I arrived on the 40 Acres in 1997 not thinking I would ever occupy the Department Chair’s Office, but here I am. I grew up on the East Coast and studied accounting as an undergraduate at Baruch College in New York City. Baruch had a good accounting program and I did not know much about the University of Texas’ accounting program. One day I walked by a bulletin board that listed the top accounting programs in the country. This was around 1980 and the University of Texas was ranked number one. I remember asking myself, “Who is this University of Texas?” Then I noticed that most of my accounting textbooks were written by UT professors.

My first interaction with the University of Texas came when I was a doctoral student attending a PhD Project meeting and I met Robert Freeman and Paul Newman. I remember thinking they were from the famous University of Texas Department of Accounting.

When I graduated from Stanford I was thrilled to have an offer from UT. I had not lived in Texas before we moved to Austin, but my father, who was born in Paris, Texas, always told me that one of my mistakes was that I never lived in Texas. He was the first person I called when I accepted the offer.

I am honored to be here with such a talented group of faculty, staff, and students. Together we will pursue the University’s core purpose which is to “transform lives for the benefit of society.” I appreciate the support I have received from faculty and staff with the surprisingly big transition from Professor to Department Chair. I especially appreciate the help of former Department Chairs Robert Freeman, Lil Mills, and Ross Jennings and our Interface Manager, Becki Henry.

2018 has proven to be an exciting year in which we have crossed many milestones. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the inception of the Master in Professional Accounting program here at the University of Texas at Austin. Can you believe it? 70 years of excellence in the first graduate accounting program in the nation!

We also grew to over 20,000 accounting alums this year. That’s 20,000 people spread over 40 countries across the globe proudly showcasing their burnt orange.

Additionally, we saw our largest incoming BBA class in over ten years at Texas McCombs, with 1,033 students enrolled in the fall of 2018. With business school programs becoming more competitive, we are happy to see so many exceptional and unique students attending the McCombs School of Business year after year.

Becki Henry also retires at the end of the year, after 14 years as a Longhorn. Becki is the Department of Accounting’s Interface Manager and has been instrumental in keeping faculty and staff on track with everything from payments to paychecks to timesheets. We will miss Becki and all she does for us, but we are thrilled for her to explore the next chapter in her life!

The Department has once again been awarded the top designation from U.S. News and World Report and the Public Accounting Report. That marks nine years in a row that we are the number one accounting school in the U.S. at every level and across all major accounting rankings. We are extremely proud and privileged to have such exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors who continue to make our accounting department simply the best. Thank you to all of you!

We hope you will enjoy reading this edition of The Accounting Times as we welcome new faculty members, acknowledge awards and achievements, learn more about our outstanding alumni and donors, and see some interesting statistics about our students and programs.

Hook ‘em!