Impulsive Actions by the
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
A.k.a. AACSB International

Article and Open Letter 2019-12-02

AACSB International for many years accredited only American schools of Businees under the name American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (1925). The first school outside North America was the French business school ESSEC in 1997. AACSB changed its name to the International Association for Management Education (1997), and in 2001 to the present name Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, styling itself as AACSB International.

Impulsive Actions in this article basically means "to take crude actions without considering the consequences."

The author/s believe/s the AACSB's new title Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business adopted in 2001 is a diversion to lull foreign universities into thinking that the AACSB's leadership is now liberally global instead of stoutly American. Let there be no mistake about it: AACSB's Board of Directors under the Chair of a provost from the University of Connecticut only 5 of its 30 Board Members are not American meaning not present or former U.S. deans or professors by citizenship, education or academic position. There is not much "International" about AACSB, except in its outreach to dominate and influence the rest of the world by American thinking, values, standards and interests.

There is no competition among internatioal accreditors. All are different, all have different standards (accrediting the entire business school, or accrediting programs, or accrediting based on the observance of human rights and academic freedom). Business schools may be double- and triple-accredited.

Channels of distribution are not uniform. All in all, there is no likelihood of confusion agmong the various trademarked and non-trademarked logos, since the ones who make the decisions for application of accreditations, the Deans of the Schools of Business, are very familar with the differences between the AACSB, the ACBSP, the AASBI and the IACBE, let alone the other UK and Belgiam accreditors' marks that are not in issue here.

There is no likelihood of confusion between the marks; quite the opposite, as studies have shown. Students and their parents are not attracted to business schools because of their accreditation, and the deans are well aware of the differences between the accreditation bodies, so that the argument of the “likelihood of confusion” between our marks does not arise, or has no effect:

    “A consulting firm report (Abrahamson, 2010) found that accreditation was not mentioned among factors that high-achieving high school seniors and their parents for selecting a particular school. One problem is that there are numerous accreditation bodies and customers are confused. Also, accreditation bodies offer membership status to non-accredited schools.” [First and foremost your AACSB with 800 or so accredited schools and equal, if not higher, number of nonaccredited members.]

    Ref.: Steven C. Hunt (2014), “Research On The Value Of AACSB Business Accreditation In Selected Areas: A Review And Synthesis.“ American Journal of Business Education, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 23-30.

The so called top of the Ivey League that founded the AACSB in 1916 and others are no longer participating in your latest "mandatory" survey. Their name alone carries further than your logo AACSB ACCREDITED ever would. If AACSB's noise in this matter persists — any of AACSB's threatened injunctions obtained in absentia are enforceab;e. say valid, in the United States, not globally — and other universities' business schools take notice, then the stampede contiinues and AACSB could be tempted to look for replacements, but where? Of course lower ranked schools in developing Africa, certain countries in Asia and South America, which would only further alienate the current licensees.

    o   Harvard University's Harvard Business School
    o   Stanford University's Graduate School of Business
    o   MIT's Sloan School of Management
    o   University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School
    o   London Business School
    o   University of Chicago's Booth School of Business
    o   University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business
    o   Yale University's School of Management
    o   Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management
In the result, aggressive and impulsive action is not adviseable to grow AACSB's membership and the number of accredited licensees; it will only benefit the lawyers.

Accreditation of an international university is the result of an application by its leadership, which is entirely voluntary. Not so for an American university.

    "In order for U.S. institutions of higher education to receive federal funds (and for their students to be eligible for federal student aid), institutions must be accredited by a federally recognized accrediting agency. Accrediting agencies gain this recognition through either the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In order to successfully gain federal recognition, accrediting agencies must demonstrate that they are enforcing the federal government's standards for recognition by assessing the degree to which institutions monitor student success, fiscal responsiblity, credentials offered, and other measures of quality." (a href="" target="_blank">

    "At its July 25-26, 2016 meeting, the CHEA Committee on Recognition recommended that CHEA deny recognition to AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). On September 23, 2016, AACSB withdrew from CHEA recognition." (

We have written AACSB's President Tom Robinson under date of 07 October 2019:

    Moreover, our accreditation principles published as our rather liberal regimen of "Generally Accepted Education Principles" (among others at GAEP) differ from your catalogue of rigorous standards with regard to faculty qualifications, terminal degrees, research, curriculum, innovation and impact, all of which are foreign to us because in our respectful submission they constitute of very heavy censorship on what we believe ought to be the domain of academic diversity, creativity and freedom.

    Your pursuit of ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System) "focused on consistently meeting customer requirements and enhancing their satisfaction" — 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 — 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!" AACC Convention: Booth 6708. The Westgard Rules, 04 June 2010

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.)

It is an American oddity that the business school accreditor seeks itself accreditation to confirm that its standards meet the standards that it says are used, required to be used and applied. Who in turn accredits the confirming accreditor must the U.S. government before releasing federal student funds as outlined above. Universities in Australia, the UK, Italy, France and Germany, finding themselves under the ultimate direction of the U.S. government would presumably forego American accreditation if they were told so and if they knew.

Moreover, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) does not certify organizations itself. Numerous certification bodies exist, which audit organisations and, upon success, issue ISO 9001 compliance certificates. There is a lack of transparency here as AACSB does not disclose who is the third-party certification body that provides/provided the independent confirmation that AACSB meets the alleged requirement of ISO 9001:2015 — which is the new substitute for the loss of accreditation by CHEA. The top three countries for ISO 9001 certificates (2014) are China 342,800, Italy 168,960 and Germany 55, 363; the United Sttes ranking 8th with 35,006 certificates (Wikipedia, ).

And Diane L. Swanson (Kansas State University) and William C. Frederick (University of Pittsburgh) write:

    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).

Never mind the oppressive or liberal AACSB's accreditation standards, whichever one's point of view, the AACSB's inspection and evaluation of its accredited schools of business is a valuable tool for American mulitnational corporations to influence the business education of its future managers, and have this elite indoctrinated in ways of thinking and preactice useful to its domination of the global market place, much in the same way as Christian missionaries served proseletizing the Faith as the vanguard for the colonial military to follow and conquer before the crown came to exploit the defeated countries' riches and leave them destitute, both in Central and South America, Africa and Asia.

The AACSB has been utterly unsuccessful in convincing Western European universities to apply and submit to tits dictates. Our of the hundreds of univeristies' s chools of business inGermany, only a handful, namely 10, have chosen to apply and be accredited, among them. The same situation in Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, except the United Kingdom, American's colonial forefathers and bridgehead in Europe.

A sad chapter is the AACSB's proselytizing of the bulk of state university's business schools in Communist China. We wrote AACSB's President Ton Robinson on 28 October 2019:

    In the totalitarian dictatorship of a nation, where a million and more people of Uyghur ethnicity and others are kept in concentration camps and involuntarily brainwashed [see The BBC "China: Extreme brainwashing at Uighur prison camps exposed in new leak"], AACSB has accredited:

    o CEIBS in Shanghai
    o Chongquing University
    o University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai
    o Dalian University of Technology
    o Fudan University
    o Lingnan University College
    o Nanjing University
    o Nankai University
    o Peking University
    o Peking University HSBC Business School
    o Renmin University of China
    o Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
    o Tsinghua University
    o Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    o South China University of Technology
    o Sun Yat-sen University
    o Tongji University
    o University of International Business and Economics
    o USTC Beijing
    o University of Science and Technology of China
    o University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
    o Xi'an Jiaotong University
    o Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
    o Zgejiang University

Plus educational non-accredited members that are presumably "in the pipe" for AACSB- business accreditation:

    o Beijing Information Science and Technology University
    o Beijing Institute of Technology
    o Beijing Jiatong University
    o Beijing Normal University
    o Beijing Union University
    o Central University of Finance and Economics
    o Hunan University
    o Beijing Technology and Business University
    o Central South University
    o Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business
    o China University of Mining and Technology
    o Shenzhen University
    o Daliam Minzu University
    o Donghua University
    o East China Normal University
    o East China University of Science and Technology
    o Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
    o Guilin University of Electronic Technology
    o Hefei University of Technology
    o Henan University of Economics and Law
    o Hohai University
    o Huazhong University of Science and Technology
    o Hunan University of Technology and Business
    o Beijing Foreign Studies University
    o Jianghan University
    o Jiangnan University
    o Lanzhou University
    o Macao Polytechnic Institute
    o Macau University of Science and Technology
    o China University of Political Science and Law
    o Zhongnan University of Economics and Law
    o Northeastern University - Liaoning
    o Putian University
    o Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance
    o Harbin Institute of Technology
    o Jinan University
    o Tianjin University of Technology
    o Xiamen University
    o Shaanxi Normal University
    o Shanghai Institute of Technolgy
    o Shanghai International Studies University
    o Shanghai Maritime University
    o Shanghai University
    o Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
    o SHU-UTS SILC Business School, Shanghai University
    o Sichuan University
    o Soochow University
    o Southwest Jiaoton University
    o Tianjin University
    o University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
    o University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
    o Wuchang University of Technology
    o Wuhan Technology and Business University
    o Wuhan University
    o Zhejiang University

AACSB accredits in P.R. China where a professor of economics is jailed for life because he is an outspoken supporter of his own Uyghur people: Dr. Ilham Tohti has been recognized and received the European Parliament's human rights Sakarov Prize 2019.

AACSB caves-in to a fascist government, tolerating and thereby advancing their atrocities in return for a wholesale order directing its universities to apply for your apparently pre-approved AACSB-Accreditation and/or Membership, all within the indicative short period of about one year, as opposed to the normal 5-7 years advised by you.

AACSB is accrediting universiteis on the South Asian continent, where people are executed for their religious orientation including "Blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad".

AACSB accredits universities of a Kingdom in the Near Orient, whose embassy cut U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi into pieces, where public executions by the sword, dismemberment of hands as punishment for theft, and female genital mutilations are practiced.

Our AASBI Accreditation is not available for business schools in such totalitarian, human rights violating jurisdictions, but your AACSB Accreditation is available and flourishing.

    Open letter to the president
    and to the board of directors

    Without Prejudice


    Dr. Thomas R. Robinson, CPA ret., CFA, CAIA, CFP
    President and CEO
    AACSB International
    777 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Suite 750
    Tampa, Florida 33602, United States
    tom.robinson [at]

    AND TO:

    The Board of Directors
    AACSB International
    by direct emails


    Tom Robinson - Linkedin

    DATED Thanksgiving Weekend, 02 December 2019

    Re: Your Demands for a Settlement of Alleged Trademark Infringements of AACSB by AASBI

    I will be making reference to the marks as identified by name and number (the "marks") in the Table of Certification Marks ("Table 1") below.

    Moreover, I, Michael Schemmann, am the sole owner of the certification marks Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 7 shown in the first line, I will be using the words "my" or "mine" or "we" (as above) and "our" or "ours" interchangably without any judicial significance of the plural.

    Table 1

    By way of historical review, our Mark 1 was registered in the U.S. in 2011, followed by your Mark 2. In your solicitor's letter (Cooley LLP of 23 January 2015) you wrote that AACSB International recognizes our right to use that design mark (Reg. No. 4,073.452), and that its use in place of our Mark 3 would address your concern and would avoid trademark infringement of your mark shown as "Mark 2" (the circled AACSB ACCREDITED design above).

    However, about two years later you copied the theme of our design in our Mark 1 in your "Mark 4" above by substituting our stylized Lotus Flower with a Square. Your change from a circular design to a rectangle design was not to that point in time shown by the two other U.S. Accreditors either, ACBSP's "Mark 8" and IACSB's "Mark 9".

    To make things worse in our opinion, now you write by several letters of your solicitors, Fox Rothschild LLP Los Angeles,

    • demanding that we cease and desist to infringe worldwide upon your U.S.-registered certification Mark 4 above, which is a design-copy of our registered Mark 1;

    • demanding that we cease and desist worldwide to use our acronym AASBI which is the word in our registered certification mark;

    and as additional conditions for your settlement to ameliorate your threat of injunctive legal action in your solicitor's letter of 22 November 2019, giving us just four working days to reply, you

    • demand that we "voluntary surrender for immediate cancellation" at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office our registered trademark No. 7, which is a variation of the design of Mark No. 1 which you copied in your Mark No. 4 and now say the we are infringing by Mark No. 7; in other words, you wish to keep what you have taken unlawfully by our voluntary surrender;

    • demand that we cease and desist to use the word "ACCREDITED" (or "Accreditation"), which is explicitly disclaimed in your trademark applications, as required by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is also disclaimed in our applications and registrations. The Lanham Act § 43(a), 15 U.S.C. § 112 is not violated, as you mistakenly claim, by AASBI ACCREDITED; is not causing a "likelihood of confusion or mistake", etc., between AASBI and AACSB; the Act is open and does not regulate what constitutes an examination for

        "demonstrated adherence to educational standards including respect and protection of human rights, affirming the practices and policies of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights at safe teaching locations with adequate internet access, recreational facilities, financially sound on a 'going concern' basis, autonomous and distinguished from any other units of the larger educational facility, teaching a curriculum focusing on general management, related and specialized areas, offering professional certification programs including, for example, accounting programs preparing students for the uniform examinations for chartered accountants, certified public or professional accountants, serving the public interest rather than special interests, submitting to educational audit(s) by the certifier and/or delegate" (USPTO application for our "Mark No. 7").

      that the services which the certification mark as intended to be used by persons authorized by the certifier, is intended to certify. But your overly bureaucratic processes are to lull your licensees into thinking that without your many meaningless requirements their expertise, that has existed and preceded your American knowledge and wisdom by hundreds of years, is useless;

    • demand that we restrict our activities to Asia, which has been contemplated earlier because AASBI was started as "Asian Association of Schools of Business International" with a special commitment to Asia; but just as AACSB was for the longest time the "American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business", it is unconscionable and unrealistic for both now global organizations to restrict our availability;

    • demanding that we use the word "Asia" with all of our communications.

    Your impulsiveness as an Association for the ADVANCEMENT of Schools of Business herein means effectively YOUR OWN ADVANCEMENT and is astounding. I am not in a position to comply with your suggestions to "go out of business," as you demand.

    Your AACSB ACCREDITED international universities ought to be forewarned of what is coming to them if they ever oppose or resist. Your demands are not only overbearing, they are outrageous and insofar American as they are an adoption from your new comrades-in-arms in Beijing who apply these methods in suppressing ethnic minorities while you are effectively aiding and abetting. Your conduct undermines The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (HKHRDA) that was just passed in Congress by a wide bipartisan margin, effective 27 November 2019, requiring the U.S. government to impose sanctions against Chinese and [its appointed] Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong. (Wikipedia, HKHRDA)

    You claim that AACSB is accrediting only the top 5% of the 15,000 schools of business worldwide. These are your numbers, not ours presented to the audiences of your various presentations to schools of business, e.g., on YouTube Why B-schools seek AACSB accreditation.

    We hold you to your statement and say that AASBI will be glad to work with the remaining 14,000 B-Schools on the basis of our holistic Generally Accepted Education Principles GAEP and Generally Accepted Educational Standards on Auditing GAESA, which are unbureaucratically shortened for recognized and invited schools that have all been regionally accredited, or licensed by their national or provincial governments and deemed to meet our principles following our examination, pending the submission of a formal application (see Recognized University Schools of Business.

    I have offered a dialogue and am still available, but to this date I have only received more threats and demands that I "sell the farm."

    In order to justify your pre-eminence of global business accreditation for the benefit of the public, I think the AACSB should not avoid its critics, but reconstitute itself after 100+ years of existence.

    You are the respected parting president of the impressive and oppresive AACSB. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and as a colleague CPA a lucky hand and abundance of better professional conduct and respect.

    Season's Greetings,

    Michael Schemmann, Ph.D., CPA, ICPA
    Chair of Accounting and Associate Professor emeritus
    In my indiviual private capacity