November 30, 2017

“Zagreb is a lovely city,” says dean of the Foisie Business School Michael Ginzberg. Recently returned from a trip to Croatia's capital city, he goes on to describe the clear water and awe-inspiring beaches (made not of sand, but of stones) at the nearby Adriatic Sea.

It sounds like a perfect vacation spot, but Ginzberg wasn’t there to unplug from the world and relax. Instead, he was working as a mentor for the University of Zagreb as it begins the process of earning accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Once a school applies for and is accepted to begin the accreditation process, it's assigned a mentor to help it through the process. “I knew that they had been accepted and that I’d like to be a mentor for them,” Ginzberg explains, adding that the position was highly sought after by others.

Michael Ginzberg

After setting up business schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as an MBA program in Hungary, it’s clear that he has more than enough experience for the job.

The University of Zagreb has five years from the time they’re accepted to prepare for the visit of a peer-review team who will make a recommendation to the AACSB Board whether or not to grant the university accreditation.

This is Ginzberg’s second trip to Zagreb; he first visited a year and a half ago when the university began the accreditation process.

“They’re moving along well,” he says proudly.

As the university’s mentor, Ginzberg will support students, faculty, and staff, and work with them to answer questions or devise solutions to problems that may arise during the process. “I met with as many people on campus as I could to understand where they are and how they’re working through the process, and to see how I can help them move forward,” he explains.

Ginzberg also helped the university faculty understand how best to present their data to the AACSB, and how to begin drafting their self-evaluation report, helping them to better tell their story—how the university’s curriculum and mission are unique—and set it apart from other schools, the quality of faculty, students, and staff, and what they’re hoping to improve.

“They’re quite an impressive group,” Ginzberg says, adding that all the campus community members were as engaged in the process as any group he’s ever seen. “It was fun to be able to talk with them and hear their thoughts.”

With several government officials and industry leaders among its graduates, the University of Zagreb is seen as the premiere institution in Croatia; Ginzberg considers it an honor to be working with them.

“This is an opportunity to really help a high-quality school that wants to be recognized for it,” he says. “And if I can help develop that institution, that’s consistent with what I’ve been trying to do as dean and prior to that as associate dean and department chair, which is to build institutions.”

- By Allison Racicot