Dean of WPI's School of Business Named Chair of International Accreditation Quality Committee

Mark Rice Will Oversee Committee That Recommends Changes in Standards, Policies, and Procedures for AACSB International
May 10, 2011

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Mark P. Rice, dean of the School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been named to a one-year term as chair of the Accreditation Quality Committee for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The committee recommends changes to accreditation standards, policies, and procedures for the association, which accredits undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting internationally.

"With the increasing demand for management talent globally—particularly in emerging economies—and the explosion in the number of business schools worldwide, AACSB has a critically important role to play in recognizing and advancing quality in the delivery of business education," Rice said. "The accreditation standards need to accommodate the wide diversity of ways in which business schools achieve their missions, while also ensuring quality and continuous improvement in the diversity of schools it accredits."

Rice, who became the inaugural dean of WPI's School of Business in the summer of 2010, has been active in many aspects of AACSB over the past decade, serving as chair of the Pre-Accreditation Committee from 2006 to 2008, vice chair of the Strategic Directions Committee from 2007 to 2008, and a member of the Accreditation Coordinating Committee since 2006, among other posts. In 2010 he was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality, a group of business and business school experts that is evaluating whether AACSB's standards and practices adequately align with the changing global environment of business.

Before joining WPI, Rice spent six years at Babson College as the Murata Dean of the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business and Frederic C. Hamilton Professor for Free Enterprise. He was previously a member of the leadership team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's School of Management and Technology, where he served as director of the Incubator Program and of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship.

Rice conducts research on innovation, entrepreneurship, technology strategy, and new business incubation. He is co-author and co-editor of numerous scholarly publications and books on entrepreneurship and innovation, including University-Based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Global Practices (2010), Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts (2000), and Growing New Ventures–Creating New Jobs (1995). In 1998 he received one of 14 Founders' Awards from the National Business Incubation Association.

To achieve AACSB accreditation, business programs must satisfy a wide range of quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students in the educational process, and achievement of learning goals in degree programs. WPI's business programs earned accreditation in 2003, when they were offered through the Department of Management. The department (now the School of Business) also offers a degree program in industrial engineering accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). In fact, WPI is the only institution in the United States with both AACSB and ABET accredited programs housed within the business academic unit.

About AACSB International

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, founded in 1916, is an association of more than 1,200 educational institutions, businesses and other organizations in 78 countries whose mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services. AACSB accreditation is the mark of quality distinction most widely sought after by business schools—less than 5 percent worldwide have earned the achievement. As the premier accrediting body for institutions offering undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate degrees in business and accounting, the association also conducts a wide array of conferences and seminar programs at locations throughout the world.