GW Profs Fear B-School Accreditation In Jeopardy
It couldn’t happen. A Top 50 business school loses its accreditation? This is a joke, right?
According to George Washington faculty members, this is a real possibility. This week, The George Washington Hatchet, the student newspaper, reports that Interim Dean Christopher Kayes informed faculty that the school is hoping to delay an on-campus by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), their accreditor, until spring.
This delay stems from the recent dismissal of Dean Doug Guthrie in August due to overspending by $13 million dollars in 2012. According to The Hatchet, these additional expenditures stemmed from unexpected costs related to expanding the online graduate programs and events for its executive education programs.
Sok-Hyon Kang, who served as Vice Dean under Guthrie, noted that financial troubles often hinder a school’s ability to receive accreditation:
“Accreditation is going to get much harder this year, no matter what.” We’d been preparing for AACSB during the last three years very well, so getting accredited this year was almost a done deal. Now it’s in jeopardy.”
Phillip Wirtz, Vice Dean of Programs and Education, added that accreditors could pay special attention to the business school’s independence from school administration:
“If I were a site visitor right now I’d say, ‘Wait a minute. They fired a dean three days before the semester started and three-and-a-half months before the accreditation site visit. Tell us again about that independence thing?’ And I think we’re going to have to worry about that,”
If George Washington would lose accreditation, it could potentially lose students and tuition dollars, along with tarnishing their reputation. In fact, there is precedent, as George Washington’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences was placed on probation from 2008-2010 over curriculum standards and student space.
Despite the uncertainty after Dean Guthrie’s removal, George Washington doesn’t anticipate issues with accreditation. Provost Steven Lerman notes that the $13 million dollar shortfall has already been covered by the university. He added that “one in four or one in five” schools in the accreditation process are run by interim deans, adding “I believe accreditations are not about people, they’re about institutions.”
Our Prediction: This is a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. George Washington’s business school will keep its accreditation.
To read Poets and Quants’ exclusive interview with former Dean Doug Guthrie about his dismissal, click here: Poets and Quants
Source: George Washington Hatchet
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Wharton Puts First Year MBA Courses Online For Free
What if you could get an Ivy League education – worth over $54,000 – absolutely free?
Now, you can. Last week, Wharton announced that it was adding three more courses from its core curriculum to its online Coursera platform. As a result, all four of its first year core MBA courses – marketing, operations and information management, accounting, and finance – are available online…for free.
These courses, along with five electives, are available as MOOCs (Massive open online courses). Taught by Wharton’s full-time MBA faculty, they began in September and last from 6 to 10 weeks. The content also mirrors what Wharton’s MBA students are learning. It includes prerecorded lectures, along with access to the professor or an assistant. In fact, some Wharton professors are assigning these MOOCs to their on-site students, so they can focus class time on discussion and activities.
An outsider might believe Wharton is losing money by giving away content. Diedre Woods, the Interim Executive Director of Penn’s Open Learning Initiative, disagrees with this notion. By putting their MBA program online, Woods believes the university is demonstrating their “depth and breadth” and “providing leadership” to other schools. Brian Bushee, a Wharton faculty member, adds that this initiative allows students to test the waters and see if a business education is the right choice for them: “If you were thinking of getting an MBA, you might not know what the core courses are. The branding helps you know the four things you need to know.”
Still, don’t expect these MOOCs to replace a Wharton degree. Students don’t receive course credit for passing a course, though Wharton does provide a certificate of completion for a fee. What’s more, Woods believes the classroom discussions and interaction with peers are what makes business school special:
“There’s some magic that happens in class. I don’t think there’s a substitute out there in the real world. I think having a wonderful, lively, intellectual campus experience really can’t be replicated 100 percent online.”
According to Don Huesman, the Managing Director for Wharton’s Innovation Group, Wharton’s MOOCs have already attracted nearly 700,000 students in 173 countries. Huesman added that more courses could be added online in the future.