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Letter from the SOA Chair

What is new at USC’s School of Accounting? The answer is, “A lot.”
Our new world class business building is well on track for summer 2014 classes. The most important goal of the new building is to provide an exceptional environment for students to learn and for faculty to conduct their research. The design and technology in the new classrooms is stunning and the new building includes a state of the art trading room and behavioral research laboratory. Another important goal of the new building is to achieve net zero energy consumption which will require new ways of working for both faculty and students. We are planning a number of events for alums and others who are associated with the School of Accounting to showcase the new building.  We hope all our alums come take a look.
The Provost recently announced the appointment of Dr. Peter J. Brews as the new Darla Moore School of Business dean. Dr. Brews brings to the Moore School experience in strategic and financial management, corporate law and mergers and acquisitions, as well as extensive management experience in both the corporate environment and academia.  In addition, Dr. Brews has extensive international business connections and a keen sense of the global economy’s ongoing evolution.  A native of South Africa, Dr. Brews began his career in banking and finance before charting a course in academia at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  Most recently, Dr. Brews was professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina as well as the associate dean of its One MBA program. Dr. Brews succeeds interim dean John McDermott, who has been guiding the Moore School since May. He officially joins the Moore School on January 16, 2014.
We have a new director for the Center for the Advancement of Accounting, Stan Smith who is working very hard to put together the Center’s first board. The Center for the Advancement of Accounting provides a means for faculty and students to contribute to the community and for the community to contribute to faculty and students. Its purpose is to advance and disseminate accounting knowledge, to increase awareness of contemporary accounting issues and to promote and support the goals and needs of the School of Accounting.
In January 2014, the teaching staff of the School of accounting will consist of 51 individuals: 13 PhD qualified full-time faculty members, 8 full-time lecturers (all with post graduate degrees), 5 adjunct professors (all with post graduate degrees), 9 PhD students, and 16 MACC students. In the fall as in every year, we welcomed a new cadre of MACC students as instructors to assist teaching in our sophomore accounting courses. Beginning with the fall 2013 semester, the School of Accounting also welcomed four new full-time faculty members: Robert Lipe, Andrew Newman, Bryan Stikeleather, and Jared Jones. Robert teaches accounting in the PMBA program, Andrew and Bryan teach managerial accounting and/or financial accounting, and Jared is the new director of the MACC program and teaches audit. In addition, Marlys Lipe will join the faculty in the spring as the new Donald Cramer Professor of accounting.
As you can see, there is a lot that is new at USC’s School of Accounting from a new building and new leadership to new faculty and instructors. But some tried and true things remain the same. Thankfully, a teacher interacting live and face-to-face with students in a classroom setting remains the standard and central method for teaching all upper division and graduate accounting majors at the School of Accounting.
Another activity that remains constant is the high quality and level of activity of our student organizations and our individual students. Students continue to engage the community through service to the United Way, the Children’s Hospital, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, etc. Students compete in case competitions, complete significant projects and internships for companies and other entities, attend leadership conferences, and visit manufacturing facilities throughout the state. We boast again a superior Beta Alpha Psi chapter and one of the largest IMA student chapters in the nation. Our students continue to gain national attention and experience high CPA exam pass rates and excellent job placements.  It is a good time to be an accounting major at South Carolina.
In behalf of our students, we thank those (the companies, firms, and individuals) who contribute and support the School of Accounting. I also welcome notes, phone calls and visits from our alums. It is a good day to be associated with the School of Accounting at USC.