Dean Christopher Puto has been elected to the board of directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International), the world’s pre-eminent management education and accrediting association. Puto, whose three-year term began July 1, willbecome one of only four deans of non-AACSB accredited business schools serving on the board, a stipulation of the organization’s by-laws.

Though St. Thomas, which is currently accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, isn’t expected to file an accreditation plan with AACSB International until later this year, Puto has close familiarity with the association from  previously serving on its accrediting committee during his four-year tenure as dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Since coming to St. Thomas in 2002, Puto has regularly attended AACSB International’s annual conferences and deans’ meetings, and wrote an article on innovative MBA curricula using computer-generated business simulations for the organization’s BizEd Magazine.

Puto was one of eight individuals appointed by peers on Feb. 3 to join the 24-member advisory board, which convenes three times per year and is charged with overseeing the strategies affecting the organization’s nearly 500 accredited institutions in 24 countries.

“I’m honored to be a part of such a prestigious group of professionals. I think the AACSB’s allowance of deans from nonaccredited member schools on its board of directors is important because it acknowledges that effective, innovative educational practices evolve from many sources, including from hard working but less established schools," Puto said. "In some important areas, such as entrepreneurship, these schools already contributing to the future of business education."