Plan outlined to avoid crisis

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS — Fogelman College of Business and Economics is taking the necessary steps toward correcting its shortcomings, which, if not corrected, could lead to the college losing its accreditation, according to Dean John Pepin.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business had threatened to deny renewal of accreditation to The University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics, according to an April 13 letter from the AACSB.

“After reviewing your application for reaffirmation of accreditation, the peer review team’s visit report, and your responses, the Business Accreditation Committee concur with the team’s recommendation of continuing review for the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business offered by The University of Memphis for up to three years,” the letter stated.

“Continuing review does not change the current accredited status of your degree programs in business. However, given the extent and severity of the concerns listed below, particularly in the mission, faculty, and curriculum planning areas, please be aware that there is great danger of losing accreditation if corrective actions are not taken immediately.”

The Fogelman College of Business and Economics has three years to address the problems named by the AACSB before reaffirmation of accreditation is denied.

The AACSB team review report stated that the college employs too many adjunct professors, has poor curriculum standards, lacks in the use of technology and is lacking a “strategic plan.”

However, Pepin said that the necessary steps are being taken to correct the problems outlined in the AACSB report.

“We are taking steps to rectify the problems,” Pepin said. “We knew the problems before the AACSB even came. This administration is not part of the problem. We are the solution. We are the problem-solvers.”

The AACSB letter stated the college must file annual progress reports defining progress and steps taken to renew accreditation.

However, to assure the college is reaching its goals in a timely manner, Pepin said he’ll be sending additional progress reports.

“The college has made substantial progress,” Pepin said. “The college faculty is working diligently to accomplish reaffirmation in two years rather than three years. We are addressing every problem that AACSB mentioned. We will also do whatever is necessary to keep the students informed of updates.”

In June, the college spent over $100,000 to purchase multi-media projectors for the classrooms.

“We just got the most modern multi-media projectors,” Pepin said. “They will be in every classroom before or during the fall 2001 semester.”

The college has been working since May to develop a new mission, goals and a strategic plan, Pepin said.

The plan has been reviewed and will be brought before the faculty for adoption at the beginning of the fall 2001 semester.

“I know that with the support of the faculty, staff and administration we will accomplish our reaffirmation within two years,” Pepin said. “We are working together and have made a lot of progress.”

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