New York sneezes. Beijing pulls out a handkerchief. Berlin says gesundheit!
The game is global in business today. Connections and relationships and instant information web the planet. Whether you’re a peanut farmer in Albany or a carpet factory owner in Dalton, your business rises and falls on tides of commerce that can start 12 time zones away.
A global challenge is a global opportunity. So how do business schools like Terry effectively prepare the management executives and entrepreneurs of the 21st century for worldwide competitiveness?
Simple. Get globally connected through an international association focused on enhancing management education.
For many of the world’s leading business schools, that connection is AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business — where Jerry Trapnell (PhD ’77) is executive vice president and chief accreditation officer. Trapnell thinks of himself as the “chief missionary” of an association of educational institutions, businesses and other organizations devoted to the advancement of excellence in management education.
AACSB is the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide. It has accredited 596 business education institutions to date, 110 of them international, from 37 different countries. AACSB has added this impressive international membership since the organization repositioned itself in the past decade to focus on accreditation of schools across the globe, not just in the United States.
Here or abroad, Trapnell says, standards for management education institutions support the same ultimate goal.
“The challenge for business schools, regardless of location, is to effectively prepare graduates to be contributors and leaders in organizations in today’s world.”
Trapnell grew up in Metter, a farming community of 3,000 near Statesboro. He went north to Clemson for undergraduate work, then “got the bug” for academia, as he puts it, in grad school there. He enrolled at Terry to pursue a doctorate degree, falling under the influence of several noted faculty members, including J. Don Edwards, emeriti faculty member of Terry’s J.M. Tull School of Accountancy.
“I had great mentors at Terry, and I was challenged,” says Trapnell. “People demanded I be the best I could be.”
Those high standards would shape his career. After earning his doctorate, Trapnell taught for 10 years at Louisiana State. He then returned to Clemson to spend the next 20 years or so, eventually becoming dean of the business school. He first began working with AACSB in those years, serving on the board of directors and as chairman. That relationship positioned him for “an incredible opportunity,” he says, when the AACSB broadened its mission to international accreditation and made him point man.