Business Journal Higlights UST's AACSB Accreditation

Friday, February 4, 2011

Years of planning and hiring — and roughly $60 million — went into the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business’ bid to win accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, or AACSB.

Earning the organization’s blessing gives St. Thomas bragging rights in the business-education market, said Michael Garrison, associate dean for faculty and scholarship at Opus College of Business. “St. Thomas has always had a very, very strong regional reputation, but we needed to expand the reach and stature of the school nationally.”

It took St. Thomas several years to get through the accreditation process, partly because the university had to boost the number of full-time faculty it had on staff to meet requirements. The school hired 52 full-time faculty members over six years.

About $50 million of the expenses Garrison said were key to the school achieving accreditation included two construction projects: the $22 million Schulze Hall in downtown Minneapolis, which houses the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, and the $25 million McNeely Hall in St. Paul. The remaining dollars went toward full-time faculty.

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Originally published: 02/04/2011, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal