John F. Welch College of Business Earns AACSB Accreditation

News Story: December 28, 2006

The John F. Welch College of Busiess at Sacred Heart University has earned accreditation by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It joins an elite membership of fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide. AACSB International is considered the premier global accrediting body for schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

“This prestigious recognition crowns an amazing year for business education at Sacred Heart University,” explained SHU’s president, Dr. Anthony J. Cernera. “In January, the University announced a partnership with the incomparable John F. Welch, for whom our College of Business is now named. The legendary CEO of General Electric and a global icon of success in leadership, Jack Welch is an active advisor to the Welch College of Business, and his support will provide student scholarships, and faculty and curricular development.”

Dr. Cernera noted that “AACSB accreditation confirms the extraordinary progress our College has made in providing a truly world-class education for people in business. It is a ringing endorsement of the College’s dedicated professors and staff and our exceptional students. I congratulate everyone involved in the rigorous confirmation process.”

Jack Welch, the man that Fortune magazine dubbed the Manager of the Century, singled out the College for what he called its “relentless ambition for excellence. In my interactions with students in the College of Business,” he continued, “I am impressed by their intelligence and ambition, of course. But what really hits me is their desire to make a difference – to help build a better world. Maybe that’s the Sacred Heart difference.”

To achieve accreditation, a business school must undergo meticulous internal review, evaluation and adjustment – a process that can take from three to seven years. During this period, schools develop and implement a plan to help them meet the 21 AACSB standards that require highly qualified faculty, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and keeping curricula responsive to the needs of business. These standards are mission-linked. During the accreditation process, the Welch College of Business was visited and evaluated by business school deans with detailed knowledge of management education, applying accreditation standards that are widely accepted in the educational community.

John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International, warmly congratulated Sacred Heart University’s John F. Welch College of Business and its dean, Dr. Stephen M. Brown, for “earning the highest achievement in business school accreditation. We also commend the school’s faculty, directors and administrative staff for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement that played an important role in helping their institution earn initial accreditation.”

Dean Brown noted that the process of accreditation included years of rigorous evaluations, both within the College of Business and by outside analysts. “This process has clearly strengthened the programs we offer, and the new accreditation greatly enhances the value of a Sacred Heart degree for present and future graduates. Only 540 colleges and universities worldwide are recognized in this way, and we are proud to be among them.”

The accreditation follows endorsements by such widely valued guides to higher education as U.S. News & World Report, which ranks SHU among the Best Master’s Universities in the North, and the Princeton Review, which names the University among the Best in the Northeast. According to James Barquinero, vice president for Enrollment Planning and Student Affairs, “This very significant recognition ratifies what our alumni and students have known for a long time. Sacred Heart University joins an elite group of colleges and universities. The John F. Welch College of Business meets the highest standards in business education. AACSB accreditation is a global hallmark of excellence assuring students, families and employers alike of excellent teaching, and the pursuit of best practices and continuous improvement.”

Sacred Heart University has been providing business education since 1965, just two years after its founding, and the MBA degree was the first graduate curriculum in SHU history. The University boasts more than 7,000 alumni with undergraduate degrees in business and over 3,000 with graduate business degrees. At present, some 1,200 students are pursuing degrees in business – 300 of them on the graduate level. The University’s program in Luxembourg offers the only American-accredited MBA in north-central Europe, and it has graduated business leaders from 30 different countries.