AACSB Celebrates a Century of Success at the New York Stock Exchange

AACSB rings the New York Stock Exchange closing bell, symbolizing the association's impact on business ed, industry, and society over the past 100 years.

Today, representatives from AACSB International ring the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) closing bell as a gesture symbolizing the impact the association has had on business education, business practice, and society throughout the past 100 years. Also helping to usher in this historic milestone are representatives from AACSB Business Practice Council member The Coca-Cola Company, The PhD Project, Beta Gamma Sigma, and five AACSB-accredited schools: the Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Cornell College of Business, Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, the University of Connecticut School of Business, and the University of Rochester William E. Simon Graduate School of Business.

100 Years of Progress

AACSB was founded in 1916 by leaders from 17 of the most prestigious U.S. business schools of the time, as a member association with a goal of providing quality standards for business programs. Today, we have grown to become an organization with headquarters offices on three continents to serve our 761 accredited institutions across 52 countries and territories and more than 1,500 member organizations representing over 90 countries and territories. In addition to providing quality assurance of business programs through accreditation, we offer our members professional development and networking opportunities worldwide through seminars, webinars, and conferences, featuring expert thinkers and leaders in business and business education. Further, with a century of data collection and analysis within our grasp, we are the foremost authority on business schools globally and work to provide insights and research based on that information to inform members of the current state and future direction of business education.

Who We Are Now

But beyond these bastions of distinction that have sustained our organization for a century, and continue to do so, AACSB has a different face today—one of outreach to prospective students, of collaboration with business practice, and of celebrating impactful business leaders who graduated from AACSB-accredited business schools.

By working with member schools to demonstrate and promote the value of high-quality business education, we aim to encourage the most talented and ambitious students to attend our accredited schools. Our platform for showcasing these schools, BestBizSchools, allows prospective students to search for the program that best fits their needs and desires and also provides an abundance information on the what, how, and why of attending business school.

And in just one of many new endeavors for AACSB, we are expanding our connections with the business sector by offering the CoLab: Connecting Business Schools With Practice conference. This intersection of business education and industry offers enormous opportunity for us to ensure that the future workers being taught in business schools today have the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow. By encouraging shared ideas and best practices among academics and practitioners, we can help eliminate skills gaps and solve problems that plague industries because of a lack of this essential communication.

In thinking about today’s business leaders, significantly, many of them are alumni of AACSB-accredited school. We saw a need to highlight both the leaders making local and global impact as well as the schools that prepared them for success. One initiative we launched to recognize the benefits of this synergistic relationship is the Influential Leaders Challenge, now in its second iteration. Through this celebration, the effects of AACSB’s efforts come full circle: helping business schools achieve quality standards for education, which informs student learning, which takes shape in the workplace.

How We Can Grow, Together

Where do we go from here? That depends on your continued feedback and collaboration. Our commitment to quality business education and to all of our stakeholders—business schools, students, industry leaders, and global society—is stronger than ever. With years of research, observations, and listening to input from you, we formed a Collective Vision for Business Education, which identifies five opportunities for business schools to thrive. But this vision is meant as only a guide; how we operate within that vision will truly be a cooperative experience. We need your continued participation—in surveys, networking, learning, and resource-sharing—to fully realize the vision and to ensure that the next 100 years of AACSB are as valuable and transformative as the first 100 have been.