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  • Dick Riley

    Dr. Behn, Pathways Commissioners

    I have read much of the Pathways Commission report.  Nice job.  Given the scope, the large group and the diversity of views, your ability to come to a consensus is remarkable!

    I particularly like chapter 4 on the "detailed action items."  To me, this is the heart and real value of the effort.  This provides a wonderful road map for implementing the recommendations.

    In that regard, three relatively brief comments:

    1. With regard to Recommendation 1, Objective 3, West Virginia University (WVU) hosts the Institute for Fraud Prevention (IFP).  This is an Industry / University cooperative (501-3-C) focused on research.  The IFP provides funding and free data to support research and the research is directed / approved by practitioner Members of the IFP.  Please see the first page of the website for an overview.

    In 4 years, the IFP has supported (funded or provided data) for 25 research projects.

    2.  Action Item 3.3.2: Establish a national center for accounting education excellence.

    This seems to be an excellent opportunity for the American Accounting Association?

    3. Chapter 6: Appendix A.  We used this exact model (industry / university partnership) to create the model curriculum for forensic accounting and fraud examination (FAFE) for the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice.  See

    Also, this is the hallmark of WVU's FAFE graduate certificate and new PhD program.  Please see the "Intellectual Contributors" in the following 1-page summary of our accomplishments called "From a Hill to a Mountain."

    These FAFE initiatives also meet many of the other, more detailed recommendations and action items suggested in the Pathways Commission Report.  My point is that what you and your commission recommend is not / was not beyond the realm of possibility.  We did have one facilitating benefit: we didn't have any baggage related to "this is how we have always done it."  I.e., we had no resistance to change because we started with a blank slate.  Nevertheless, what you recommend is possible!

    Again, excellent work!!!

    Dick Riley, CPA, PhD, CFE
    Louis F. Tanner Distinguished Professor
         of Public Accounting
    College of Business & Economics
    West Virginia University
    1600 University Avenue - Rm 303
    PO Box 6025
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6025
    (304) 293-7849