International Conference and Annual Meeting

Network and Learn With Leaders

1,300+ Business School Leaders Attend Annually

Challenging Core Foundations

Affinity Group Meetings


With 15 affinity group meetings, a Solution room to discuss your challenges in small groups, and an Exchange Wall to share ideas. There are more networking opportunities than ever before.

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The following Affinity Groups will meet in conjunction with AACSB's 2019 International Conference and Annual Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Please check back for updates.

ATTENTION: There is no pre-registration necessary to attend Affinity Group meetings. Seating at Affinity Group meetings is available on a first come, first served basis. Participation is free unless otherwise noted. PLEASE NOTE: Affinity Group dinners and special events DO require pre-registration and may have associated costs.

Saturday, 13 April, 2019

Responsible Management Education Affinity Group Learning Journey (Offsite trip)

  1:00pm - 5:00pm: Strathblane Hall/Atrium

The world class Scottish Social Enterprise Network tackles issues of inequality, the environment and human needs. On our walking tour, we will meet some of the dynamic, active entrepreneurs within this network who will explain the business landscape within Scotland and highlight its characteristic practices. This learning is embedded in a tourism guided walk of Edinburgh’s natural wonders, along part of the John Muir Way. Rangers of the Holyrood Park will join us for a private introduction to the natural habitats of the area. Optional activities from Five Senses will help you connect with your host country. Note: Separate registration and payment are required for this limited space event.

Affinity Group Chair:

Cathy Dubois, Associate Dean, Administration, College of Business Administration, Kent State University


Sunday, 14 April, 2019

New Deans Learning Community Affinity Group Meeting

  8:00am - 9:30am: Carrick, Level 1

Join the New Deans Learning Community Affinity Group for a pre-conference networking and learning opportunity. Organized as a peer mentoring / round table discussion forum, after soliciting the top areas of concern from the audience, we will work in small groups to explore the issues and potential solutions in a supportive, collaborative environment. Deans will get to participate in three different table topic conversations during our time together. The New Deans Learning Community consists of academic deans in serving their initial three years as a full time dean.

Session Moderators:

Shanan Gibson, Dean Texas A&M University-Commerce, College of Business
Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, University of the West of England, Bristol Business School

Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity Group Meeting

  8:00am - 9:45am: Cromdale Hall, Level -2

Join the Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity Group for a pre-conference learning opportunity. The Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity Group consists of women administrators, including deans, associate deans, assistant deans, program directors, center directors, and academic department chairs. WAME’s Affinity Group meeting will feature Professor Susan Murphy, Chair in Leadership Development at the University of Edinburgh, as our speaker.  Dr. Murphy earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Washington. She is an expert in leadership and has published widely in the field.  She has conducted research on women and leadership, most recently looking at the impact of gender stereotyping.  She serves as the Programme Director for the Executive Women’s Leadership Development Program at the university.  We will close by recognizing this year’s winner of the Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Women Leader in Business Education Award. 

Session Moderator:

Deborah Merrill-Sands, Dean, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire

Small Schools Network Affinity Group Meeting

  8:30am - 10:00am: Harris, Level 1

The Small Schools Network Affinity Group includes representatives from schools with typically 35 or fewer full-time faculty members. Engaging alumni and forming meaningful relationships with organizations can provide direct benefits to virtually every facet of the Business School. However, for Deans of small schools, managing these relationships can seem daunting and takes more time and effort than most small school Deans can spare. This session will start with a panel, members of which will share their success stories and innovative ways they have been able to address this challenge. Discussion of panelists’ presentations and sharing in small groups is expected to result in feasible ideas for building capacity to engage alumni and organizations in meaningful and beneficial ways.

Session Moderators:

Steven Elias, Dean, School of Business Administration, Fort Lewis College
Roberto Curci, Dean, Dominican University, Brennan School of Business

Associate Deans Affinity Group Meeting

  10:00am - 11:30am: Cromdale Hall, Level -2

Join the Associate Deans Affinity Group for a pre-conference learning opportunity. The Associate Deans Affinity Group includes associate deans or assistant deans with faculty appointments from AACSB-accredited organizations and member organizations with approved accreditation eligibility applications. Waking up or catching up? Business School “gadflies” challenging the core across the globe. Session will begin with a brief discussion about the ‘shift' towards innovation, impact, and engagement and how schools across the globe are addressing their unique challenges by challenging the core foundations and identifying opportunities provided by alternative models. The audience will be polled to ascertain examples of challenges their school may be working on and current inspirational cases/examples: program innovations, collaborations, research, social impact, internationalisation, mission; accredited or member schools from all continents will be presented.

Session Moderators:

Sarah Vaughan, Associate Dean Accreditations, ICN Business School France
Andrew Simpson, Associate Dean International, Alumni & Accreditation, Sheffield University Management School UK

Diversity and Inclusion Network Affinity Group Meeting

  10:00am - 12:00pm: Fintry, Level 3

The mission of the Diversity and Inclusion Network is to advocate for diversity and inclusion in academia and schools of business around the world. The network consists of individuals with interest and responsibilities in advocating for diversity and inclusion in academia and schools of business around the world. This meeting will include a presentation of results and observations from the diversity and inclusion (D&I) workshop held at ICAM in 2018, a D&I panel with Anne Kiem, Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and Francisca Beer, Director of the Jack H. Brown College Office of Inclusion and Engagement, CSU San Bernardino, followed by a group break out session to discuss suggestions for new AACSB Standards. 

Session Moderators:

Edward Davis, Professor & Christine McEachern Smith Endowed Chair of Business Administration, Clark Atlanta University
Barron Harvey, Dean and KPMG Endowed Professor, Howard University

MBA for Working Professionals Affinity Group Meeting

  10:00am - 11:30am: Carrick, Level 1

Achieving Success with Today’s Rebellious Buyers: Marketing Your Programs to Millennials and Beyond

Fueled by changes in the digital world and technological advances, a renaissance is taking place that is changing how prospective students want to learn about graduate business programs. This session will begin by profiling how one college changed its marketing approach in a way that elevated the school’s brand equity and accelerated its graduate enrollment results in this
environment. The second half will review recent industry trends and strategies that are being shown to drive significant prospective student engagement across the enrollment journey. Benchmarking statistics will be provided throughout the session so that participants can judge the their own strategies relative to within-industry peers.

Session Moderators:

Brett Matherne, Assistant Dean for Flexible and Professional MBA Programs, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
Jesse Homan, Business Development Director, Converge Consulting

Marketing and Communications Council Affinity Group Meeting

  10:30am - 12:30pm: Harris, Level 1

Members of the Marketing and Communications Council Affinity Group are administrators responsible for public relations, media, marketing, communications, and allied activities. At AACSB’s 2019 Deans Conference held earlier this year there was a bonus session titled “What Keeps Deans Up at Night.” In this affinity group meeting we will explore how marketing and communications teams at business schools can assist deans with some of these challenges. Be ready for conversation in this workshop style meeting.

Session Moderator:

Cynthia (CJ) Jackson, Director, Communications and Marketing, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University


Technology in Business Schools Roundtable Affinity Group Meeting

  10:30am - 11:30am: Ochill, Level 1

Join the Technology in Business Schools Roundtable Affinity Group for a pre-conference learning opportunity. Members of the Technology in Business Schools Roundtable Affinity Group (TBSR) consist of technology administrators at business schools.

Session Moderator:

Kevin J. Bailey, Assistant Dean, Marketing/Communications and CIO, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

Digital Transformation Affinity Group Meeting

  12:00pm - 1:30pm: Cromdale Hall, Level -2

Join the Digital Transformation Affinity Group for a pre-conference learning opportunity. The Digital Transformation Affinity Group includes individuals with interest in the digital transformation of business through the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.

Session Moderators:

Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Professor and Dean, School of Business, University of Washington Bothell
Gregory Prastacos, Professor and Dean, School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology
A. Michael Smith, Partner, US Internal Technology Audit Services Leader for Financial Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Online Learning Affinity Group Meeting

  12:00pm - 1:30pm: Carrick, Level 1

The Online Learning Affinity Group includes faculty, administrators, and learning technologists from any member organization with interest and responsibilities in online learning. The session will start with a presentation describing the development and growth of the group’s Third Thursday webinars, followed by small group discussions in the world café format. This style of group discussions will be centered around topics chosen by participants, who will share experiences and work on issues related to online and blended learning currently live for themselves and their institutions. The facilitators will provide the structure for the session and act as consultants as required.

Session Moderators:

Tawnya Means, Assistant Dean and Director, Teaching and Learning Center, College of Business, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mark Fenton-O’Creevy, Associate Dean, External Engagement, The Open University Business School
Sandra Luxton, Associate Dean, Swinburne University of Technology

Entrepreneurship Programs Affinity Group Meeting

  1:00pm - 2:30pm: Harris, Level 1

The Entrepreneurship Programs Affinity Group includes representatives from organizations that offer majors, minors, or concentrations in entrepreneurship, or have a dedicated entrepreneurship center, faculty-endowed position in Entrepreneurship or sequence(s) of entrepreneurship courses within programs. This meeting will focus on a discussion of new and emerging models for entrepreneurship education, providing participants with an opportunity to discuss unique aspects of their programs, provide cultural perspectives, and provide insights on bringing practical entrepreneurial experiences to students through the intersection of curricular and co-curricular programming.

Session Moderator:

Chuck Sacco, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, Drexel University

Middle East and North Africa Affinity Group Meeting

  2:00pm - 4:00pm: Carrick, Level 1

The Middle East and North Africa Affinity Group includes representatives from AACSB-accredited and member organizations that are located in the Middle East and North Africa. The role of management education appears as a key success factor for the socio-economic development of the MENA region. Business Schools play an important role in educating performing, open to the world and socially responsible managers and leaders, and in providing effective practices for their contexts. During our Affinity Group meeting, members will be invited to explain the important needs of their contexts, to share examples of impactful actions their business school have achieved and to highlight practices that are used to assess the positive effects of their output.

Session Moderators:

Thami Ghorfi, Dean, ESCA Ecole de Management
Sherif Kamel, Dean, School of Business, The American University of Cairo

Asia Pacific Affinity Group Meeting

  2:30pm - 4:00pm: Ochill, Level 1

The Asia Pacific Affinity Group includes representatives from AACSB-accredited and member organizations that are located in Asia and Oceania. This meeting will focus on knowledge sharing and internal/external linking among Asian business schools for possible collaborations. 

Session Moderators:

Renee Kim, Associate Vice President, International Cooperation, School of Business, Hanyang University

European Affinity Group Meeting

  3:00pm - 4:30pm: Cromdale Hall, Level -2 

The European Affinity Group includes Representatives from AACSB-accredited and member organizations that are located in Europe. The session will spotlight impacts different university organizational structures have on the management of accreditation, examine frequent issues in dealing with accreditation as well as explore potential room for improvement from a European standpoint.

Session Moderator:

Susanne Lichtmannegger, Head, International Relations, MCI Management Center Innsbruck