Letter from the Chair
May 7, 2014
Dear Students, Alums, Faculty, and Contributors of the School of Accounting,
What is the most important thing I can tell you right now, today? It is that you are invited to an open house in what will be held in our brand spanking new world class business building. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday evening on September 4, 2014. There will be tours, plenty of food, and ample time to mingle. The event is sponsored by our Friends of Accounting (FAD) organization and the goal is to have every graduate and friend of the School of Accounting there. FAD’s plans are to make this event “admission free” so come join with us and your classmates for a remarkable evening.
This newsletter celebrates the culmination of a very busy and productive year for the faculty and students within the School of Accounting. The number of students and sections taught by full-time SOA faculty members has dramatically increased over the past several years, from approximately 3,000 students in 91 sections in the 2008-2009 school year just five years ago to 6,071 students in 178 sections in the 2013-2014 school year. In the 2008-2009 school year, SOA courses were taught by 33 individuals including 20 full-time instructors. In 2013-2014, SOA courses were taught by only 28 individuals including just one additional full-time instructor. Even so, SOA faculty members enjoy a reputation for high quality teaching. During the past five years, 13 SOA full time faculty members received a total of 45 formal awards for quality teaching.
One activity that is new to the School of Accounting is applied projects in which students take what they have learned in the classroom and use it to add value to businesses and other organizations. During the 2013-2014 school year, seven student teams under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Dr. Jim Edwards, completed projects for Ag First Bank, Palmetto Health, United Way of the Midlands, Allied Air, and Specialty Woodworks, Inc. The reaction from the students and the sponsoring organizations that they served has been overwhelmingly positive.
It seems as though every newsletter talks about new faculty and this edition is no exception. Since our Fall 2013 newsletter, the School of Accounting has hired four new Ph.D. faculty members who will join us in Fall 2014: Donna Bobek Schmitt, Chelsea Rae Austin, Aaron Zimbelman, and Andrew Collins. Dr. Schmitt will join us as a tenured associate professor to teach tax. Dr. Austin received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and also teaches tax. Dr. Zimbelman received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and teaches auditing. And Dr. Collins received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and will likely teach financial accounting.
On behalf of our students, we wish to thank the companies, firms, and individuals who contribute and support the School of Accounting. Donations are strong, both from individuals and from matching contributions. We take our stewardship of these contributions very seriously in putting them to work to benefit our students. We also welcome notes, phone calls and visits from our alums and appreciate the hours of service provided by the professionals who speak to classes and student organizations, serve on boards, and help in many other ways. It is a good day to be associated with the School of Accounting at USC.
Chair, School of Accounting