Aqpq what Undergraduate Only Institutions Do Differently Dr. Loretta Cochran, Assistant Professor of Management Dr. L. Kim Troboy, Associate Professor of mis dr. Dave W. Roach, Professor of Management School of Business, Arkansas Tech University



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AQPQ - What Undergraduate Only Institutions Do Differently

Dr. Loretta Cochran, Assistant Professor of Management

Dr. L. Kim Troboy, Associate Professor of MIS

Dr. Dave W. Roach, Professor of Management

School of Business, Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

For AACSB accredited institutions, the standards require that 90 percent of program faculty be academically or professionally qualified. However, determining the definition of academically and professionally qualified historically has been left to the individual institutions. This paper summarizes the findings of a survey of undergraduate accredited institutions and their policies on AQPQ. In the Fall 2006, AACSB International published two white papers as guidance for institutions. The results are reviewed in light of these guidelines.



AQPQ - What Undergraduate Only Institutions Do Differently

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the premier international accrediting body for business and accountancy programs. This organization first established standards over 86 years ago, with the most recent significant revisions released in 2004. Faculty qualifications, specifically for “Academically Qualified” and Professionally Qualified,” are required in Standard 10. Standard 10 is as follows:



The faculty has, and maintains, intellectual qualifications and current expertise to accomplish the mission and to assure that this occurs, the school has a clearly defined process to evaluate individual faculty member’s contributions to the school mission.

This is a related but separate issue from Standard 2, which is as follows:



The school’s mission statement is appropriate to higher education for management and consonant with the mission of any institution of which the school is a part. The mission includes the production of intellectual contributions that advances the knowledge and practice of business and management.

In the Basis for Judgment supporting documentation, AACSB notes several benchmarks for programs. First, academically or professionally qualified faculty must comprise at least 90 percent of full-time equivalent resources. Of those full time equivalent resources, 50 must meet the definition of academically qualified (AACSB, 2006a, pp. 42). Faculty, at the aggregate level, must maintain a five year portfolio of intellectual development from all three areas: pedagogical research, contributions to practice, and scholarship in the business specialties.

Establishing faculty qualifications is clearly in the purview of school. “The interpretive material in the standard provides guidance only” allows AACSB to leave practical application of this requirement to the school so that each institution can modify qualifications to best fit both the mission of the school and the spirit of Standard 10 (AACSB, 2006a, pp. 42). The necessary elements of a school’s policies regarding academically and professionally qualified faculty includes the minimum level required for factors such as education, experience, and work activities; the importance given to those factors; and the expected level of quality for each factor over a five year period (current review cycle).

Academically Qualified

In the discussion from Standard 10, six categories of educational attainment are presented as most likely scenarios for schools to qualify faculty (AACSB, 2006a). Educational background is seen as evidence that the faculty member is research qualified in their primary field. Categories one through four all reference a doctoral degree, with discussion including the degree field versus the area in which the individual teaches. Professional development and scholarship are generally accepted methods for closing said gap. Category five provides for a graduate degree in taxation to serve as academic qualification to teach taxation; just as a graduate degree in law serves as academic qualification to teach business law and legal environment of business.

Category six is the category for those qualifications other than what is traditionally considered a terminal degree from a research program. Non-research doctorates, graduate students that are ABD (all but dissertation), and faculty members with hours above a masters all fall into this category. One caveat: those currently enrolled in doctoral programs have a three year qualification (instead of five). Faculty members in category six are considered academically qualified but should represent ten percent or less of total faculty resources.

Professionally Qualified

AACSB provides only limited guidance for determining professionally qualified faculty. While six general categories are outlined for academic qualification of faculty, the discussion of the standard includes only one paragraph for determining professionally qualified faculty. A master’s degree in a related field is expected along with relevant professional experience that is to be current at the time of hiring. It is emphasized that the institution being reviewed must provide adequate justification for professionally qualifying faculty.

Constancy of learning is the underlying theme for maintaining qualified faculty. What activities that are considered value-adding to the program should be tied directly to the school’s mission. Therefore, it is conceivable that two institutions with dramatically different missions could have substantially different faculty development activities.

Graduate versus Undergraduate Only Programs

A significant characteristic shaping the mission of a business school is the program level – undergraduate, graduate, or both. While the majority of schools accredited by AACSB have undergraduate and graduate programs, a healthy minority have undergraduate or graduate only programs. A recent review of the 549 AACSB accredited institutions found that 454 (84 percent) had both, 47 (8 percent) were undergraduate only, and 48 (8 percent) were graduate only (http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/AccreditedMembers.asp as viewed 4/30/2007).

In the expectations section of the standard, a differentiation between undergraduate and graduate accreditation is suggested. In the section dedicated to meeting the requirements of the standard, undergraduate only programs are expected to maintain at least 50 percent of faculty resources as academically qualified. This should be in line with the mission of the schools with the expectation of a greater percentage of academically qualified faculty resources for a school with graduate degree programs.

Purpose of Study

In early 2006, AACSB released a white paper entitled “Deploying Professionally Qualified Faculty: An Interpretation of AACSB Standards” (AACSB, 2006b). It expanded upon existing information regarding the determination of professionally qualified faculty. In light of this and other feedback received at accreditation meetings, the leadership at one university set out to develop its policies for academically and professionally qualified faculty.

As an undergraduate only accredited institution, the initial policy discussion included the determination that some differences existed with those schools that also had graduate programs in the expectations for Standard 10. With the majority of accredited schools including graduate programs, a lack of information for undergraduate programs regarding interpretation of the standard was identified. As a result, the 39 programs listed on the AACSB web site as “undergraduate programs only” were surveyed regarding their implementation of policies for academically and professionally qualified faculty.

Survey

As of January 2006, 38 schools in addition to the authors’ home institution were identified as having undergraduate accreditation. Three schools were excluded from the initial survey (two were military academies and one was an international institution). A request for the institution’s policy on academically and professionally qualified faculty was sent to the Dean’s office of each of the 35 remaining schools.

In the process of contacting the school, it was determined that eight schools listed as undergraduate only actually had additional graduate degrees. 15 responses from undergraduate only programs were received (55.5 percent) with policies at various stages of development (see Table 1).

Table 1: Prevalence of AQ/PQ Polices




Number

Percent

Undergraduate Schools with AQ definition

12

80%

Undergraduate Schools with PQ definition

8

53%

Of the 12 programs with academically qualified definitions, all were very similar to the AACSB published expectations. They had a stated minimum number of work activities (publications, conference presentations, etc.) with 8 schools requiring at least two refereed (peer reviewed journal) publications in the most recent 5 years and 4 schools requiring at least one (average of 1.67 peer reviewed publication in a 5 year period). Only one school reported a formal point system, where different work activities garnered different weights; and only one other school weighted the “value” of the intellectual contribution by the acceptance rate of the journal.

The survey items were open ended items requesting information about each respondent’s operational definitions of academically and professionally qualified faculty. Specifically, the institutions were survey to see if they had defined their standards in terms of the six categories of academic qualification and professional qualifications in terms of graduate degree and experience. The items were dichotomous variables with a yes/no response to whether the element had been addressed in the policy. A summary of the frequencies appears below (Table 2).

Table 2: Responses to AQ/PQ Items



Yes” responses to the inclusion of the category from the Standard 10 Guidelines for Academically and Professionally Qualified Faculty.

Number

(n=15)


Percent

AQ Category #1: A doctoral degree in the area in which the individual teaches.

11

73.33%

AQ Category #2: A doctoral degree in a business field, but primary teaching responsibility in a business field that is not the area of academic preparation.

6

40%

AQ Category #3: A doctoral degree outside of business, but primary teaching responsibilities that incorporate the area of academic preparation.

6

40%

AQ Category #4: A doctoral degree outside of business and primary teaching responsibilities that do not incorporate the area of academic preparation.

6

40%

AQ Category #5: A specialized graduate degree in taxation.

4

26.67%

AQ Category #6: Substantial specialized coursework in the field of primary teaching responsibilities but no research doctoral degree.

7

46.67%

PQ Minimal Academic Preparation to include Master’s degree in a field related to the area of teaching assignment

5

33.33%

PQ Minimal Work Experience (significance and depth) clearly defined.

4

26.67%


Discussion

There is a stark contrast between policies for academically and professionally qualified faculty. Most undergraduate institutions have guidelines that state the minimum initial educational qualification and current level of work activity for academically qualified faculty resources. While only half of the institutions reported having a policy for determining professionally qualified faculty, those resources can make up 40 percent of the faculty resources. AACSB standards clearly place the responsibility of operational definition of professionally qualified on the individual institutions.

AACSB published two white papers in November, 2006 focused on assisting institutions in interpreting the standards for academically and professionally qualified faculty (2006c, 2006d). Together, these position papers provide institutions with greater flexibility in faculty resources with regard to initial qualifications and maintenance of intellectual capital. An increased dependency on professionally qualified faculty is anticipated due to the predicted shortfall in business school graduates.

The resulting policy on academically and professionally qualified faculty is attached (see Appendix). It is important to note that although these operational definitions have been established, the principle of continuous improvement prevails. A regular and thoughtful review of these practices is necessary to fulfill the spirit of the accreditation standards.

In addition, a regular survey of undergraduate institutions is needed. In the past two years 52 schools have, at one time, been classified as an “undergraduate only” AACSB accredited institutions. As of April 2007, only 37 remain, including 2 military academies and one international university. Twenty-five of these schools were classified as undergraduate only in January 2006 and at least one-third were private universities. Given the apparent fluid nature of accreditation, it is particularly important for undergraduate schools to have a core group of peer and aspirant institutions with a long term commitment to undergraduate programs.

A reasonable next step is to further investigate the unique characteristics of undergraduate only accredited institutions. A survey instrument is being developed to capture elements such as teaching load, research expectations, financial support, and other areas critical to the standards. It will be important to have a representative sample so that differences between graduate and undergraduate institutions may be examined.



References

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). (2006a). Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation. Tampa, FL: Author.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). (2006b). Deploying Professionally Qualified Faculty: An Interpretation of AACSB Standards. (February 1, 2006 letter to members. Available from AACSB International, 777 South Harbour Island Blvd., Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730).

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). (2006c, November). Deploying Academically Qualified Faculty: An Interpretation of AACSB Standards. Retrieved April 30, 2007 from http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/papers/AQ-statuspaper.pdf

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). (2006d). November, 2006 revision, Deploying Professionally Qualified Faculty: An Interpretation of AACSB Standards. Retrieved April 30, 2007 from http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/papers/PQ-facultypaper-updated11-2-06%2006.pdf

Appendix

Minimum Standards for Maintaining ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS for the School of Business

A faculty member (including full and part time positions) is considered “academically qualified” by meeting one of the following standards over a five year period.



  1. No doctoral degree, but substantial specialized graduate coursework in the field of primary teaching. The following situations apply:

    1. Be a student in an AACSB accredited business doctoral program; OR

    2. Have a specialized graduate degree in taxation or a combination of graduate degrees in law and accounting.

    3. Have a graduate degree in law when teaching courses in law, legal environment, or ethics.

  2. Doctoral degree obtained within the previous five years, providing that:

    1. The degree is in the area in which the individual teaches (AACSB standards includes further elaboration of this definition); OR

    2. If the doctoral degree is not in the area in which the individual teaches, additional professional development is evident (specialized graduate coursework or intellectual contributions in a relevant business field).

  3. Doctoral degree obtained more than five years previously; the individual is expected to demonstrate professional development via intellectual contributions which meet one of the following standards:

    1. Publish two referred journal articles; OR

    2. Publish one referred journal article, two proceedings (conference presentations with at least a published abstract), and two other intellectual contributions; OR

    3. Publish five proceedings (conference presentations with at least a published abstract) or the equivalent. [Note: certain items which fit the “other” definition may be substituted to meet this definition.]

All intellectual contributions MUST meet two tests:

      • Exist in public written form, and

      • Have been subject to scrutiny by academic peers or practitioners prior to publication.

Other” intellectual contributions may include items such as articles in applied journals, articles in practitioner publications, research monographs, scholarly books, textbooks, chapters in books, paper presented at academic or professional meetings, faculty research seminars, book reviews, published cases with instructional materials, technical reports related to funded research projects, instructional software that is widely used, publicly available materials describing the design and implementation of new curricula.

Minimum Standards for Maintaining PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS for the School of Business

A faculty member (including full and part time positions) is considered “professionally qualified” by meeting ALL of the following criteria:



  1. Master’s degree in a field related to the area of the teaching assignment.

  2. Professional experience relevant to the teaching assignment, significant in duration and level of responsibility, and be current (within 2 years of most recent “in-field” employment) at time of hiring.

  3. Maintain professional currency such as via part-time relevant practice (e.g. consulting, training, accounting practice) OR at least one intellectual contribution in the most recent three years.

Notes from Committee Discussion:

  1. North Central guidelines specify no less than a field related master’s degree for all teaching faculty (in an undergraduate program).

  2. AACSB requires that at least 90% of the faculty FTE be Academically or Professionally Qualified (with at least 50% being Academically Qualified).

  3. Faculty can be professionally and academically qualified at the same time.

  4. AACSB Standards reflect the expectation that ALL faculty members demonstrate activities that maintain the currency and relevance of their instruction.

  5. Co-authorship of articles does not diminish its “value.” It is assumed that all authors have made a significant contribution to the article. Adding authors who made little or no contribution to the article is a breach of academic integrity.

  6. Many of the schools surveyed with publication expectations of two referred journal articles (or more) did so with a (maximum) teaching load of 9 hours per semester.

  7. While it is tempting to associate the requirements for Minimum Faculty Qualifications [AACSB STD 10] with those for Standard 2 and the school’s performance evaluation process, we have specifically NOT included any discussion of those functions within this document.

  8. Most importantly, the committee recognizes the significant value of faculty mentors and research partners. Given the expected teaching load, it is only through the supportive nature of collaborative research that many of us are able to maintain our academic qualifications. Anything that can be done structurally or strategically to encourage this type of activity is to be encouraged – including facilitating cross-disciplinary research activity.


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