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  • Deirdre Harris
    William Wager Cooper 1914-20121
    memorial last edited September 30, 2013 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    1914-2012
    William W. Cooper was born on July 23, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama and died on June 20, 2012 in Austin, Texas.  He grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. After his father became ill, he had to drop out of high school to support his family, and he worked at a variety of odd jobs, including as a professional boxer.  His record:  58 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws. 
     
    Eric L. Kohler, an Arthur Andersen & Co. partner who taught accounting at Northwestern University, picked Bill up as a hitch-hiker one day on his way to another of his jobs, as a golf caddie.  Kohler soon became his mentor and friend, and he loaned him the money to enter the University of Chicago.  While at the university, he became friends with fellow student Herbert A. Simon. In 1938, he received an A.B. degree, majoring in economics, and he then accompanied Kohler to the Tennessee Valley Authority, where Kohler served as Comptroller. Bill assisted him by applying his analytical skills to developing the TVA’s required auditing systems and procedures.
     
    In 1940, Bill entered the Ph.D. program in business at Columbia University. After completing the coursework in two years, his research was so advanced for its day that his thesis committee could not judge, and would not approve, his thesis.  As Bill later said, he “fought the committee to a draw.”  In 1942, Bill again followed Kohler, this time to U.S. Bureau of the Budget to help with the war effort, where he was put in charge of all the government’s accounting-related statistics.   
     
    In May 1944, he met Ruth, his future wife, in Washington, DC.
     
    After a brief return to the University of Chicago, Bill joined the Carnegie Institute of Technology (today Carnegie Mellon University) in 1946.  Together with George Leland (Lee) Bach and Herbert Simon, he was one of the founding fathers of Carnegie Tech’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now the Tepper School of Business).  They pioneered a scientific, interdisciplinary approach to business education, eventually with Ford Foundation support, that is now the norm in leading business schools, and their effort was a key intellectual driver in the development of CMU. 
    From the outset, Bill espoused the need for problem-driven research.  Together with long-term collaborator Abraham Charnes, he developed important new mathematical techniques (for example, goal programming, chance-constrained programming, and data envelopment analysis) in the search of solutions to particular applied problems. Their work created a new field, called management science, and Bill was the founding president of The Institute of Management Sciences (which is now part of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences).  In 1968, he became the first dean of CMU’s School of Urban and Public Affairs (now Heinz College). 
     
    From 1975 to 1980, he was the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor at the Harvard Business School, where he developed and supervised an improved Ph.D. program.  In 1980, George Kozmetsky, the dean of the business school at the University of Texas at Austin, hired Bill as the Foster Parker Professor of Management, Finance and Accounting, thus bridging three departments. He became emeritus in 1993. Throughout his career, he advised numerous Ph.D. students, including Andrew Stedry, Andrew Whinston, and Yuji Ijiri at Carnegie Mellon, Rajiv Banker at Harvard, and Ramayya Krishna at UT-Austin.
     
    Bill was an immensely prolific researcher, even in the last years of his life.  Of his more than 545 scientific publications, 35 were in accounting and auditing.  In 1981, he became the founding editor of the Auditing Section’s new journal, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.  In 1988, the Section gave him its distinguished service award.  In 1985, he was one of the influential voices behind the founding of Accounting Horizons. In 1986, he served as the AAA’s Distinguished International Visiting Professor in Latin America. He received the AAA’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1990, and in 1995 he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame.
     
    Bill received numerous other awards for his research and academic leadership, including the esteemed John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1982, together with Charnes and Richard Duffin.
     
    Together with Ijiri, in 1979 Bill edited a collection of papers in honor of his mentor: Eric Louis Kohler: Accounting’s Man of Principles. Also together with Ijiri, in 1983 he compiled and edited the sixth edition of Kohler’s Dictionary for Accountants.
     
    Bill had a wide expanse of knowledge, and he could talk intelligently on any subject raised in conversation, whether in science, the arts, philosophy, sports, business, or politics. And he always made others feel as if they were on his level.  He cared intensely about people and ideas, and he was always in search of ways to improve the human condition.
     
    Until the last weeks of his life, Bill would come to the office every day to pursue his research.
     
    His wife Ruth, a lawyer and advocate of human rights, died in 2000 after 55 years of marriage. He is survived by his brother Leon and his sister Emilie.  In addition, he leaves behind numerous former students and colleagues who came to regard Bill and Ruth Cooper as their godparents.
     

    --Jonathan C. Glover

    --Yuji Ijiri

    --Stephen A. Zeff

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  • Deirdre Harris
    Michael Kraten on LIBOR, Accounting and the Public Interest11
    news item last edited November 13, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, general news 
    Michael Kraten on Libor, Accounting and the Public Interest

    Since the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) scandal was brought to light months ago, Michael Kraten’s research work has been an important source of information for high-profile media sources including: Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Even the UK House of Commons discussed the study.

    Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz, Michael Kraten, Albert D. Metz and Gim Seow co-authored “LIBOR Manipulation?”. The authors used their combined expertise in forensic accounting, econometric tools and capital markets to analyze the Libor rates for their article written in 2008.

    “We found that there were unusual patterns in the way that individual banks were submitting quotations that were being utilized to calculate LIBOR. There should be a fair amount of randomness; we failed to see those periods of randomness for an extended amount of time,” Kraten said.

    There were periods of time when the quotations would not fluctuate at all, not even by even a tiny basis point or two. The rate should reflect the banks’ underlying financial strength, which varies day by day, he said.

    There were other periods of time when the rate would fluctuate but not in the direction that the business environment would predict that it would fluctuate, said Kraten. For instance, in the middle of the financial crisis, when global financial markets were doing poorly, the rate would show that the banks were actually strengthening financially.

    The authors made it clear that they did not have proof. There was no way they could look at the quotations and know if the banks were having secret discussions, Kraten said. At the time the academic authors found trends in the data that raised the question whether price fixing might be occurring. They were concerned that there might be illegal manipulation going on based on their quantitative analysis.

    In 2010, Kraten presented their findings at the Public Interest Section’s midyear meeting, which helped increase exposure.

    Fast forward to mid-2012, when news broke that American regulatory agencies found certain email messages from global financial company, Barclays, that did indicate illegal conversations were occurring.  

    It was an American regulator called the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) that went public with the scandal by declaring Barclays guilty of manipulation of the rate and enforcing a $450 million dollar fine.

    On June 28, 2012, Ben Gummer, a member of the UK House of Commons, mentioned a paper circulated around New York University that “raised the issue of manipulation of LIBOR.” You can read the transcript HERE under column 480. 

    “What I suspect happened is that our paper here was first revealed, or first disclosed, if you will, on the floor of the House of Commons during this parliamentary debate, and then people started to ask questions, curiously, about what this paper was, who wrote it and what it said,” said Kraten.

    Colleagues encouraged Kraten to go on the record with recommendations. Kraten co-writes a blog with his wife, Maureen Kraten. The blog is called AQPQ. Micheal Kraten wrote a blog entry called “LIBOR and the Public Interest” and made two recommendations. He said the numbers should be audited, and Britain may want to create a government oversight agency that is similar to the PCAOB to oversee the accounting and the auditors.

    Four days after Kraten’s blog entry posted, Brian Mairs of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) posted a comment on the blog stating that Kraten had a factual error in his blog post. The BBA collects data and manages the calculation of the LIBOR rate. Mairs wrote that Kraten had stated that the BBA sets LIBOR. Kraten replied that he never said that the BBA sets the rate, and he agrees that the BBA obtains the information from other banks.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a series of letters between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the time, and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, proving that the American government knew about problems with LIBOR in 2008. Privately, Geithner gave a set of six major recommendations including that independent accountants needed to audit the Libor rate.

    “As far as I knew, I was the first person to publicly call for external auditors auditing the LIBOR rate. As it turns out, the treasury secretary was privately calling for the same thing for the last four years,” Kraten said.

    We now know that there was significant correspondence between the major American and British regulators. Geithner says that because it was a British matter under British jurisdiction all he could do was bring his concerns to the Bank of England’s attention and make recommendations. King’s response is that Geithner only gave recommendations and observations without any proof of wrongdoing.

    Kraten speculates that they felt that coming out publicly during the financial meltdown with this major global scandal could have shattered public confidence in the banking system.

    Colleagues have asked Kraten if he has spoken with regulators or received offers to speak at banking trade association conferences, but he had not engaged in any conversations with regulators prior to this interview.

    “We are trying as hard as we can to keep the issue alive, to keep our recommendations alive, and to move forward from simply being able to identify that there was a problem, which is what we did in our original paper, to trying to get people to hear our prescriptive solutions that we are proposing.”

    Kraten said that as “guardians of the public trust” it is important for the members of the American Accounting Association to focus on the question: “What should we do to proactively reform the system so that it is operating in the public interest?”

    Michael Kraten is the luncheon speaker for the Public Interest Section Mid-Year Meeting in New Orleans in March 2013.

    -- Lindsay Peters, AAA

  • Deirdre Harris
    Wilton Thomas Anderson 1916-2012
    memorial posted November 30, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    November 29, 1916 - November 15, 2012

     

    Wilton T. Anderson, known by most as Andy, was born in Richland, Texas on November 29, 1916 and spent most of his early life in Cherokee, Oklahoma. He died in Oklahoma City on November 15, 2012 after a long illness. He took a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in economics, in 1938 from Northwestern State College (now Northwestern Oklahoma State University), a Master of Commercial Education degree in 1942 from the University of Oklahoma, and a Doctor of Education degree in 1953 from the University of Colorado. He was on the accounting faculty at Colorado from 1947 to 1957, eventually becoming associate professor. Beginning in 1957, he served as Director of Education for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he was in charge of the preparation and grading of the Uniform CPA Examination. In 1960, he joined the accounting faculty at Oklahoma State University, where he was a full professor and head of the department, later the School of Accounting, until his retirement in 1982. He then spent the 1982-83 academic year as head of the accounting department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he played an integral role in setting up the School of Accountancy.

    At Oklahoma State, Andy was a stimulating presence, the leader of the accounting program, and a captivating lecturer to large student classes. He was unequalled in recruiting undergraduates to enter the public accounting profession and in some cases to pursue an academic career. He was very active in Beta Alpha Psi and was its National President in 1966-67. The School of Accounting named an accounting chair, a graduate fellowship, and its Hall of Fame after him.

    Andy played important roles in the American Accounting Association, serving as Vice President in 1965 and President in 1975-76. In 1973, he was one of the two inaugural recipients of the Association’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award. In 1977, he served as the first President of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy, and in 1978 the Oklahoma Society of CPAs inducted him into its Accounting Hall of Fame.

    In addition to writing a number of articles, he coauthored a textbook, Accounting: Basic Financial and Control Concepts, with C. A. Moyer and Arthur R. Wyatt, published in 1965.

    His wife Gwen, whom he married in December 1938, died at age 84 in March 2001. Andy is survived by his second wife Jacqueline Adair, daughter Lynn and son Thomas, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    -Stephen A. Zeff

  • Deirdre Harris
    Frederick D.S. Choi
    memorial posted October 17, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    Frederick D. S. Choi

    It is with deep sadness that the NYU Stern community mourns the loss of Frederick D.S. Choi, Dean Emeritus of the Undergraduate College and a senior member of the Accounting Department. Fred was beloved by students, respected by faculty and cherished by the entire Stern community.  He touched the lives of individual  students and colleagues and his influence on our curriculum and culture will reverberate for generations to come.  Fred¹s passion for students, teaching and scholarship were matched only by his love for his "sweetheart," Lois, his wife of 50 years, his sons, Scott and Aaron, his granddaughters, Marisa and Alexa, and his daughter-in-law Michele.

    Fred joined the faculty in 1981 and made a number of important contributions.  From 1995-2004, he served as Dean of the Undergraduate College.  During his deanship, Fred implemented a new undergraduate curriculum with a focus on the liberal arts, critical thinking, social responsibility, leadership, and global business.  He also introduced several programs that remain hallmarks of the Undergraduate College today, including: the Barr Family International Studies Program in which every junior travels abroad to learn first-hand about differences in cultures and ways of conducting business; the Senior-year Honors Program that involves students in faculty research; and the Cohen Arts and Culture Experience which gives all students a systematic introduction to the arts and culture of New York City.

    Fred was also a star as a teacher and scholar.  He was the Distinguished Service Professor of Business and served as Chairman of the Department of Accounting, Taxation, and Business Law and Director of Stern¹s Vincent C. Ross Institute of Accounting Research. He wrote award-winning books and published articles in journals such as The Journal of Accounting Research, The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, The Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Accountancy, and The Journal of International Business Studies.  Fred was invited to lecture at a wide range of institutions around the world and served as a member of the First American Visiting Team to establish the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development in the People¹s Republic of China. He taught thousands of executives the essentials of international reporting and analysis in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S., most notably on Wall Street.

    Fred was a recipient of the Citibank Excellence in Teaching Award, a recipient of the American Accounting Association¹s Outstanding International Accounting Educator Award and was the first academician appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Financial Executives Research Foundation. Fred was also a member of the American  Accounting Association, the Academy of International Business, Financial Executives Institute, Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi.  He was the founding editor of The Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting.

    In 2010-2011, Fred served as Interim Dean of the Undergraduate College. During that year I experienced first-hand the wonderful qualities that endeared Fred to legions of students and colleagues.  As our weekly meetings evolved into tutorials in which Fred generously shared of his wisdom and experience, I came to understand just why he was so beloved.

    And as much as I valued Fred¹s guidance, it is his kindness and friendship that resonate with me most deeply, even as I write this message.  Halfway through our year together, Fred gave me a silver NYU Torch, and I have worn it on my lapel ever since.  Scholar, leader, teacher, friend, husband, father, and grandfather we will miss this marvelous man, but Fred Choi¹s legacy burns brightly for all to see.

    --Peter Henry

  • Deirdre Harris
    William Leonard Ferrara 1930-2012
    memorial posted October 17, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    September 5, 1930 - October 14, 2012
    William Leonard Ferrara

     

    William Leonard Ferrara was born on September 5, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois and died on October 14, 2012 in Danville, Pennsylvania after heart surgery.

    He was a graduate of DePaul University, Chicago, with a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Michigan State University, with master's and doctorate degrees. He was also a CPA. As an educator he taught accounting-related subjects at Penn State, retiring as Professor Emeritus after 27 years and Stetson University, retiring as Professor Emeritus after 10 years.

    He received the "Distinguished Achievement  Award" from the DePaul University Alumni Association; the Beta Alpha Psi "Outstanding Alumnus Award" from Michigan State University; six MBA "Excellence in Teaching Awards", an "Outstanding Advisor Award", and a "Faculty Humanitarian Award" at Penn State; a "Golden Apple Award" and a "Perfect Five Award" at Stetson; a "Distinguished Service Award for Educators" from the Institute of Management Accountants; seven "merit awards" plus a "bronze medal" for manuscripts published by the Institute of Management Accountants. He published papers in The Accounting Review dealing with relevant costing, period costs, and idle capacity costs.

    He served the Institute of Management Accountants as a member of its National Executive Committee, as a National Vice President, as Chair of its National Committees on Education and Public Relations plus as a member of its Board of Regents, responsible for the CMA Examination; The American Accounting Association as a member of Council, President of its Management Accounting Section, Editor of the Journal of Management Accounting Research and Chair of its Advisory Committee to the Director of Education and Committee on CPA Examinations; and the American Institute of CPAs as a member of its Educator's Advisory Committee and its Board of Examiners, responsible for the CPA Examination.

    In 1996 he served as the American Accounting Association's Distinguished International Visiting Lecturer and spoke to and visited with students, faculty and practitioners at universities throughout South Africa. In 2007 he was awarded the Lifetime Contribution to Management Accounting Award by the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association.

    He is survived by his wife, Carol, seven children, Stephen, Paul, Janeen, Cynthia, William, Irene, and Joseph; and, fifteen grandchildren.

     

  • AAA HQ
    Dave Albrecht Named to AccountingToday's Top 100 Most...
    news item posted September 12, 2012 by Judy Cothern, tagged 2012, achievement 
    AccountingToday Special Issue 2012: The Top 100 People: Always a work in progress

    Each year the Editors of AccountingToday make a list of the people they believe play the biggest roles in the ongoing work that is the accounting profession. This year one of the AAA's members has the honor to be included in that list. Congratulations are in order for Dave Albrecht!

    Dave Albrecht
    Professor of accounting, University of South Carolina Upstate

    Through his blog, “The Summa,” Albrecht has an impact on issues like IFRS and accounting education — but he’s also influencing and promoting the profession’s adoption of social media as a whole.

  • Deirdre Harris
    Richard Brody Named ACFE Educator of the Year
    news item last edited September 5, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, achievement, general news 
    University of New Mexico Professor Richard Brody Honored at ACFE

    The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) is hosting its annual conference in Orlando, FL this week.  One of the awards it will be handing out will go to University of New Mexico (UNM) professor Richard Brody who is to receive its Educator of the Year award.

    The award is presented to an ACFE Educator member who has made an outstanding contribution in anti-fraud education.  In a press release from UNM, Dr. Craig White, Chair of the Anderson Accounting Department at UNM said, “He [Brody] has created awareness and excitement among our students on the issue of fraud detection and prevention.”  Brody is preparing tomorrow’s accountants with the tools to not only be investigators of fraud, but also professionals that prevent fraud from occurring int he first place.

    UNM, located in Albuquerque, NM, is situated near the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Lab (RCFL).  The lab has proved to be a good learning opportunity for students that are part of the university’s Information Assurance program, a study in the area of computer forensics.  The curriculum, which consists of students from both accounting and management information systems, includes using computer programs to uncover fraud related to money laundering, analyzing digital forensics and developing systems to prevent fraud.

    “I’m all about prevention,” said Professor Brody in a recent interview.  ”At UNM we have a program where our students do an assessment of small non-profit organizations to evaluate their processes.  Our students are intimidated at first but they quickly realize that what they are learning here is applicable to these small operations.”  These nonprofit organizations could not otherwise afford such an in-depth assessment, nor could they afford the consequences of a fraud that could result in significant financial losses.  ”Our students analyze the processes, procedures and the information systems of the non-profit,” Brody said.  ”When they are done, the students feel more confident that they actually helped and the organization feels they received a valuable service.  When we first started the program I could hardly find a non-profit to participate, now we have to put them off for a semester or two until we can get to them.”

    Beyond non-profits, Professor Brody and others at UNM have worked to place their students with the FBI, Secret Service and other governmental agencies that battle white-collar crime.  ”For our accounting majors, it gives them a skill set that other accountants may not have with an accounting degree alone,” Brody explained.  ”Not everyone is cut out to be in law enforcement, but these students will be better equipped to perform audits and dig deeper with their questions when they get into the real world.”

    Some students do have a knack for crime fighting and UNM interns have worked with local and state law enforcement looking for and solving white-collar frauds.

    Congratulations to the University of New Mexico and Professor Brody.

  • Deirdre Harris
    Gordon Shillinglaw - 1925-2012
    memorial last edited April 16, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    July 26, 1925 - March 31, 2012

    Gordon Shillinglaw was born in Albany, N.Y. on July 26, 1925 and died on March 31, 2012, following a long battle with cancer. He obtained an A.B. in naval sciences from Brown University in 1945 and then served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. He then obtained an M.S. in business administration from the University of Rochester in 1948 and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1952. He taught at Harvard from 1949 to 1951, Hamilton College from 1951 to 1952, Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1955 to 1961, and Columbia University from 1961 until becoming professor emeritus in 1990.

    From 1952 to 1955, he worked with Joel Dean Associates, a management consulting firm in New York City. Joel Dean, a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, was one of the pioneers in capital budgeting analysis and in applying economics to management decision making. Gordon claimed that he originated the term “discounted cash flow” while at the firm, and said that he first used the term in an article in the Journal of Business in 1955.

    Gordon taught at IMEDE in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1964-65 and 1967-69.

    In 1961, he brought out the textbook, Cost Accounting: Analysis and Control, which, unlike cost accounting books then in print, was concerned with the management uses of cost accounting. The book was published in five editions. In 1964, he and Myron J. Gordon became the coauthors of an innovative textbook, Accounting: A Management Approach, then the third edition of a textbook launched in 1951 by three MIT professors, which Shillinglaw took to a ninth edition with coauthors. Gordon was also the author of numerous journal articles and several chapters in handbooks.

    He was vice-president of the American Accounting Association in 1966-67. In 1991, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the AAA’s Northeast Region. He served on the Cost Accounting Standards Board from 1978 to 1980.

    He is succeeded by his wife Barbara, two children, James and Laura, and four grandchildren.

    -- Stephen A. Zeff