IUP Business School Initial Self-Evaluation Report for AACSB Accounting Accreditation Approved by AACSB

Posted on 4/30/2020 8:33:46 AM

On April 3, 2020, the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology received word that the AACSB Accounting Accreditation Committee voted to accept Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Initial Self Evaluation Report (iSER) and invited the school to apply for an initial accounting on-site review.   

The Eberly College of Business of Information Technology has been accredited by AACSB International, the premier business school accrediting body worldwide, since 2001. Dean Robert Camp has made the additional accreditation of the accounting program a high priority recognizing that it will set IUP and the Eberly College of Business ahead of competitors and benefit the college in the recruitment and job placement of students. A separate accounting accreditation is a distinction that has been achieved by less than 200 schools worldwide.

Suneel Maheshwari was hired into the Accounting Department five years ago with the expectation that he could lead the department’s effort to achieve AACSB accounting accreditation. He came to IUP having had experience with pursuit of this accreditation at his prior institution. 

Achieving accreditation is a multi-step process. At this time, two major milestones in pursuit of accreditation have been achieved. In 2018, the Eberly College Accounting Eligibility Application was accepted by AACSB. The iSER has been accepted by AACSB, and the department has been invited to apply for initial accreditation review.  

The process and effort thus far have been extensive. The eligibility application required that the department satisfy six criteria. To be able to satisfy these criteria, department faculty met on a regular basis to finalize critical issues like mission and vision of the department, develop a strategic plan, adopt a new code of ethics, and design a new assurance of learning program. To satisfy the eligibility requirement, the Department of Accounting also had to demonstrate a commitment to address, engage, and respond to current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues (e.g., diversity, sustainable development, environmental sustainability, and globalization of economic activity across cultures) through its policies, procedures, curricula, research, and/or outreach activities. 

Once the Accounting Eligibility Application was approved, AACSB appointed a mentor to support IUP through the next phases of the process. IUP’s mentor was Hassan Hassabelnaby, dean of the Haile/US Bank College of Business of Northern Kentucky University. The iSER required the department to evaluate whether it met the six standards set by AACSB. Any deficiency and plan for remediation of the deficiencies need to be identified. Faculty members have volunteered to work on individual standards and provide active feedback in order to achieve compliance specifically with the accreditation standards related to accounting. Input from the Eberly College Business Advisory Council, Accounting Subcommittee, was specifically helpful.  

“Meeting the six standards and the expectations of AACSB International for a separate accounting accreditation has been a significant amount of work,” said Dean Camp. “The goal is to continuously improve the program for our students and stakeholders. I am confident in the ability of the department to elevate itself to this next level of accreditation. I am especially grateful for the work of Dr. Maheshwari, the work of the departmental faculty, the guidance from our mentor, and the ongoing support from AACSB.”