Published on January 3, 2008
Critical Success Factors for Attaining Initial Accreditation: Critical Success Factors for Attaining Initial Accreditation Diane Hamilton & Ted Schoen Rowan University Edie Rusch University of Nevada - LV Background: Background 1984: Business faculty vote to seek AACSB accreditation 1986: MBA program given priority over accreditation by administration 1988: First faculty member with PhD in business is hired 1991: Glassboro State College becomes Rowan College of NJ Background - continued: Background - continued 1995: Rowan College of NJ becomes Rowan University & supplements COB non-salary budget 1999: COB hires Dean Schoen 2000: Mock accreditation visit 2002: COB earns initial accreditation (with no concerns) 2005:COB becomes William G. Rohrer College of Business Origin of Study: Origin of Study What were the critical milestones? A memorial to the factors crucial to the achievement of AACSB accreditation 1991: Glassboro State College becomes Rowan College of NJ Research Design : Research Design 2-hour interview with the dean provided baseline data on Intentions Actions Reactions Political elements Local National Two-page questionnaire constructed from dean’s interview data 30 full-time faculty 5 professional staff 8 retired faculty Research Questions: Research Questions What did they feel was the likelihood of achieving accreditation At the start After a mock visit Critical factors to success Short- and long-term benefits of accreditation Advice they would provide to other institutions 27 responses Data informed an interview protocol The Interviews : The Interviews 12 semi-structured interviews with 2 members of each of the five specializations one person who was highly involved one person less involved Five more interviews evolved from snowball process Coding : Coding Benson’s (1977) descriptors of organizational transformation “The process of becoming” Recoded for patterns within the descriptors Compared patterns and themes to faculty demographics Rank Length of service Findings: The Challenge: Findings: The Challenge College professors become University Professors by legislative fiat. Academic success: Quality teaching Research: A suspicious endeavor Findings: Reframing a Worklife: Findings: Reframing a Worklife “Sacrificing vacations to do research” Personal sacrifices Teaching + Research AND getting published! Higher faculty standards Success Factors: Success Factors LEADERSHIP Knowledge of process Coordinating talent “Aligning the magnetic field” Candor about hard work Political skills with administration Research role model Success Factors: Success Factors ORGANIZATION Attention to detail and maintenance of documentation was more motivating and important to success than all other resources Leaders “Extraordinaire”: Leaders “Extraordinaire” “They never seemed rushed or hurried. It never seemed as though there were any emergencies. . . . I was never presented with any problems. From my perspective, I don’t think there were any major problems that they couldn’t easily handle. I’m sure they worked hard and had issues, but it wasn’t glaringly obvious.” Intrinsic Motivating Factors: Intrinsic Motivating Factors Need for legitimacy “Blue ribbon of academic excellence” “Hallmark of quality” Desire for increased status and prestige “Membership in select group” “Enhanced professional credibility” Intrinsic Motivating Factors: Intrinsic Motivating Factors “Intrinsic factors” outweighed “extrinsic factors” Lesson learned: emphasize the intrinsic benefits of achieving AACSB accreditation Working Relationship Factors: Working Relationship Factors Teamwork is critical Preparation for accreditation visit Collaboration in research projects Consistency in responses Jeopardy and Millionaire games Lesson learned: Teamwork building skills are essential. Confidence Building: Confidence Building Access to practical information and advice Candor and honesty in amount of work required Constructing the appropriate visiting team Confidence Building: Confidence Building Full-fledged mock accreditation visit Typical 2½ day schedule Document & data review Exit interview Recommendations = final “to do” list Movement from uncertainty to confidence Lesson learned: build the rolodex and conduct a mock visit. Document Room: Document Room Initially created for visit team Organized look Quick access Continues to be maintained For new faculty and adjuncts For faculty who “misplace” things Used by Dean’s Office & faculty Documentation: Documentation All materials in color coded binders Course materials Publications COB, Dept, Comm, & Adv Bd minutes EBI & ETS results Placement on graduation Archives of catalogs, newsletters, policies, curriculum guides, orientation materials … Anything & everything worth saving Questions?: Questions? Thank you.