Pamplin College of Business Dean Richard E. Sorensen received an honorary doctorate from the Grenoble Ecole de Management during Pamplin’s black-tie donor recognition celebration in Blacksburg in November.

Thierry Grange, president of the French school’s strategic council, presented the “Docteur Honoris Causa” to Sorensen in recognition of his service and contributions to management education and AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Grange is a former member of the board of directors of AACSB, which represents more than 1,400 member universities globally, and currently coordinates its European activities.

Grange also formerly co-chaired AACSB’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Accreditation Quality with Sorensen, who is now the sole chair of the committee. “We’re seeking to shape the future of management education through accreditation on a global basis,” said Sorensen. “Our goal is to ensure an environment of overall high quality and continuous improvement for all business schools.”

The committee is conducting a comprehensive review of accreditation standards, processes, and support services. Its recommendations, Sorensen said, are likely to have an impact on a range of business school activities, including strategic directions, teaching and research, funding, career services, and collaborations with the business community.

Sorensen’s extensive service to AACSB includes chairing its board and many of its committees as well as a working group that sought ways to reduce the worldwide shortage of business doctoral faculty. He has served as an unpaid consultant to business schools at the HBCUs — historically black colleges and universities — assisting several of them with their initial accreditation or reaccreditation efforts.

He will be retiring in July 2013 after serving as a business school dean for 40 years, 31 of them at the Pamplin College.

Sorensen earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University), and an MBA and a Ph.D. in management at the New York University Stern Graduate School of Business.

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