September 20, 2018 | ° F

RBS celebrates re-accreditation

Photo by Dennis Zuraw |

Kim Cole (left), Dean Glen Shafer (center) and Nancy DiTomaso (right) in discussion at the Rutgers Business School building.

Rutgers Business School has completed a multi-year process to ensure they are meeting their own standards for student achievement.

The school recently received its re-accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a stamp of approval from the program that promises applicants that RBS is meeting its goals for success.

It celebrated its achievement yesterday at two informal cake-and-coffee gatherings, one on 100 Rockefeller Road on Livingston campus and the other in Washington Park at the Newark division.

Dean Glenn Shafer, head of RBS, congratulated the faculty, students and staff on their abilities and their efforts in the accreditation process.

“Rutgers has a broad mission. … Here we teach students not just the mathematics of accounting, but the latest research-based information,” he said. “The accreditation says we are doing the job we say we’re doing.”

Kim Cole, associate dean of administration and finance, said improvements in the process have signaled how RBS has been getting more attention for its work.

During the previous accreditation process five years ago, the AACSB asked to do an updated sixth-year review the following year due to concerns they had with what they found, Cole said.

“Last year, we did not get a clean bill of health,” she said. “There were no caveats this year. … They were very impressed with the dedication and cohesion of the school.”

The accreditation centers around three deans from schools similar to Rutgers’ in size and scope. This year, deans from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Virginia Tech and the University of Texas at Austin visited Rutgers to evaluate its performance.

Mike Barnett, vice dean for academic programs and the head of the accreditation team, said the focus of RBS’s efforts was creating an assurance of the learning progress.

The school forms learning goals for each program, he said, such as critical thinking, quantitative skills and assessing students to see whether their progress matches up. In one example, they embed three or four questions in a regular exam to see whether students can answer them.

If students are not meeting these goals, the administration will adjust the course to incorporate new techniques or subjects.

“It’s a continuous improvement of process and assessment,” he said.

Nancy DiTomaso, the vice president for faculty and research, said she makes sure the faculty meet standards for qualifications and currency or maintaining an active presence in the business and academic world.

Faculty is loosely divided into academics and professionals that each have their own standards of competence. She said academically, faculty can show they are active by publishing articles and presenting their research at conferences, among other things.

Professional faculty, whether part-time or not, should serve on boards, consult for businesses or maintain a presence in professional organizations to meet currency.

The school finally sends a lengthy document to the deans for review and is crosschecked for accuracy, Barnett said.

He said this year’s review was based on standards from 2003. The next accreditation would be based on updated 2013 standards.

“We are necessarily making strides to adapt to new standards,” he said.

By Erin Petenko

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