EQUIS 20th Anniversary – Blog Series
Towards internationalisation and faculty growth – By Eric Rodríguez, Dean of Universidad de los Andes School of Management.
Universidad de los Andes School of Management (UASM) was founded in 1972 in Bogota, Colombia. It is part of Universidad de los Andes, a private university founded in 1948. The School has been accredited by EQUIS since 2003, and in 2015 it successfully underwent the EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB reaccreditation visits over a month and a half period. The School is one in eight institutions in Latin America holding the triple international accreditation, and the only one in Colombia with such a distinction.
One recommendation coming consistently from all the three PRT visits was the need to increase the number of core faculty, taking into account the School’s growth over the past 15 years. This was in due course with the School’s decision taken since the early 2000’s to increase, not only the number of faculty, but also their academic qualifications, in response to the School’s commitment to high quality management education.
The School’s quest for enhancing its faculty was aligned with the University’s long-term faculty development strategy. As part of it, since 1998, the School partially sponsored 44 faculty to develop their Ph.D. studies abroad. This implied a significant financial effort. The sole requirement for participants was returning back to the University upon completion of their degree. Having proven successful, this strategy had to be complemented in view of the imperatives of accelerated growth and the imminent generational transition and the ensuing faculty renewal.
In 2015 the EQUIS PRT visit and advice was instrumental to trigger the launch of a new recruitment strategy based on international standards and ensuring the allocation of time and resources to guarantee its success. This strategy emphasised on searching for highly qualified candidates with strong research interests, drawn from top universities around the globe. Internationalisation, multidisciplinarity and strong commitment to research were the guiding criteria. The strategy targets 80 core faculty by 2020 and it has already proven clear results. The number of faculty has grown 38% in the past five years. Almost all core faculty hold a Ph.D. (73% in 2013 versus 88% in 2017). This growing trend began in 2010 when only 57% held a Ph.D. degree. The recruitment of new faculty, many coming from abroad, has also increased the number of international faculty from 16% in 2013 to 26% in 2017.
For a Latin American School it’s not easy to attract international candidates, but over 14 years of accreditation and reaccreditation processes with EQUIS, the School has strengthen its research quality and productivity and has become an interesting geographical spot for young international candidates to develop a promising academic career.
Over these years, the different EQUIS accreditation processes have helped the School develop its strategic objectives, such as having a strong group of highly qualified faculty, and address its shortcomings in order to offer Latin American students high quality education that can help to change and impact the country and the region.
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