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Lewis College of Business receives new reaccreditation

The Parthenon

Published: Friday, January 20, 2012

Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 00:01

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reaccredited the Lewis College of Business accounting and business program after careful review of faculty, curriculum requirements, and assessment of students.  

Chong Kim, dean of Marshall's Lewis College of Business, said there are three types of accrediting organizations, but an AASCB accreditation is the most valued.

"The reaccreditation is great for students because they receive valuable business education," Kim said. "The Fortune 500 companies send recruiters to AACSB accredited schools because they want well-educated professionals."

AACSB International is the longest standing accrediting organization, and requires universities to meet 21 standards for the business accreditation and an extra 15 standards for the accounting accreditation.

There are only two accredited schools of business in West Virginia, and 643 worldwide. Of those, only 173 fulfilled the extra standards needed to acquire the accounting accreditation.

Andrew Sikula, associate dean of Marshall's Lewis College of Business, said accounting accreditation is a high honor.

"The number of schools being added to the AACSB list domestically are relatively few and far between," Sikula said. "For general AACSB, most of their growth is internationally. Accountancy is one area that can grow domestically, but it is very difficult to achieve."

The Marshall University LCOB is part of the 55 schools of business and accounting accredited by ACCSB International this year.

The AACSB International requires that 50 percent of professors at the school to be academically qualified.

In addition, 90 percent of the professors need to be either professionally or academically qualified.

"AQ (Academic Qualifications) are largely terminal degrees and publications, and we defined that by three referred journal publications plus three other things, which we call intellectual contributions," Sikula said. "Professional qualifications are a masters degree and professional experience, and you need some sort other things—it can be referred publication journals, but need not be."

Sikula said business experience is a valued trait for accounting professors because accounting Ph.D. degrees are rare.

The LCOB measures the strengths and weakness of the graduating students, in order to meet the standards set by AACSB International, Kim said.

"We discovered that written and oral communication was weak, so we looked for a way eliminate those weaknesses, and created an English 204 requirement for all college of business students," Kim said.

The process of reaccreditation involved review of the students, in addition to the faculty, administrators, and curriculum, Sikula said.

Raymond Cousins, graduate student in health care administration, said he met with one of the AACSB International peer review teams.

"They said we gave sincere, original answers because we did not try to fabricate or make our school look better than it was, and they appreciated that," Cousins said.

The AACSB International originally accredited the LCOB in 1997, and conducts reviews every five years for reaccreditation.

The LCOB will sponsor a gala in April to celebrate the reaccreditation of the school.

Frances Lazell can be contacted at


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