreditation, and Galbraith her award, during ACBSP's Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Institution Meeting June 16 in Baltimore.

Four SRU School of Business faculty have been invited to present their academic research as part of the three-day ACBSP Annual Conference.

They are: Fusun Gonul and Roger Solano, both associate professors, who will offer their paper that studied testing the impact of Khan Academy, a free, web-based resource that aims to increase math kills, on student performance in "Business Statistics" courses; and John Buttermore, assistant professor, and Bruce Orvis, associate professor, who will present information about how SRU's School of Business Week dramatically increased advisory council engagement with students and how the week focused on preparing students for entry-level management position interviews from the employers' perspective.

The ACBSP accreditation requires SRU to produce a Quality Assurance Report every two years beginning in 2012.

ACBSP, based in Overland Park, Kan., has more than 1,051 member campuses in 50 countries and 10 regions.