OCB Becomes First Private Business School in Minn. to Earn AACSB Accreditation Dr. Christopher Puto January 5, 2011 The Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas has achieved accreditation of its business degree programs by recent action of the board of directors of AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. I received the following message from John Fernandes, CEO of AACSB:“Heartiest congratulations to you and your colleagues on achieving AACSB accreditation. We are pleased and proud to have the University of St. Thomas as one of the 607 accredited schools in 38 countries.”Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving and largest global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.What does all of this mean?Less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools hold AACSB accreditation, which is widely regarded as the highest standard of quality for business education and can take years to achieve. The accreditation also makes credentialed business schools eligible for many of the top rankings of MBA programs and provides their faculty with greater research opportunities.AACSB accreditation has conferred upon the Opus College of Business an affirmation of educational excellence. St. Thomas is the first private college or university in Minnesota to hold AACSB accreditation and the second university in the Twin Cities (the other is the University of Minnesota). A total of six business schools in Minnesota are accredited by AACSB; the others are at universities in Moorhead, St. Cloud, Mankato and Duluth.AACSB accreditation enhances our ability to attract and retain high-quality students. Highly-qualified students mean better classroom experiences. Better classroom experiences lead to better learning. And better learning leads to a continued affirmation of educational excellence.We are committed to the idea that education is an investment, and all good investments should grow over time. AACSB accreditation clearly adds value to a St. Thomas degree; it is a value not only for current students and future graduates, but for our 31,000 alumni. No matter your graduation date, as an OCB alumnus you will be able to state that you earned your degree from an AACSB accredited institution.“This accreditation represents a new high-water mark for business education at St. Thomas,” said Father Dennis Dease, president of the University of St. Thomas.“Not only is the accreditation a tremendous accomplishment, it was essential for St. Thomas to effectively compete in the future for the brightest and best students and faculty,” said Richard Schulze, founder and chairman of Best Buy Co. Inc and a benefactor who chairs the Opus College of Business Strategic Board of Governors and sits on the university’s Board of Trustees. “Accreditation leverages the high-quality infrastructure for business education that has been added to the St. Thomas campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul.”As I noted above, AACSB accreditation is simply an affirmation of educational excellence at the Opus College of Business—an education grounded in values, ethics and the liberal arts.