Following are the operational definitions of faculty qualifications and engagement.
AACSB accreditation standards clearly articulate the need for schools to demonstrate that faculty members are current in their field of teaching. Standard #15, which addresses faculty qualifications, states that appropriate criteria must be in place to guide faculty regarding (1) initial academic and professional preparation/engagement and (2) sustained academic and professional engagement activities to maintain/enhance currency and relevancy for teaching. The standard further requires that engagement activities be consistent with mission, expected outcomes, and strategies.
The IU Kokomo School of Business Mission states that, “The School of Business provides innovative, quality, and cost-effective undergraduate and graduate business education in North Central Indiana. The School prepares students with the skills to excel and function responsibly in a diverse global economy. The faculty is dedicated to making a positive impact through excellence in teaching, research, service, and community engagement.” The IU Kokomo Promotion and Tenure Criteria further states, “In evaluating scholarship, many kinds of activities and products should be given credit. Suitable measures of excellence should be developed, and credit should be given for non-traditional as well as traditional forms of scholarship.”
Faculty members may produce contributions through both traditional academic research, and through professional engagement activities that include applied and practical contributions. Measuring the impact of these activities is challenging. One principle that could be applied to intellectual contributions is the perceived quality of the faculty member’s activity or accomplishment. In the case of writing, the quality of the manuscript could be assessed by the rigor and structure of the review process that leads to publication, and the number of citations. Measuring the impact of other activities is more difficult; however, there are indicators of recognition that provide validation and recognition of the work of faculty members. External validation may include recognition through selection to serve on an editorial committee or board. Other validation factors may include invited presentations, research awards, fellow status, and officer positions in academic societies. From this perspective, we can introduce the notion of third party validation as a means of assessing the current knowledge, skills, and/or abilities of a faculty member.
The extent to which the business community or others in the academy seek the faculty member’s expertise is a reasonable surrogate for evidence of the faculty member’s currency. Thus, a guiding principle should be the value – both intrinsic and extrinsic – that external stakeholders place on a faculty member’s talent. Providing evidence of the impact of intellectual and professional contributions then becomes a function of the quality of the contribution or third party validation, and ultimately on the effect of the research on theory, practice, and/or teaching/pedagogy in business and management. These two guiding principles lead to the following definitions and lists of activities that faculty should pursue to remain qualified.