She is also the inaugural director of accreditation for Krannert, appointed in November 2011, making her the point person for accreditation by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which the school recently completed and undergoes every five years. Krannert may also become just the third U.S. business school to earn the prestigious EQUIS accreditation of the governing body, European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), based in Brussels, Belgium.

Krannert received the initial approval to apply for that accreditation in March. A several-step process follows, including the completion of a self-study report due in September. The report will contain in-depth information about the school’s strategic plan and data about programs, students and faculty.

“It must state what differentiates us, and that is our global focus and our emphasis on STEM education,” Rees Ulmer says. She notes the primary benefit of this accreditation, which is new to the U.S., is to enhance credibility with global partners, a process that forces critical self-examination.

“At the heart of any accreditation is looking carefully at what you’re doing,” she explains. “It holds us accountable, and makes us better for all of our stakeholders. We want to be better.”

Rees Ulmer’s research is focused primarily on information systems security. “How do high-level managers allocate resources such as staffing, hardware and software to manage security risks?” she says.

Specifically, her research projects have looked at governance structures and who makes the decisions relative to the types of security breach events. “Research has shown that firms suffer less security breaches when the information technology expert in a company is close the CEO,” she says.

She has published dozens of professional journal articles and book chapters on that topic as well as her other interests: genetic algorithms, data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Personal time is mostly spent with family. “My boyfriend during my cancer treatment became my husband, and we’ve been married for 11 years,” she says. Cancer treatment prevented her from having a child, so she and Michael adopted a son, Christian, now 5. “Michael and I met online. I joke and tell people I met him while working!”

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