AUB Business School Set to Join Rank of Top 6 Percent in the Wolrd
A strong business school is "a major catalyst of economic invigoration
for a country," said the president and CEO of the business school
accreditation agency, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of
Business (AACSB), during a three-day visit to Lebanon that ended September
John Fernandez, who was on his third visit to AUB since he first met Olayan
School of Business Dean George Najjar in 2003, said he believed that in
addition to creating a secure and stable political environment, the Lebanese
should work on developing their business schools to help stimulate economic
Since 2005, the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business has been working
on earning the coveted AACSB accreditation, which would thus allow it
to join the ranks of the top 6 percent of business schools in the world,
the likes of Harvard, Yale, and others. "Countries with strong business
schools are often those with a strong economy," said Fernandez. "Look
at China nowadays." (China has six AACSB-accredited business schools.)
Described by Forbes magazine as the "gold standard of business school
accreditations," AACSB accreditation involves a long process in which
a business school needs to prove it meets 21 standards that fall under
three categories. The school must have a mission and strategic plan and
it should show that it is fulfilling them. It also needs to prove it can
recruit and maintain excellent faculty and students, and that it can meet
its learning goals. AUB expects to earn its accreditation by 2009.
In general, most business schools face difficulties in recruiting PhD-qualified
faculty, as the number of MBA graduates interested in pursuing a PhD in
their field is limited, particularly because those geared toward business
can find more lucrative positions in the corporate world. But Fernandez
believes that AUB will manage to attract even more faculty with the completion
of the state-of-the art building it will move into by the end of 2008.
"I expect AUB will become a leading business school in the region,"
In terms of future trends in business education, globalization has imposed
added importance on communications skills, especially in cross-cultural
settings, said Fernandez. "That's why all business schools need to
focus more on developing the written and oral communication skills of
students, in addition to training them in teamwork and group projects,
since business is rarely ever done by one person sitting in the corner
in front of his/her computer."
Other trends include developing curricula that include courses on entrepreneurship
and corporate social responsibility. As a result, students will learn
to think of the ethical and social impacts of their decisions. AUB has
already incorporated courses on entrepreneurship and the school also offers
workshops on leadership and high-performance team-building, among others.
"This accreditation will certainly help us become more competitive
in attracting quality faculty and students from all over the world,"
said Dean Najjar.