The University of the Virgin Islands School of Business received initial accreditation status in May from the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
“The University of the Virgin Islands has shown their commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Director of Accreditation Steve Parscale. He will present UVI’s Certificate of Initial Accreditation during the accrediting group’s Annual Conference to be held in Chicago, Ill., on June 29.
“This accreditation is evidence that the University of the Virgin Islands is committed to providing the highest quality business education for its students,” Parscale said. The ACBSP is the primary agency accrediting business programs at universities and colleges, and the only organization offering specialized business accreditation for all degree levels, from associate to baccalaureate to doctoral degree programs. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes within the business programs offered at UVI meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP. The ACBSP standards and criteria draw heavily from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Performance Excellence in Education Criteria, the Excellence in Missouri Foundation and the Kansas Center for Performance Excellence award programs, and historically proven ACBSP standards and criteria.
UVI President Dr. David Hall said the accreditation is “an important milestone for the School of Business, the University and the Territory.” He extended personal thanks to every member of the School of Business for their “outstanding work and tireless efforts” that went into the entire accreditation process. “I especially want to applaud Interim Dean Aubrey Washington for his leadership that brought us all to this point, and Dr. Lonnie Hudspeth for his contributions and key support during this accreditation process.”
Dean Washington added to Dr. Hall’s praise for the efforts of faculty members in the School of Business. “Achieving accreditation is the culmination of nine years of work,” Dean Washington said. “This has been a collective effort of the faculty of the School of Business. It required us to look at ourselves, assess what we do, and based on that assessment, improve our programs.”
“Over the last three years we’ve made a conscious effort to do that. We adopted a strategic plan that will provide a roadmap for how we proceed over the next few years,” he said. “It can only be accomplished with the entire faculty contributing to the effort.”
Dean Washington explained that accreditation is important because it represents an independent body speaking to the quality of our educational offering. “Program specific accreditation is in addition to the accreditation the University already has,” he said. He noted that it covers UVI’s Master of Business Administration graduate degree, as well all concentrations in the Business Administration major. “Students are looking for business programs that are accredited. It really puts them on a firm footing in terms of the quality of their degree,” Dean Washington said. “It says their degree has merit, that the processes and outcomes of the program have merit. It gives an external stamp of the quality on the program.”
As UVI's ACBSP Champion, a formal role designated by the ACBSP accreditation process, Dr. Hudspeth led the UVI team of faculty and administration representatives working on accreditation. “Achieving this significant accomplishment by our School of Business was a total team effort,” Dr. Hudspeth said. The effort required the establishment of clear and focused strategies, direction, motivation, engagement and involvement. “Our department chairs rallied to our efforts by providing their related contributions, while every member of the School of Business faculty participated strongly to the planning and writing of ACBSP documents,” Dr. Hudspeth said.
“When he (Dr. Hudspeth) says it’s a team effort, he’s right,” Dean Washington said. “Dr. Hudspeth was literally the champion of this effort and many other faculty members took leadership roles. This achievement demonstrates that when we all commit to a task, no goal is outside our reach.”