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Muma College of Business, Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Achieve Five-Year AACSB Accreditation

By Keith Morelli

TAMPA (April 18, 2018) -- The University of South Florida's Muma College of Business this week received its five-year accreditation renewal from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The renewal includes a separate accreditation of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, making the college one of 186 around the world certified in both overall business and accounting programs.

The college received the letter notifying it of the global organization's accreditation renewal Monday.

"It is our pleasure to inform you that the Peer Review Team's recommendation for extension of accreditation of the business and accounting degree programs offered by your school has been concurred with by the Continuous Improvement Review Committee and the Accounting Accreditation Committee and ratified by the Board of Directors," said the letter signed by Antonio Goodson, an accreditation data management associate with the AACSB. "Congratulations to you, the faculty, students, staff and all supporters of the school."

A peer review team visited the college earlier this year, looking at accomplishments over the past half-decade since the last visit, rating faculty and curricula and making sure all programs in the college meet quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions between faculty and students and student success in terms of achievement of learning goals.

The team, made up of deans and professors from the University of Kentucky, the University of Connecticut, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Cincinnati, visited the Muma College of Business over the last weekend in January to interview faculty, staff, outside business partners, alumni and students about the mission and vision of the college.

"As a business college, this is what we strive for," said Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem. "A business school's curriculum cannot remain stagnant and retain accreditation.

"Innovative programs that reflect a changing business climate is key to the Muma College of Business's success," he said. "The corporate world never rests and our programs reflect those changes and continue to evolve with the times. The results are graduates who are ready to enter the workforce and make a difference."

A new major in personal financial planning is an example, he said. The new program was implemented in response to an industry need that predicted a growing demand over the next several years coupled with a drop in the number of professionals expected to soon retire.

"To achieve this accreditation which places this college – again – on the list of elite schools dually accredited, lets everyone know what we here at USF already know: that the Muma College of Business is built on a solid foundation that allows us to grow and excel and provides our students with a diploma that is well respected by future employers who know the value of this accreditation."

Typically, the review team comes back with one or two deficiencies that need to be addressed, but this board found nothing that needed to be fixed, Limayem said. The team's chairman in fact sent a letter separate from the recommendation, praising the college.

"We passed with flying colors," the dean said.

"We are very pleased with the extension of AACSB accreditation for the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy for another five years," said Uday Murthy, Eminent Scholar and director of the accounting school. "Maintaining separate accreditation requires us, as a school of accountancy, to adhere to the same high standards set by AACSB for the college as a whole.

"We believe doing so is critically important to all or our stakeholders," he said, "including our students, faculty and staff and employers."

The AACSB sets what it says are the highest standards of excellence and has been in the business of accrediting business colleges since 1916. It provides quality assurance, business education intelligence and professional development services to more than 1,500 member organizations in 90 countries and 810 accredited business schools in 53 countries. There are more than 16,000 business schools around the world.

Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International sent a congratulations along to the college Tuesday, saying the review is meticulous.

"The intense peer-review process confirms a school's continued focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development and student learning," she said. "The Muma College of Business's dedication to delivering high-quality business education will create the next generation of great leaders."