Florida A&M University took another step forward out of the shadows of controversy when it learned Tuesday that its School of Business and Industry has been granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs Board of Commissioners.
“This is great news for the School of Business, which has always been one of our signature programs,” said Interim President Larry Robinson. “We are really excited about this opportunity to be associated with the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs. This clearly shows that we have programs that meet specialized academic standards, which embrace the virtues of teaching excellence and ensure our students have the essentials to excel. FAMU has always had an outstanding business school; this accreditation adds another layer of validation.”
Great news had been in short supply as the school has been reaping negative criticism in the wake of the hazing death of drum major Roger Champion and a lawsuit, the dismissal of the band director and suspension of the band, the resignation of President James Ammons, troubled replacement searches, incomplete financial audits and lingering concerns about accreditation on several fronts—all since 2011.
The school was buoyed by a report earlier this month that its College of Law students had a first-time passing rate of the Florida Bar exam that exceeded the state average for the first time in history. Nineteen of its 23 students passed the February exam (82.6 percent).
The accreditation, however, is a significant move forward.
The ACBSP is one of three major accrediting agencies for business schools and is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education.
“This accomplishment is due to the great SBI team that included our faculty, staff, students, Board of Advisors and alumni,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, dean of the School of Business and Industry. “This accreditation validates SBI’s delivery of and dedication to high-quality teaching, scholarship and service.”
Sidnie Patterson, who is earning her master’s in business, said that she is happy to hear this news.
“I know that the faculty, staff and students all worked collectively to reach this achievement,” said Patterson. “I am happy that our business program is now one of the elite schools to reach this milestone.”