Business School Accreditation   
    The Gold Standard
    The Lead Standard


AASBI Staff, 10 October 2019


This article is intended to urge our view that the time has come for prominent pseudo-public so called "Gold Standard" accreditators to cease and desist imposing stigmas of inferiority on the majority of non-accredited schools of business worldwide, and begin to serve the public interest better by transforming temselves from figureheads of a few superiorly-held institutions into more voluntary and impartial consultants of their mostly public members, and all others so inclined to join.

Business Schools

ESSEC in France

"Visit the average university campus and it is likely that the newest and most ostentatious building will be occupied by the business school. The business school has the best building because it makes the biggest profits (or, euphemistically, “contribution” or “surplus”) – as you might expect, from a form of knowledge that teaches people how to make profits," says Martin Parker in his polemic-provocative article, "Why we should bulldoze the business school-podcast." The Guardian 21 May 2018. See book review by the authorFinancial Tines by Helen Barrett 22 May 2018. "Business schools have huge influence, yet they are also widely regarded to be intellectually fraudulent places, fostering a culture of short-termism and greed. (There is a whole genre of jokes about what MBA – Master of Business Administration – really stands for: “Mediocre But Arrogant”, “Management by Accident”, “More Bad Advice”, “Master Bullxxxx Artist”...)"

  Forbes disagrees: "Another Cheap Shot At Business Schools" by John Byrne, editor-in-chief of Poets and Quants, 29 April 2018 - downloadable:

    "Why all the hostility? Success breeds envy. Spectacular success invites contempt. The market has spoken, and business schools have won. The MBA is the most popular graduate degree in the U.S. Business is the most popular major, with many colleges having to place limits on enrollment because the demand to study business at the undergraduate level is that high.

    "The reason for this success is understandable: A business education delivers results — beyond an ROI calculation. It’s a path toward a more meaningful career and life. It’s a way to push the odds of gaining immediate employment in your favor. Organizations want business-educated professionals because they know they can hit the ground running. And the basic skills learned in business school are incredibly useful to people no matter where they end up, in nonprofits and NGOs, government agencies, hospitals, and the military."

Says Gold-Standard-Accreditor on its websiteGraduates of Accredited Business Schools Combine Business Leadership With Passion and Purpose:

    "Each day, graduates of AACSB-accredited schools are creating lasting impact in their communities, industries, and around the world. The annual Influential Leaders challenge recognizes these graduates and the business schools that prepared them. Read more to learn how each honoree represents the business education—and business community’s—past, present, and promising future." [See Source.]

The Argument: "Gold-Standard-accredited business schools are contributing to the good of society"

Celebrity Net Worth

One such golden alumnus took down Lehman Brothers with over $600 billion in debt into the deep like a ton of lead, filing for bankruptcy protection at 1:45 a.m. on that memorable Monday, 15th September 2008: Prior to the crash, Richard Fuld (1946 - ), MBA (1973) from gold-standard-accredited New York University's Stern Business School — acceptance rate 2019-2020 12% tuition $71,676 (more) — had received a $22 million bonus in 2006. In 2007 he had received $34 million, and in 2008 $40.5 million. During his time at Lehman Brothers, Fuld was paid approximately $485 million in various forms of compensation. (Source)

Lehman's demise also made it the largest victim of the U.S. subprime mortgage-induced financial crisis that swept through global financial markets in 2008. Lehman's collapse was a seminal event that greatly intensified the 2008 crisis and contributed to the erosion of close to $10 trillion in market capitalization from global equity markets in October 2008 — the largest monthly decline on record at the time. (Investopedia, "The Collapse of Lehman Brothers. A Case Study.")

Professors at HBS urged caution

Professors of equally renowed gold-standard-accredited Harvard Business School issued a response entitled "Financial Crisis Caution Urged by Faculty Panel" Working KnowledgeBusiness Research for Business Leaders — our grandmothers could have told so, while the Fed and the U.S. Treasury — recognizing that the "financial infrastructure is a public good much like transportation infrastructure... (Geitner, 2014:103 infra — decided to rise above themselves and open the flodd gates of money creation, first by bailing out global insurer AIG (The New York Times's "back door bailout of Goldman Sachs" - Geitner 2015:198), and then to fuel the world's payment system(s) by forcing huge deposits of its high-power federal funds on the banks including the remaining U.S. brokerage firm that quickly adopted commercial banking status, and thereby prevent the imminent collapse of the world's financial system. (Timothy Geitner (2014), "Stress Test. Reflections on Financial Crises"; Ben S. Bernanke (2015), "The Courage to Act. A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath.")

The HSB professors were "fiddling while Rome was burning," thus revealing their total lack of concern for the cause about which they are teaching. Of all the academically correct advice rendered in normal times, but empty urgings in the face of catastrophy, those by Professor David Moss are heinously alarming, telling us that the financial meltdown was "dangerous" and that a bailout could be "even riskier" when bold action was required, that of course "might have been wrong," but because the boat was sinking. The academic caution drives home the point that contrary to their claims, business schools from the safety of their Ivory Tower are poor counsel, at least not in times of distress. Let them resaerch and pulish when the storm is over and the ocean is flat again.

    David Moss, professor and historian, identified three interrelated problems driving the ongoing financial turmoil: the collapse of the housing bubble, significant weaknesses in our financial architecture, and a deep crisis of confidence, particularly in the financial sector. He suggested that the first problem was at the heart of things and that we wouldn’t ultimately see improvement until housing prices stopped falling. "Keep a close eye on housing prices," he advised. The second broad problem facing the United States is weakness in its financial architecture, with excessive leverage across much of the industry, distorted incentives embedded in executive compensation packages, and credit rating agencies that miss the mark. The third problem is a crisis of confidence, which began to look almost like a bank run last week. Historically, such crises have proved very dangerous, he said.

    While the $700 billion proposal may be "reasonable," Moss suggested, "I'm concerned that if we don't structure this bailout correctly, we could create an even riskier financial system in the years ahead."

Some professors are called into high office.

The great John Maynard Keynes (1886-1946) and the courageous Ben Shalom Bernanke (1953 - ) come to mind, both adjestives, as anything, not being undisputed. Keynes took up an official governent position at the UK Treasury in 2015 and was appointed financial representative for the Treasury at the Versailles Peace Conferend following World War I, resigning in disgust. He attacked the post-World War I deflation policies with A Tract on Monetary Reform in 1923 —– a trenchant argument that countries should target stability of domestic prices, avoiding deflation even at the cost of allowing their currency to depreciate, a concept which is often associated with Keynesianism.

In his Tract, Keynes espoused the famous quote that would perfectly describe the above mentioned Harvard Business School's "urging of caution" at the height of the Global Financial Crisis:

    [T]this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tmepestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storn is long past the ocean is flat again." (Chapter 3, p. 80).

The Bretton Woods Conference 1-22 July 1944, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was the gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations in World War II at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to anticipate and regulate the international monetary and financial order after the conclusion of World War II, which created the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a set of fixed foreign exchange rates pegged to the American dollar which in turn was tied to the price of gold at $35 an ounce, an arrangement that lasted for the very long time of until 14th March 1968 when the London Gold Pool was closed. "There was no doubt in anybody's mind that Keynes was the intellectually dominant figure at the conference... Practically all the initial proposals and ideas came from Keynes and his group." (Erik Jensen and Thomas Fisher, Eds. 1990. "The United Kingdom — The United Nations," Hans Singer Ch. 10, "The The Vision of Keynes: The Bretton Woods Institutions," p. 235. Publisher Palgrave Macmillan UK.)

Keynes is often denounced as a leftist as a proponent of easy money, and he did write in 1925 under the heading "Am I a Liberal?": "The Republic of my imagination lies on the extreme left of celestial space. Yet-all the same-I feel that my true home, so long as they offer a roof and a floor, is still with the Liberals." Keynes' (1936) greatest work for which is is known, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money," was addressing the problem of deflation causing unemployment. Six weeks before his death, he met Professor Friedrich Hayek who asked him about the dangers of impending inflation, with which Keynes agreed, promising that if inflation ever became a problem, he would turn public opinion around, but he died and never could. (Cambrdige University video, supra at 41:39/1:18:23.)

In the same Cambrdige University's video, Keynes biographer Professor Robert Skidelsky says that Keynes thought of government spending to be for investment as the "beginning and end of The General Theory," that was not a welfarist, althoug he... "always called himself as a man of the left, thought of himself as a man of the left, but at the same time completely repudiated socialims. Continously and repeatedly he said he had no time either as an economic doctrine or, this is perhaps less clear, as an end." (Cambridge University video at 45:30/1:18:23).

31 December 1965

      Keynes, one of the most influential minds on macro-economis of all time, had not studied economics, instead he received a first-class BA in mathematics at Kings College Cambridge University in 1904. Alred Marshall begged Keynes to take up economics, so that he stayed there for another year to read economics under Mrshall and Arthur Pigou. His father was, John Neville Keynes, was an economics don, denior administrator, and a lecturer in moral sciences.
      "Keynes was not a theoretical economist," says Andrew Beattie, "he was an active trader in stocks and futures. He benefited hugely from the Roaring '20s and was well on his way to becoming the richest economist in history when the crash of 1929 wiped out three-quarters of his wealth. Keynes hadn't predicted this crash and was among those who believed a negative economic event was impossible with the Federal Reserve watching over the U.S. economy.
      Although blindsided by the Great Crash of 1929, the adaptable Keynes did manage to rebuild his fortune by buying up stocks in the fire sale following the crash. His contrarian investing left him with a fortune of around $30 million at his death, making him the second richest economist in history." (Andrew Beattie, "Giants of Finance: John Maynard Keynes." Investopedia, updated 25 June 2019 downloadable.) See also "John Maynard Keynes - Life, Legacy, Ideas video by Cambridge University ono YouTube length 1:18 hours.

Even as Keynes' ideas may be less preferred today, the closing remarks in his (1936) General Theory still have value today. And this may serve as a guide to view today's theory of business school accreditation by the gold standard, which is holding on to an encrusted orthodoxy of bureaucracy that denies universities's faculties and tudents in spite of an abundant global variety of cultures their academic freedoms to teach, experiment, learn and acquire their desired skills by imposing an American-European fit-all template of self-assessment, critical analysis and peer review based on the presumption of "inferior until proven accreditable." Keynes writes:

    At the present moment people are usually expectant of a more fundamental diagnosis; more particularly ready to receive it; eager to try it out; if it should be even plausible. But apart from this contemporary mood, the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas."

Accredited schools undergo an audited every three to five years, but their resistence as shown by the refusal of the renowned schools at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, Yale, Northwestern University, refusing to participate in their U.S. Accreditor's mandatory annual survey 2019-2020, will be noted in Europe and Asia and force the accreditation bureaucracy into submission or out of existence. The Accreditor was founded over 100 years ago as a network of the several fonding universities as a platform for dialogue by their newly formed business schools; accreditation came later and reached a level of only 260 schools by 1988, all in the United States and one in Canada; it has quadroupled since then. International business schools are linked with each other with faculty and student exchange, wether they are accredited, or not accredited.

John Kenneth Galbraith
official portrait

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006) called himself the son of a Candian dirt farmer and school teacher of Scottish descent from Southern Ontario. He grew to the imposing height of 206 cm, took a BA in Agricultural Science at Ontario Agricultural College, associated with the University of Toronto, majoring in animal husbandry. took a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics at UC Berkeley, and staarted to work as an instructor of at Harvard University in 1934. Galbraith taught intermittently at Harvard in the period 1934 to 1939. From 1939 to 1940, he taught at Princeton University. In 1937, he became a citizen of the United States and was no longer a British subject. In the same year, he took a year-long fellowship at the University of Cambridge, England, where he was influenced by John Maynard Keynes. Galbraith's public service started in the era of New Deal when he joined the United States Department of Agriculture.

From 1943 until 1948, he served as an editor of Fortune magazine. In 1949, he was appointed professor of economics at Harvard University. During World War II, he Galbraith served as a deputy head of the Office of Price Administration (OPA)1941–1943, starting with 6 people that grew to 15,000 staffers. The OPA directed the process of stabilization of prices and rents to control runaway price inflation as a result of wartime production's large budget deficits.

During his time as an adviser to President John F. Kennedy, Galbraith was appointed United States Ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963. His rapport with President Kennedy was such that he regularly bypassed the State Department and sent his diplomatic cables directly to the president.[34] In India, he became a confidant of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and extensively advised the Indian government on economic matters. In 1966, when he was no longer ambassador, he told the United States Senate that one of the main causes of the 1965 Kashmir war was American military aid to Pakistan.

Galbraith had a deep unterstanding of the world's oligarchic monetary system run by a network of private commercial banks with the national treasuries aiding and abetting, in part out of sheer ignorance. In his remarkable work (1975), "Money. Whence it came, where it went," he writes in Chapter1:

    "A word must be said about the frame of mind in which one wishes the reader to approach a book such as this. Much discussion of moeny involves a heavy overlay of priestly incantation. Some of this is deliberate. Those who talk of money and teach about it and make their living by it gain prestige, esteem and pecuniary return, as does a doctor or a witch doctor, from cultivating the belief that they are in privileged association with with occult — that they have insights that are not available to the ordinary person. Though professionally rewarding and on occasion personally profitable, this too is a well-established form of fraud. There is nothing about money that cannot be understood by the person of reasonable curisoty, diligence and intelligence."

And then he pulls out the flash card and puts it on the table, the much recited words by academicians in the field, though rearely understood even by ministers of finance selling the "black zero" — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble's, an attorney. 2017 schwarze Null by refusing to go into new debt to finance public investments in infrastructure, digital development, or of ministers simply bemoaning their inability to find the money... Galbraith famously stated: "he process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled."

Keynes had published on the same finding 62 years before Galbraith, but as a young man in his twenties, (John Maynard Keynes. 1913. "Indian Currency and Finance." London: Macmillan) when discussing the U.K. Bank Charter Act 1848 that had disallowed country banks to issue their own notes as circulating currency, but who replaced the convenience by perfecting the check-book system, accomplishing the same endm, namely the creation of deposits that could transfer just like paper money, so long as no one challenged the system, turning a blind eye to the impending realities of breakdown of the "payment system." And how many times has it been broken since 1913? Keynes writes:

    "The sound principle for regulating the issue of a Paper Circulation," wrote the Secretary of State, "is that which was enforced on the Bank of England by the Act of 1844. In England, of course, bankers immediately set themselves to recover the economy and elasticity, which the Act of 1844 banished from the English system, by other means; and with the development of the cheque system to its present state of perfection they have magnificently succeeded."

Galbraith did not see any utility in "fighting the system" of which he had been a part, merely exposed its villany to anyone interested to take notice. His last work, a booklet of 61 pages published in 2004 at age 96, a wise old man, two years before his death, carries the apologetic titls "The Economics of Innocent Fraud." From his introduction:

    What I have read, heard, taught, was, I trust, well motivated. What prevails in real life is not the reality but the current fashion and the pecuniary interest. So compelling is this, that... even the everyday characterization of the economic system has been affected. When capitalism, the historic refeence, ceased to be acceptable, the system was renamed. The new term was begnign but without meaning. To this I now turn — ... "the Market System."

Galbraith's, the former Ambassador to India's, final published words confirm the sad fact that Civilization "has given a privileged position to the development of weapons and the threat and reality of war. Mass slaughter has become the ultimate civilized achievement." "War remains the decisive human failure." At the time this writing, Turkish troops are invading Northern Syria with artillery and heavy weapons.

Ben Bernanke
official portrait

Professor Ben Bernanke (1953 - ) taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business from 1979 to 1985, was a visiting professor at New York University and went on to become a tenured professor at Princeton University in the Department of Economics. He chaired that department from 1996 until September 2002, when he went on public service leave, taking a position as member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and serving two terms as Chairman from 2006 to 2014.

Ben Bernanke, then Professor at Princeton University, and his wife Anna, residing in Montgomery Township of New Jersey, writes that they were both educators, their own children attending public school and Ben sitting on the school board.

"I was electec twice and served six grueling years. A constant battled raged between the newcomers to the township, like us, who wanted more and better schools, and the longtime residens, who worried about the cost. I observed more than once that two of the things prople cared most about were the welfare of their children and minimizing their taxes..." (Ben S. Bernanke. 2015. "The Couage to Act. A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath." New York: W.W. Norton, p. 37.)

"When I was an educator," said Bernanke as Chairman of the Fed at a 'Teacher Town Hall Meeting: 100 Years of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC,' on 13 November 2013, "I quickly came to understand that students are most motivated to learn when they can see the connection of the lesson to their own lives." Downloadable. Simulation games are available on

Mario Draghi
WEF Davos 2012

Mario Draghi (1947 - ) was a full professor at the Cesare Alfieri Faculty of Political Science of the University of Florence from 1981 until 1994[6] and a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2001). From 1984 to 1990 he was the Italian Executive Director at the World Bank. In 1991 he became general director of the Italian Treasury, and held this office until 2001. Fropm 2002-2005, Draghi was vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International. He worked on the firm's European strategy and development with major European corporations and governments. In December 2005 Draghi was appointed Governor of the Bank of Italy, and in April 2006 he was elected Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum; this organization which became Financial Stability Board in April 2009 on behalf of the G20, bringing together representatives of governments, central banks and national supervisors, institutions and financial markets, international financial institutions, international associations of regulatory authoritiesand supervision and committees of central bank experts. Draghi began leading the Frankfurt, Germany, based European Central Bank when Jean Claude Trichet's non-renewable eight-year term expired on 31 October 2011. Draghi's term as President of the ECB runs out on 31 October 2019. He will be succeeded by Christine Lagarde, the current head of the IMF.

Mario Draghi attracts outrage by non-Keynsians who claim, among others, that "Growth is normally created by a combination of good infrastructure politics, low tax, freedom of enterpreneurship and positive loops on innovation. Draghi is just another rainmaker, that is a looser failing to speak out this truth and pretending to be able to create a miracle where there is none." (Klaus Tulipan, CEO at Cloud Professional, "What is Mario Draghi's reputation among economists?" Quora 04 December 2015 downloadable.)

The critics are unforgivable complainers, blaming Draghi for buying up quasi defunct government EURO-bonds to keep the nations and the currency afloat, while reducing interest rates into negative territory to boost investments and consumer spending, effectively depriving retentive private commercial banks of income from their historical privilege, to create money out of nothing, and giving this benefit back to the national treasuries who should have created the nation's money supply in the first place by spending it into circulation for the common good, not the capitalists and their "running dogs"... "trained as MBA at gold standard business schools," as one might add. (Michael Schemmann. 2015. "Putting a Stop to Fictitious Bank Accounting. With a Plan to Redeem the US and Euro Area National Debts," published in English and German by IICPA Publications to view.)

Draghi and Lagarde who is expected to continue his policy, must have been ardent students of Irving Fisher's (1935), "100% Money. Designed to keep checking banks 100% liquid; to prevent inflation and deflation; largely to cure or prevent depression; and to wipe out much of the National Debt" — and the Chicago Plan — republished by IICPA Publicaations available at Amazon.


Business School Accreditation is a bit of an oximoron (New Latin from Greek oxumoros, pointedly foolish) in that most of the dominant organizations that issue credentials are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies; hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies" - USDA Accreditation for Certification Bodies. The accreditation process intends to ensure, or fails to assure, that their certification practices are acceptable, typically meaning that they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically and employ suitable quality assurance. (Wikipedia, "accreditation").

In most countries the function of educational accreditation is conducted by a government organization, such as a Ministry of Education. In the United States a quality assurance process exists that is independent of government and performed by private non-profit organizations — Global Trends in Quality Assurance in Higher Eduation by Marjorie Peace Lenn in World Education News & Reviews, Spring 1992 Vol. 5 No. 2. — See also and D.D. Guttenplan, "Accrediting Business Schools - by Whose Rules?" The New York Times 27 June 2011. — See also and Judith Eaton, "Open Letter to Senator Harkin," 16 May 2011 at Inside HigherEd (PDF).

Those organizations are formally called accreditors. All accreditors in the US must in turn be recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which is an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Education, in order to receive federal funding and any other type of federal recognition. Therefore, the federal government is the principal architect and controlling authority of accreditation. The U.S. accreditation process was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century after educational institutions perceived a need for improved coordination and articulation between secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, along with standardization of requirements between the two levels.

Most U.S. accreditation bodies are accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation CHEA established 1996 in Washington, DC, as a result of soaring student loan defaults and student aid abuses that were were highly critical of the laxity of accreditation and accreditation processes.

    "An accreditor must abide by several federal requirements to serve as a gatekeeper to federal financial aid dollars."
    "Requiring accreditors to focus more on outcomes matters for students. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education provides nearly $130 billion in taxpayer money in the form of student grants and loans to help 13 million students attend more than 6,000 colleges.7 Many of these students, however, will never graduate. Students who do not finish are significantly more likely to default on their student loans, often with catastrophic long-term financial impacts.8 To make matters worse, the higher education system suffers from broad gaps in college attainment and disparities in student loan debt and default by race and income.9 These differences define a system that too often exacerbates inequity instead of serving as an engine for economic mobility. It is all too easy for a college whose students don’t fare well to receive an accreditor’s stamp of approval—and the federal money that comes with it—over and over again, even when student outcomes don’t improve." (Antoinette Flores, "How College Accreditors Miss the Mark on Student Outcomes," Center for American Progress, 25 April 2018)
CHEA is led by a board of directors that consists of 20 members, including presidents of colleges and universities, other institutional representatives, and members of the public, has approximately 3,000 academic institutions as members, and currently recognizes approximately 60 accrediting organizations.

The main U.S. Accreditor has been removed from CHEA-Accreditation in September 2016 and switched to accreditation by ISO 9001 — a brutal outflow of the U.S. military's procurement MILL-Q-9858 standard of 1959, and the UK's Def Stan 05-21 and 05-24 — which is widely seen as a wasteful step backwards by succumbing to "bureaucratic technicalities masquerading as quality." (Ref.: Ian Wilson Is ISO the way to go? Some say, Not So! [ article offline ] AACC Convention: Booth 6708. The Westgard Rules, 04 June 2010 The name of the accreditor for this ISO 9001 "accreditatin" is undisclosed; it could be anyone, and it could be no one.

John Seddon writes in The Guardian "The new ISO 9000 maintains a philosophy of planning and control, whereas we should be encouraging managers to learn about the 'what and why' of current performance as the basis for learning rather than control. When managers do learn how to understand the 'what and why' of current performance they discover for themselves just how much their registration to ISO 9000 is hindering rather than improving performance." "I would tell managers to desist. If managers are to learn and improve, the focus of control of their learning should be with them, the learners, not assessors and standard-setters." [Emphasis added.] (Ref; John Seddon, "The quality you can't feel." The Guardian 19 November 2000.)

    "Perhaps the privately run AACSB should not have the last word in establishing standards for the nation's business schools."
    "An official in the U.S. Department of Higher Education has told us that the Department 'no longer recognizes AACSB as our official accrediting organ.'" "The record so far casts doubt on the ability and willingness of AACSB, a private association, to meet its obligations of transparency and responsibility to the public…"

    Ref: Diane L. Swanson (Kansas State U.) and William C. Frederick (U. Pittsburgh), "CAMPAIGN AACSB: Are business schools complicit in Corporate Corruption?" Journal of Individual Employment Rights, March 2003 — downlaod full PDF text.

The gold standard takes its claim from the scarcity of the metal gold, an otherwise useless metal except for its high conductivity of electric current (44.2 10.E6 Siemens/meter) which is also achieved, and even exceeded by much more abundant silver (62.1) and copper (58.7), closely follwed by the most abundant of them all: aluminum (36.9). Deans of business schools accredited by the predominant American and European Accreditors, and the British MBA Accreditor can be heard to say, that the excellence of their school is supported by the very small pool of so accredited schools, namely less than 5% of an estimated ocean of 13,000 worldwide.
Quoting the president and CEO of such an accreditor:

    "There are actually about 15,000 business schools around the world, or institutions of higher education with business programs, and we accredit only the top 5%." See Dr. Tom Robinson Why B-Schools seek AACSB accreditation on YouTube at 0.41/3.08 17th January 2019.

By way of analogy, the gold standard argument's claim of value based on scarcity resembles the old Victorian Woman's virtue of forcing her husband into submission by withholding supply. Or, in other words, as for many of old folks who were born when the world population was 2 billion, each one of us could claim an unimaginably high value as only one out of 2 billion, a value which has nearly tripled merely by along with the increase in the world's population to 7 billion, in spite of the fact that health and related life expectancy have dminished.

This view of valuing accreditation on the basis of its scarcity assumes, of course, that the underlying standards, let alone the principles, are good. The good side about such a mistaken view is that the impact and effect of this type of gold standard accreditation is neglibile, if the standards are bad. While one cannot say that these standards have been a curse or unbearable burden on business education, there is a widely held view that the gold standards have not been a blessing, either.

Analysis of the so called Gold Standard of Accreditation, or Lead Standard?

The purpose of much feared business accreditation, often by faculty itself, is the so called "continuing improvement of the quality of education" by an overbearing bureaucracy of the accreditor, requiring the appointment of university accreditation officer and staff in order to comply with the requirements, the ongoing scrutiny, laying down standards by regulating the standing of faculty and the mix of academically qualified professors relative to practicing professionals with knowledge and exprience of reality, addressing students' learning outcomes, research by faculty (see summary AASBI website the "Excuse for Research in Accounting Education" and article, peer-reviewed publication in renowned joursnals, the business school's impact on faculty and students, impact on the local community and society as a whole, and, of course the return on investment by students and their parents by looking at the salary level three years after graduation.

The accreditation's time requirement from beginning to end, after which it begins anew, is unreasonable and plain and simple "oppressive." The whole process from application, elevation to candidacy status, and finally business and/or specialized accounting accreditation, is said to take from 5 to 7 years — see the complex Accreditation Process, Actions and Time Phrame Policy — an extremely long time horizon after which much of the material taught by the school is admittedly outdated. A doctoral program counting from high school graduation to the Ph.D. can be conceivably completed in 7 years (4 for the BA, 1 for the MBA, and 2 for the PhD). The doctoral research is supposed to add new insights to the academic body of knowledge. But in the case of a long-existing business school, nothing is new is added, except audit papers upon audit papers to feed the accrediation-bureaucracy until finally it gives in. Are the university's assurances worth nothing? Its academic reputation and respect by the community?

The financial audits of large corporations are typically completed within 2 (two) months of financial statement date: WalMart's 31 January 2019 statements by EY on 28 March 2019; ExxonMobile's of 31 December 2018 by PwC on 27 February 2019. So how about 90 days (3 months) for the accreditation audit of recognized business schools to review the existence and extent of regional/national governmental licenses, published information, and, if need be, send a team of three peers for so called sight inspection to verify it all on the spot and report?

Allow the universities the benefit of the doubt, of their academic freedom, of their legitimate purposes and goodwill. After all this has been done and the accreditation certificate issued, then proceed and nurture the new members to assist them in adopting whatever methodologies and values the accreditor wants to teach and they accept, if they accept, in a mutually enriching exchange. Until B-School accreditors adopt an open, impartial and unbiased approanch and process, the accreditors are still rooted in their encrusted old ways, are at best national but not truly global accrediting bodies.

Coordinating Ministry for PMK, Agus Sartono

View the one-hour long detailed and enlightening presentation on YouTube by the American Accreditor's President and CEO on 4th August 2018 at Universitas Gadjah Mada's (UGM) Scool of Economics and Business in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. UGM originated in the 1940s under Dutsch rule and was officially founded in December 1949 at the time of Indonesia's indepence, has a total of 33,000 undergraduate and 16,000 postgraduate students (2016). UGM's business school is currently the only one of 180+ business schools accredited by the main U.S. Accredtiro in Indonesia, Asia's third and the world's 4th most populated country.

An indepth analysis and critique the details of the arduous accreditation progess is beyond the scope of this article, except to say that with goodwill and faith in the school's ability tp sddress the needs of its faculty, students and society, its age-old Hindu-Buddhist, Muslim and Christian cultures, to rake this university over the coals of an American-European university expectations is mildly put an exercise of unbecoming arrogance.

Says the main U.S. Accreditor's President in an Interview with the The Hindu Business Line on 6th February 2019 {comments in brackets have been added by us]:

  • "On the input side, we look at faculty qualification; if they have the right [Western] academic or professional qualifications to be teaching students."
  • "And how do institutions continuously check to make sure students are learning [our Western stuff] what they’re supposed to be learning?"
  • "On the output side, we look at how many students are placed after graduation and where they are five years after placement" [if not in the U.S. or working for our firms].
  • "We are a [quasi] non-profit organisation. The fee for the process is fairly modest. And the B-schools have to pay the travel expenses for the Deans to visit their campus. But the real cost lies in acquiring the right faculty and improving processes" [which can be in the millions of dollars. see Friedman and Krass (2016), "The Ethics of AACSB Accreditation: Uninted Consequences" Article PDF].
  • "For some rankings, like the FT [Financial Times] rankings of B-schools, you cannot be ranked if you don’t have an international accreditation, either from AACSB [monopoly] or EFMD, an European accreditor similar to us but smaller" [inferior].
Steven C. Hunt (2015), an associate professor of accounting at Western Illinois State University, writes in his ceritical "Research On The Value Of AACSB Business Accreditation In Selected Areas: A Review And Synthesis" Article:
    "So it appears as if a school’s resources influence its choice of accreditor" [...] "the direct cost of achieving and maintaining AACSB accreditation (such as application fees, conferences, and consultants’ fees) has been estimated as at least three to four times that of the others. Higher faculty salaries that are typically found at AACSB-accredited schools (Hedrick et al., 2010 and Bell & Joyce, 2011) are a major cost, as well."
As to value, being the diffeence between benefits and costs, Hunt adds:
    "AACSB accreditation’s value may vary based on the type of school. Tullis and Camey (2007) note that smaller regional and private schools may benefit the most. AACSB accreditation has always been most important to such middle-tiered schools (White et al., 2008). Programs known nationally or internationally for the quality of the faculty, strict admissions standards, and excellent placement have strong reputation and name recognition and do not need accreditation. Middle-tiered schools have used AACSB accreditation as an effective way to differentiate themselves from lower-tiered schools while claiming to be similar to well-known and respected universities (White et al., 2008). Some schools take this to extremes. One low-rated school promoted its AACSB accreditation by misleadingly claiming that its business programs had been judged equal to those of Harvard and Stanford, among others."
In his conclusions, the author says:
    "Overall, results are limited in support of AACSB assertions that AACSB accreditation provides better education or job prospects to students or better entry-level job candidates to potential employers. Many non AACSB-accredited schools may hire faculty with greater and/or more recent work experience, which they may then use in their teaching." [...] "Those schools that believe that they are providing a quality academic experience for their students and that those students are in demand by desirable employers may not need the approval of the AACSB or, for that matter, other accreditors."

Indonesia has emerged from two centuries of colonialisation by Europeans, and it is doubted that American-European values and methodologies are what Indonesians aspire, let alone need to, adopt. It is a welcome and enriching truth that Asian thinking is markedly different from Western thinking, and her societal values are seen to lie in cooperation and harmony as opposed to Western competition, accumulation of money, wealth, and global dominance. "East and West can get along better through mutual understanding of mental differences. Many people in Eastern countries believe with some justice that the past five hundred years of Western military, political, and economic dominance have made the West intellectually and morally arrogant." (See How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why).

The Cambridge School of intellectual history as we know it "has dealt exclusively with the ‘political thought’ generated in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, transmitted to medieval and modern Europe, and taken up in the Euro-colonized Americas and a world (or ‘globe’) subjected to European or ‘western’ domination. This is obviously true, and calls for reformation. We recognize, but are not afraid to accept, that ‘political thought’ in a society distant from the European may be different in deep-seated ways from that we have learned to study, and that the meanings of the basic terms we shall apply to learning it may require restatement so drastic that we will find it hard to comprehend them." (J.G.A. Pocock, "On the unglobality of contexts: Cambridge methods and the history of political thought," Glonsl Intellectual History Abstract. Volume 4, 2019 - Issue 1: British socialism(s) and European socialism(s).)

Following Generally Accepted Education Principles (see GAEP) — AASBI, a Delaware LLC with a presence in Asia — believes that the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be guaranteed and observed by a school of business in the world. AASBI does not accredit business schools in totalitarian countries, or countries that impose the death penalty for blasphemy, or tolerate Female

Genital Mutilation, or enforce public beheadings, amputations, eye gouging and crucifixion (among the medieval punishments faced by kids as young as 14) or imprisons those who express their constitutional thought experiments, or imprisons a million native Uigurs in so called re-education internment camps in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, officially known as Vocational Education and Training Centers On the Ground China's Hidden Camps the BBC 24 October 2018 and US blacklists China organisations over Xinjiang 'Uighur abuse' the BBC 08 October 2019.

More About Business School Accreditation. A comparison between "ABCDE" and AASBI (11 January 2020).


Last updated 2020-12-19