Dear Fellow Accounting Longhorns,

Last fall, I reported that Deans Hartzell and Hirst initiated a review of the McCombs School’s strategic plan – including branding, classroom design, staffing, and curricula.

  • Branding: The new brand was launched on Monday, November 13, 2017. You will soon see the new, coordinated look for all McCombs programs, departments, and research centers. Our new tag line is “Human Centered. Future Focused.”
  • Classrooms: Rowling Hall, McCombs’ new MBA-classroom building, opens in January 2018. The flexible design of the rooms in Rowling Hall will serve as a model for the renovation of our existing building (CBA and GSB). In addition, as classes begin moving to Rowling Hall, we will be able to move accounting classes out of the University Teaching Center and into CBA and GSB.
  • Staffing: This fall, we added three new Assistant Professors to the accounting faculty – Aysa Dordzhieva (University of Minnesota), Sara Toynbee (University of Washington), and Wuyang Zhao (University of Toronto). In addition, Bill Spiller has returned to teach financial and tax courses after almost 20 years in public accounting, most recently with Grant Thornton.
  • Curricula: Jaime Schmidt and Patti Brown are taking a hard look at how to incorporate data analytics in our current curriculum. Thanks to a PwC Inquires grant, they will complete their review and present recommendations to the faculty at the end of the spring 2018 semester. In addition, Dave Platt, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs (and Accounting faculty member), is heading a committee that is reviewing the BBA curriculum, and we will integrate those changes into the MPA program.

Inside this issue, you will find introductions to our new faculty, highlights of recently published research, a salute to Kathy Saqer following a long career of highly valued and appreciated student advising, and two notable faculty achievements: Michael Granof received the 2017 AICPA Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award, and Gretchen Charrier received a 2017 Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award.

Also inside is a corrected reprint of the 2015-2016 Corporate Donors and Friends list. As a result of system updates and staffing changes in the College, the list published in the summer 2017 issue of The Accounting Times contained numerous omissions. We apologize for the omissions and, as always, extend our sincere thanks for your continued financial and personal support of our program.