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AACSB Recognizes Muma College of Business' "Post-Crisis Leadership Certificate Program

By Keith Morelli

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TAMPA (April 9, 2021) -- The forward thinking of the USF Muma College of Business in offering a free-of-charge certificate focusing on the business community emerging from the worst pandemic in a century was recognized last month by the AACSB, the accrediting agency for business colleges around the world. USF was one of two universities in the entire Southeast honored with the award and the only one in Florida.

In May 2020, as the world’s economy spiraled down with a pandemic that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and wrecked the economies of nations, the Muma College of Business offered a “Post-Crisis Leadership” certificate for business leaders, alumni and managers, many of whom had been laid off, furloughed or were working reduced hours remotely. More than 9,000 people from 80 counties viewed at least one module. About 3,800 participants passed all seven quizzes and earned the certificate, along with a digital badge that could be showcased on LinkedIn profiles.

Registrants wanted to learn from the crisis as well as earn a new credential during the time off, one that might pay off in the job search. The college offered the non-credit “Post-Crisis Leadership” certificate as a community service.

With the help of DCE Productions, which supplied the virtual platform for the program, the initiative proved to be a success and became a model for other certificate offerings over the past year.

“This is a perfect example of our robust engagement with the outside business community,” said Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business. “We continue to be a valuable resource to our business partners, who helped put this remarkable program together through sponsorships and input on the material covered in the modules. The Muma College of Business stands with our corporate partners in both good times and bad times.

“We could not be prouder of this Innovations That Inspire recognition by the AACSB,” Limayem said. “This was only the beginning of a series of Muma College of Business certificate programs that serve two purposes: to assist our outside business community in a time of need and to put a spotlight on our amazing faculty.”

The AACSB’s Innovations That Inspire initiative recognizes institutions from around the globe serving as champions of change in the business education landscape. The awards went to 24 business schools for their efforts to address wide-ranging societal challenges such as food insecurity, pandemic leadership, climate change and gender equity. The 2021 Innovations That Inspire showcase schools' positive contributions to society through one of the following ways:

  • Cultivating a position at the intersection of academia and practice
  • Connecting with other disciplines
  • Driving innovation in higher education

The seven-module certificate offered by the Muma College of Business both helped its outside business partners while highlighting faculty expertise. Faculty volunteers created and delivered modules teaching participants how to navigate the transition from the crisis to the new normal. Modules included instruction on leveraging key data and analytics as well as assessing risk and security during business continuity and recovery. One segment focused on supply chains.

The program engaged social media for live Q&A each week, which not only gave the 8,000 viewers a chance to ask questions via hashtags but also provided an avenue to generate chatter. Personal and shared experiences surfaced, participants engaged with faculty and an informal community sprang up.

“The impact comes down to people,” said the AACSB in the awards announcement. “Hundreds of participants were struggling to with pandemic consequences and this certificate was a needed hand of support to those seeking to re-tool themselves during a crisis.

“It helped those in leadership positions think differently so their companies could survive the pandemic and concomitant economic crisis,” the AACSB said. “The program helped them determine new ways to support employees and lead teams as companies shifted to remote work and remote programs. It sparked creative thought.” 

To view the list of schools on the list, click here.