Thunderbird at ASU awarded prestigious AACSB reaccreditation


Group of ASU Thunderbird students dressed professionally and huddled in a newsroom setting

Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU has been awarded with AACSB reaccreditation, marking 30 consecutive years since first achieving it in 1994. Photo courtesy Thunderbird at ASU

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The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) announced on July 2 that Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University has extended its prestigious business accreditation, marking 30 consecutive years since first achieving it in 1994.

AACSB, a renowned global nonprofit association, connects educators, students and business to foster the next generation of exceptional leaders. Since 1916, AACSB has been synonymous with the highest standards of excellence, offering quality assurance, business education intelligence and professional development services to over 1,900 member organizations and more than 1,000 accredited business schools worldwide. 

“Receiving AACSB reaccreditation, marking our 30th consecutive year, is a monumental achievement for us," said Charla Griffy-Brown, director general and dean of Thunderbird. “This recognition underscores our relentless dedication to academic excellence, innovative research and global impact. It reaffirms our commitment to cultivating future leaders who drive positive change worldwide. This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and students, and it inspires us to continue striving for the highest standards in global leadership and management education.”

According to the AACSB, the fundamental purpose of accreditation is to challenge business and management schools and educators to pursue excellence and hold themselves accountable for continuous quality improvement of their business practices. This is achieved through a commitment to strategic management and innovation, learner success, thought leadership, engagement and societal impact.

To earn and sustain accreditation, an institution and its programs are required to participate in a mission-driven evaluation process that includes a rigorous, in-depth assessment of internal activities, mentorship with an AACSB advisor and a peer-reviewed evaluation focused on continuous improvement. During the process, a team of business and management school deans also visit the school and evaluate the program.

Thunderbird joined ASU in 2014, with its first re-accreditation process taking place in 2019 under the umbrella of the greater university enterprise. The school achieved reaccreditation then, as it did this year, partly due to its unique position to leverage transdisciplinary partnerships across ASU. 

“Such partnerships enable us to continue to excel in global engagement, innovation and impact while also providing opportunities to considerably broaden and elevate the caliber of our programs,” Griffy-Brown said. “Thunderbird’s unique strategic focus on equipping global leaders across sectors to create the industries and ecosystems of the future played a key role in this success. In addition, the visiting team noted the tremendous social impact Thunderbird continues to have around the world.”

The guiding principles and standards are outcomes-focused and affirm AACSB’s commitment to having the world’s highest standard of quality in business education. The standards also place greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, which are core values of AACSB.

"Achieving AACSB accreditation for the next six years is a powerful testament to our unwavering commitment to educational excellence," said Orelia Villarreal Marker, senior director of data management and analytics at Thunderbird. "This milestone showcases the collective effort of our entire team and underscores our dedication to continuous improvement and the highest standards. It is a profound honor to be part of this journey."

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