Lead Story

AACSB reaccredits Mays and Department of Accounting

Kelli Levey Reynolds, May 4th, 2018

AACSB accredited bannerMays Business School at Texas A&M University received its five-year accreditation renewal this week from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The renewal includes a separate accreditation of the Department of Accounting, making the college one of 186 worldwide certified in both overall business and accounting programs.

Dean Eli Jones was notified Tuesday, May 1, 2018, of the reaccreditation. “AACSB accreditation is the most rigorous international accreditation a business school can earn. Our engaged stakeholders (faculty, staff and advisory board members) push us to reach this very high standard of quality,” he said. “I am proud that Mays Business School has continuously improved in terms of innovation and impact, which is reflected in our maintaining this accreditation over many years.”

Advancing the world’s prosperity

Department of Accounting head Jim Benjamin added, “We were delighted to be one of the first 13 schools to achieve AACSB accounting accreditation in 1982. Maintaining our status challenges our faculty to pursue excellence and continuous improvement.”

To prepare for the evaluation, Mays officials submitted voluminous documents late last year about the school’s programs and achievements. Mays educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. The vision of Mays Business School is to advance the world’s prosperity by being a vibrant learning organization, creating impactful knowledge, and developing transformational leaders.

A peer review team visited the school, looking specifically at accomplishments since the previous visit five years earlier – including the launch and activation of a new Strategic Plan and consistently high rankings among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The team of deans and professors visited Mays in February to interview faculty, staff, outside business partners, alumni, and students about the mission and vision of the college. They rated faculty and curricula and ensured all the programs in the college met quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions between faculty and students, and student success in terms of achieving learning goals.

An intense peer-review process

The Continuous Improvement Review Committee and the Accounting Accreditation Committee concurred with the peer review teams’ recommendations for extension of accreditation of the business and accounting degree programs. The Board of Directors concurred.

Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International, extended congratulations to Mays Business School on extending its accreditation. “The intense peer-review process confirms a school’s continued focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. Mays Business School’s dedication to delivering high-quality business education will create the next generation of great leaders.”

The AACSB sets the highest standards of excellence, and it has been 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.





With state funding even more of a challenge for Texas’ institutions today, external support is critical to helping Mays achieve its goals. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently committed to establishing an Accounting Excellence Fund. Accounting Department Head Jim Benjamin says this $300,000 award will support research and curriculum development activities focused on assurance services, taxation, financial reporting and accounting systems.Benjamin credits Kevin Roach, Texas A&M liaison partner in Dallas, as well as Bill Atkinson ’82 and Ed Machir, Dallas partner and PWC Foundation Board member, for their commitment to Mays’ accounting program. Greg Garrison, national partner in charge of assurance services, will make a brief presentation of the gift at Mays in late March.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

For the third consecutive year, the Mays MBA Program has been ranked among the 100 best in the world by the London Financial Times, the pre-eminent worldwide business publication. This ranking places Mays MBA program in the top 5 percent of the approximately 2,000 MBA programs worldwide. The Mays program ranks 69th overall, up 13 places from last year. Of the 100 ranked schools, 56 are located in the United States. U.S. programs typically dominate the top 10, such as the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard Business School and Stanford University. “Our increase in rankings reflects the quality of our students and faculty,” says Dean Jerry Strawser. “This ranking places us solidly among the top 20 public business schools and continues to indicate the high value of a Mays MBA, as we were ranked second among all U.S. schools in ‘value for the money’ behind only Brigham Young University.”The Financial Times evaluation, in its fifth year, conducts two surveys, one of institutions offering graduate business degrees and the other of students who graduated from the respective schools’ programs three years ago. The surveys are designed to gauge career progression as accrued from the MBA, including salary, salary increments and international mobility. It also includes institutional diversity, including number of women and international students; and quality of the schools’ research, including number of journal publications by faculty and rating of doctoral graduates for programs that produce them

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Thanks to a specially constructed networking environment, students are learning firsthand how to keep information systems and networks safe. The new Business Information Security Laboratory (BISL), within the Department of Information & Operations Management (INFO), gives students real-world experience in defending their systems against cyber attacks.

The laboratory was designed by Michael Grimaila, a visiting professor in the INFO department, to provide students an independent environment where they can learn how to prevent cyber attacks without disabling Mays’ or Texas A&M’s computer systems.

“The sandbox environment isolates the BISL from the university network to allow the safe study of real-world cyber attacks that could destroy or disable computer systems,” Grimaila says. “Tomorrow’s business managers need to be firmly grounded in information assurance principles and practices. Presidential Decision Directive 63 made it clear that our national security, in part, depends upon the information assurance and security of critical infrastructure industries, which are predominately private sector businesses.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students

Each year Mays Business School recognizes outstanding staff members for their hard work and exemplary service. Those honored for 2002 were (from top) Bettie Poehl, Department of Information & Operations Management; Robert E. Brown Jr., Department of Accounting; Kris Morley, Fellows Program; and Sabrina Saladino, Department of Management.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs

Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Distinguished Professor of Marketing and the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership, presented at the 2002 University Distinguished Lecture Series at Texas A&M in December. His lecture, “Improving Health Care Service in America,” was based on his behind-the-scenes research endeavor at Mayo Clinic focusing on healthcare service.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty

Most people think of capital as money to be invested, but Finance Professor John Groth researches another kind of capital — human capital and the largely untapped creativity of people.

Groth’s latest research paper, “Creativity and Human Capital: International Implications,” explores the human and economic effects of exploiting people’s creativity or letting it expire unnoticed. He presented the paper at the annual International Business and Economic Conference in December.

“When you consider the role of ideas in human history, you realize that creativity is a stronger force than any army in shaping people’s lives,” says Groth. “And today, with a broader definition of creativity, increasing human capital demands more opportunities.”

Groth’s broader definition of creativity expands the range of creative events beyond the inventor in his laboratory or the painter in her studio, to encompass the ingenious ways ordinary people deal with their lives.

“As educators, we need to find ways to convince business leaders and managers to take advantage of the potential contributions brought about by the wider distribution of creative talents and the real diversity of human capital,” Groth says. “I want students, in particular, to come away with the idea of using each person’s individual strengths as opportunities to advance projects important not only to company profits, but to the well-being of society as a whole.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The Academy of Marketing Science recently named Professor Rajan Varadarajan the recipient of the Distinguished Marketing Educator Award. Varadarajan, who serves as head of the Department of Marketing, has received numerous awards for both outstanding research and teaching.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Associate Professor of Accounting Annie McGowan’s article — “The Relation between Cost Shifting and Segment Profitability in the Defense-Contracting Industry” — was featured in the October issue of The Accounting Review, published by the American Accounting Association.

The article was co-authored with Valaria Vendrzyk, a graduate of the accounting Ph.D. program. Vendrzyk is now on faculty at Virginia Tech.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

David Szymanski, marketing professor and director of the Center for Retailing Studies, has been appointed to the J.C. Penney Chair in Retailing Studies.

The criteria for this chair include scholarly research and teaching excellence in retailing and marketing areas, demonstrated leadership in service to the retailing discipline and strong evidence for continued excellence in research, teaching and service.

“David’s distinguished work in the retailing area and leadership of our Center for Retailing Studies are well known throughout the world,” says Dean Jerry Strawser. “I am very pleased that his efforts are being recognized in this very tangible and significant manner.”

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty

Accounting professors from across the nation ranked Mays’ graduate program in accounting 10th in the nation. This is the first time the graduate program was ranked in the national survey, which is conducted by the journal, Public Accounting Report.

Mays’ undergrad program in accounting came in 14th in the survey, moving up from its previous ranking of 19th.

While the accounting programs have long been recognized by organizations for graduating talented students, Department Head Jim Benjamin says this national recognition is essential to moving the programs forward.

“I don’t think these rankings are the result of any short-term changes,” says Benjamin. “Instead, I think they reflect our long-term activities. We have been a leading source of hires for the Big 4 public accounting firms over an extended period of time, but we are not as well known nationally yet.”

One of the highlights of the department is its Professional Program, which is highly sought by Mays students. This program enables students to combine their BBA in accounting with a master’s degree in finance, accounting, information systems or marketing.

While many business schools offer similar programs, Benjamin says Mays’ is unique in that it equips students with business skills, not just analytical knowledge. In fact, this year the department sponsored Profession at Crossroads specifically for fifth-year students in the Professional Program.

The weekly series brought to campus members of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Accounting Standards Board, senior accounting firm partners, officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission, bankers, ethics experts, lawyers and corporate CEOs.

“Traditionally, accounting programs have focused on technical facts and details rather than skills,” he says. “Our Professional Program develops skills in the areas of communications, problem solving, teamwork, leadership and technology.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs