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ACBSP President & CEO Jeffrey Alderman writes about emerging issues that affect accreditation and the world wide academic community of the business and accounting profession.

 

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The Executive Report: Fall 2015

Posted By Jeffrey Alderman, Monday, October 26, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015

Originally in the Fall 2015 Issue of ACBSP Update. 

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. Despite knowing that fall is a precursor to winter and what frozen misery might lay ahead, I enjoy the season as it offers such beautiful scenery with the changing colors of the trees, the crisp mornings, the sounds of geese heading south, and the wondrous smells of pumpkin pie or a wood fireplace. As I have gotten older, my feelings have remained the same and I still look forward to the end of the hot, hectic summer and the beginning of a more temperate, organized time of year. In addition, the change in seasons signals the start of the school year, as students, teachers, professors, deans, and administrators head back to the classroom.

In similar fashion, ACSBP also heads back to the classroom as fall marks the beginning of the schedule of its annual regional conferences. With ten geographic regions located throughout the world, it has been exciting for me to see and experience all of the presentations, knowledge sharing, and networking taking place at these conferences.

Already, I have been to Myrtle Beach, SC, for Region 3; West Hartford, CT, for Region 1; Tiffin, OH, for Region 4; as well as stayed close to home in Kansas City, KS, for Region 5. I also will be attending the Region 10 conference next month in Coimbatore, India. With so many regions, there is bound to be some crossover of dates, so while I am personally not able to attend all of this year’s conferences, ACBSP team members from both the membership and accreditation departments are in attendance at every meeting.

Other locations for this year’s conferences include Fairmont, WV, for Region 2; Ada, OK, for Region 6; San Francisco, CA, for Region 7, and Cancún, México, for Region 9. And, not to be undone, Region 8 will be meeting during the upcoming ACBSP International Conference in Barcelona, Spain, from Nov. 25-29.

Hopefully, you are aware that this year’s theme is Creating New Knowledge in the Classroom and we encourage each region to embrace this subject matter in their call for presentations. This theme will culminate at next year’s ACBSP Annual Conference from June 17-20 in Atlanta, GA. Presentations given at the conferences are eligible for the ACBSP International Best of Regions Excellence Award, which was created in 2012 as a way to honor exceptional presentations given by members with the ACBSP Conference theme.

Individuals giving presentations related to the theme of the next annual conference at their regional fall conferences will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The evaluators use a rubric created by the home office in consultation with the Council of Regional Chairs. The individual with the highest collective score will be named the Best of the Region. The presenter(s) will automatically qualify to give their presentation during the concurrent sessions at ACBSP Conference 2016 in Atlanta.

Our first ever recipients of the International Best of Regions Excellence Award in 2012 were Mike O’Connell and Lisa Wyzik from River Valley Community College (NH) for their presentation Best Practices in Online Teaching Strategies for Effective Student Engagement.

The 2013 recipient was Dewayne Thompson, Lee University (TN), with his presentation A Business Ethics Framework: Foundation. The recipient at the 2014 ACBSP Annual Conference was Beth Richardson, University of New England (ME), with her presentation. Organizational Technological Excellence through Experiential Collaboration. This year, Francisco Barroso, Anahuac Mayab University (Mexico), was the recipient of the award on his presentation Critical and Creative Thinking for Improving Enterprise Productivity.

If you have never had the opportunity to attend your regional conference, I truly encourage you to do so. Interacting and sharing with your colleagues is one of the wonderful threads of connectivity that ACBSP offers it members.

As always, we are grateful for the trust you place in us.

Tags:  ACBSP Update  CEO  Executive Director  Jeffrey Alderman  President  The Executive Report 

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The Executive Report: Summer 2015

Posted By Jeffrey Alderman , Friday, July 24, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015

Originally in the Summer 2015 Issue of ACBSP Update. 

It still seems like yesterday when Anthony Negbenebor called to let me know the search committee had decided who would fill the position of chief staff executive of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

That decision forever changed my family’s life, and now, six months into the job; I remain very humbled and honored to be associated with such a remarkable organization. A lot has happened in a short time, which is why it seems like yesterday. Before I describe what has been keeping us busy at headquarters, I would like to thank many new friends who have provided encouragement and assistance during this time. There are so many to thank, however, and given editorial length restraints, I apologize for not being able to acknowledge everyone by name.

First, what can I say about Dr. Negbenebor, our immediate past Board chair and someone who has given so much of his time and talents to this organization. He was waiting when I arrived and has been there ever since. His enthusiasm for ACBSP is infectious and I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend and mentor.

Our current Board Chair, Andy Saucedo, has been in my corner from the very beginning and continues to lead with passion and dedication. Under his leadership, I predict the upcoming year will bring many positive developments and organizational achievements. I want to thank our Chair-Elect, Dewayne Thompson, for his ongoing support and insight. And, I want to express my deepest appreciation to our entire Board of Directors for their wisdom and the genuine care they are putting into our organization. I also want to give thanks to our two Boards of Commissioners for their wonderful work. You all inspire me on a daily basis and I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not extend my sincere appreciation to the ACBSP team for their hard work and patience during this time of transition. They welcomed me with open arms and it is so gratifying to work with a group of professionals dedicated to giving their best each and every day to serve our members. Special thanks to our Director of Administration, Mary Riley, who I would describe as the backbone of our team and someone who has given so much to the success of this organization. In future columns, I will take time to introduce all of our team members.

As for the job at hand, we are working on it.

The last five months have included hosting not one, but two conferences including our own Annual Conference in Philadelphia as well as the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) Biennial Conference in Chicago in late March. It was there we welcomed more than 200 global leaders in higher education. Hosting such an august body as this is what I am referring to when I speak of influence. For those attending the Annual Conference in Philadelphia, you may have heard me speak about influence and how we can continue to grow the prestige of ACBSP accreditation. At INQAAHE, we had the opportunity to share our vision with numerous countries from around the world, many of which had not heard of us before the conference. 

Speaking of Philadelphia, we welcomed almost 900 individuals, including registrants, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to the City of Brotherly Love in June. It was an honor and pleasure meeting so many members and learning more about you and your respective schools. Hearing about your daily endeavors and challenges is the primary motivation for what we do. As you no doubt are aware, we preach continuous improvement and outcomes, and such a statement is applicable to ACBSP as well. 

This is only the beginning of the wide array of new offerings envisioned by the Board of Directors. As you welcome the start of the fall semester, so too will we begin our work on the creation of a new five-year strategic plan to lead us in our next 25 years of success.

In order to accomplish these objectives and others, we intend to tap into the wealth of talent of our members through our various committees and task forces. Participation through volunteerism is the single most important ingredient to the many accomplishments that lie ahead. If you have ever wondered why some of your colleagues seem to enjoy the countless hours they contribute to ACBSP, I invite you to find out for yourself.

For ways to get more involved or just to say hello, please call the ACBSP headquarters at (913) 339-9356 or email me directly at jalderman@acbsp.org. We truly enjoy interacting with our members.

Moving forward, please help celebrate our progress and yours, and help us work for the future as we continue to provide a meaningful organization that members are proud to say is theirs.

We are grateful for the trust you place in us and we look forward to serving you in the year ahead.

Tags:  ACBSP Update  CEO  Executive Director  Jeffrey Alderman  President  The Executive Report 

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Getting to Know New ACBSP CEO Jeffrey Alderman

Posted By Jeffrey Alderman, Thursday, April 23, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2015

Originally in the Spring 2015 Issue of ACBSP Update.

What is your background?

My background has been fairly consistent in that I have worked in various executive management capacities for voluntary membership associations for the past 25 years. I began my career as a membership assistant for the Detroit Bar Association. In time, this opportunity allowed me to fully immerse myself in all aspects of non-profit administration including the operations of a private law library. From Detroit, I moved to the South Jersey/Philadelphia area when I became executive director of the Camden County Bar Association. This was my first opportunity to serve as the chief staff executive of an organization. Six years later, I was appointed the executive director of the Kansas Bar Association and moved my family halfway across the country to begin a new life in the Sunflower State. I spent nearly eight years at the KBA and during that time, we were able to increase membership from 5,600 to 7,200, build a new law center building, and dramatically increase the endowment. After more than 20 years of working for bar associations, I decided to move my career in a different direction and left the Bar to begin my own consulting business and work for Visit Topeka, Inc. (VTI), which is a destination marketing organization. At VTI, I was able to work with a wide array of organizations including the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA. We hosted citywide events resulting in millions of dollars of revenue for the local economy and it was very gratifying to serve these groups. With no disrespect to the capital city, selling a lower tier city was probably the greatest professional challenge that I have faced and we were successful because we understood our strengths and mitigated any perceived weaknesses. In two years, our team sold more than $60 million in economic impact. I left Topeka to work for the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce where I directed all business development for the Chamber. Wyandotte County boasts one of the most vibrant economies in the United States and is home to the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas Speedway, Sporting Kansas City, and the General Motors Fairfax plant. It will also be the future home of the Diary Farmers of America as well as the National Training Center for U.S. Men’s and Women’s Soccer.

What are your ambitions for ACBSP?

When I saw the position announcement, I immediately felt this was a great match with my skill set. I see infinite opportunities to respectfully grow ACBSP while increasing our visibility and branding efforts. I also feel we can continue to position our organization as a leader in business accreditation by strengthening our ties with the business community. We need to properly articulate the benefits of accreditation and continue to improve our business model. We should expand the reach of our philanthropic activities and continue to grow our influence throughout the world. As the world of academia continues to evolve, higher education will face pressure on multiple fronts. In spite of these forces, the demand for a business-school educated workforce continues to increase and we must face these challenges with a strategic vision for the future.

What professional achievement are you most proud to have accomplished in your life?

I have worked with many gifted, hardworking, and dedicated co-workers during the course of my career. Regardless of titles and responsibilities, I have learned from them as much as they have learned from me. I have truly enjoyed watching my teammates grow as professionals and as individuals outside of the office. I am proud to say I have kept in close contact with many former co-workers that I am now honored to call friends. On numerous occasions, I have been given the responsibility to serve as a reference and very few things in life can match the feeling I get when I can help “close the deal” on a dream job or promotion. This has happened three times in the last year alone and it is a joy to receive that phone call of exhilaration whenever someone has been offered that next step in their career.

What was your childhood ambition?

My childhood ambition was always to become a pilot. I became fascinated with aviation after attending an air show with the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels Team. Early in high school, I started taking math, physics, and aeronautical science classes. My room was decorated with posters of fighter jets and model airplanes. I dreamed of attending the Air Force Academy. Before long, though, I became charmed with competitive sports and gradually began to have new dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Soon, posters of Michael Jordan and Kirk Gibson adorned my walls. Given my athletic success, I should have stuck with becoming a pilot!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and from whom did you receive it?

My first boss and mentor, Roger Lennert, was a great leader. One of the things that I took out of our relationship was his ability to understand that if you give forth the effort, things usually have a way of working themselves out in the end. As professionals, it is easy to get lost in the chaos of life and it’s tempting to forget about and postpone what is most near and dear to your heart. Like Roger instilled in me, I have found it’s helpful to keep asking myself, “What’s really important?”

What is your favorite quote?

It’s difficult to choose a favorite quote when there are so many inspirational ones to choose from, however, I do like several from Christopher McCandless. Chris was the main character from John Krakauer’s fascinating book, Into the Wild. The story is about a young man from a privileged background, who, after graduating from Emory University, donated his entire net worth of $25,000 to charity, gave away all of his possessions, abandoned his car and hitchhiked to Alaska to start a new life of adventure. In the end, it becomes a sad tale, but his idealism has always struck a chord with me. “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Who do you most admire as a leader and why?

It would be easy to say my Father and Mother since they were both leaders in their own right and I owe everything to them. I want to introduce everyone, however, to Ann Schmerling Salsberg. I suspect very few people outside of South Jersey have ever heard of Ann, but she was, and still is, a historic figure in women’s rights and a pioneer in the rights of all people. I got to know Ann while working for the Camden County Bar Association and there was surely a lot to know. For starters, Ann was the second woman ever to graduate from Temple Law School (in 1928). Although less than five feet tall, Ann had to literally fight her way to get to class as male classmates bullied her on numerous occasions. Being Jewish, she also faced religious discrimination. Years earlier, she had accomplished the first in a series of achievements when she became the first woman to register to vote in New Jersey after the passage of the 19th Amendment. She was initially prevented from voting, but her persistent ways were the determining factor in reaching numerous milestones. She practiced law for 70 years and along the way, convinced several of her clients to contribute the bulk of their estates to the Bar Association to help establish several scholarship funds that are still in existence today. Ann passed away in 2003 at the age of 103, about a year after I came to Kansas. I miss our conversations and interaction, but will forever admire her spirit and fortitude to stand up for herself and what she felt was right. She is among the numerous heroes of our society who may not have garnered nationwide acclaim, but whose efforts were critical to the rights and freedoms we all share today.

What personal information do you want to share about family, hobbies or interests?

My wife, Brenda, is a hotel executive (and Navy Veteran) and we share a wonderfully blended family of five children. We like spending as much time as we can in the outdoors and I actually proposed to Bren on a hiking trail overlooking the campus of Park University, an ACBSP accredited school in Parkville, MO. Additionally, growing up in Michigan, you spend a lot of time on the water and one of my fondest memories with Bren was when we rented a sailboat in Annapolis and sailed up the Chesapeake Bay. When I am not sinking sailboats, I enjoy weight training with my oldest son, who is a student at nearby Johnson County Community College, another ACBSP accredited school. I am an avid reader and in addition to John Krakauer, I enjoy the works of Michael Crichton, David Baldacci, and Max Lucado.

Tags:  CEO  Executive Director  Getting to Know  Jeffrey Alderman  President 

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