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 The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Business received another five-year extension of its accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This is the 30th consecutive year that the college has earned the distinction.

“We are proud to continue the legacy of excellence in business education that was begun many years ago at UAH,” said Dr. Jason T. Greene, dean, College of Business.

Every five years, AACSB evaluates each of their accredited business schools through a rigorous review process to assure that the college continues to meet high standards for business education and demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement.

“We hold ourselves and our students to high standards,” Greene said, “so we are pleased with the external validation that this extension of our accreditation brings.”

Approximately six percent of business schools worldwide have achieved AACSB accreditation, and it is considered to be the gold standard for university business schools.

“Receiving re-accreditation is truly a mark of excellence for our college,” Greene said. “It is a testament to our faculty’s commitment to fuel innovation in business, spark new ideas through research, and launch the professional careers of our students.”

According to Greene, Huntsville business leaders worked with the college’s founding dean, Dr. C. David Billings, in the 1980s to advocate for a high-quality accredited business school to meet the needs of Huntsville’s growing business community.

“The college’s initial accreditation was very much a community effort,” Greene said. “Business leaders from our community came together with the vision of having a world-class business school right here in Huntsville. With the continued engagement of our business community for the last 30 years, that vision continues to be reality.”

Community leaders involved in the college’s original 1994 accreditation included Hundley Batts Sr., Russell G. Brown, C. Mark Smith, J.A. Bethany, Marie Bone, Edward D. Boston, Elizabeth C. Dempsey, Larry Durkee, Cooper Green, Linda Green, Randall L. Haines, William H. Holbrook, Richard A. Holloway, Tim Huffman, Wallace Kirkpatrick, Steve Monger, Dean O’Farrell, Gary Pledger, S. Dagnal Rowe, Michael Segrest, John R. Washburn, Walter Wiesman and Ernest Young.

The college’s founding dean, Dr. Billings, recently reflected on the community’s need for a high-quality business school during the 1980s.

“The region needed a first class business program to support one of the nation’s major centers for advanced technology and to help support the defense, aerospace, technology commercialization, international, and traditional business activities that drove the economic development of this region,” said Billings.

Billings continued by explaining the transformational change the college experienced in order to better meet the needs of the Huntsville/Madison County community.

“Efforts went beyond building a state-of-the-art corporate training facility, now known as the Business Administration Building, to house the business school. It also required the college to recruit and develop high-quality faculty to teach a curriculum that would continually improve to assure it met the expectations of business and government organizations in the community,” he said.

Recruiting high-quality faculty also included establishing an eminent scholar endowment. “Under the leadership of Mark C. Smith, the college’s 1989 external advisory board raised funds to endow an eminent scholar in the management of science and technology,” said Billings. Today, the college now has a second eminent scholar among its distinguished faculty.

Dr. Greene says it remains a priority for the UAH College of Business to serve the Huntsville/Madison County community and beyond by providing high-quality business programs.

“Our college was founded to meet the needs of our community. Thirty years later, we still value the collaboration of our community’s leaders when planning curriculum and programs for our students,” he said. “We want to ensure that our graduates are prepared to meet the demanding needs of today’s workforce and are positioned for continued success throughout their careers as they become leaders in their organizations and in our community.”

The college credits much of its success to its continued partnerships in the professional community, especially the business leaders who commit their time by serving on the college’s external advisory board.

“Our success in extending our accreditation would not have been possible without the support of our community partners,” Greene said. “We are fortunate to have companies and professionals to support our students through scholarships, internships, guest lectures, and class project learning opportunities. We are especially grateful for the business leaders who serve on our advisory boards throughout the college.”

Current business leaders serving on the dean’s external advisory board include Gary Bolton, Fiber Broadband Association; Ed Faulkner, retired from SAIC; Owen Franklin, Blue Summit Supplies; Robert Hamilton, IGNITE; Lauren Johannesmeyer, Google Fiber; Andy Kattos, ServisFirst Bank; Tracy Lamm, Lockheed Martin; Laura Ortman, Cologix; Alicia Ryan, LSINC; Beth Sippel, Synovus Bank; Frederiek Toney, retired from Ford Motor Company; Lynn Troy, Troy7; Irma Tuder, retired from Tuder Investments, LLC, and Ken Watson, Bryant Bank.