Pathways Documents

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    Bruce K Behn
    Pathways Report Update
    working document posted May 16, 2012 by Bruce K Behn, last edited August 2, 2013 by Julie Smith David, tagged post-meeting Feb 2011 
    1146 Views, 5 Comments
    Pathways Report Update

    The Pathways Report is being released on August 2, 2013, at the Annual Meeting of the American Accounting Association.  Click below to download your own copy.



    • Robert E Jensen

      Getting Top Academic Researchers More Interested in Clinical Research:  Medical Schools Lead the Way

      Theodor (Ted) Seuss Geisel ---

      This morning in a doctor's office waiting room I read a magazine that I'd never seen before --- Dartmouth Medicine, Fall 2012.---

      The Dartmouth medical school is called the Theodor Geisel School of Medicine in honor of the millions of dollars and in some cases the clinical research and teaching guidance of his gifts to various disciplines at Dartmouth College.. Theodor (Ted) Seuss Geisel is best known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. But in Hanover New Hampshire he's best known

      On Page 11 of the Fall 2012 issue I noted the following from a "Rothstein Named Chair of Medicine"::

      . . .

      "The Department of Medicine has incredible strength in its programs, faculty, staff, and trainees," says Rothstein. "Many of the leaders in education at Geisel are medicine faculty, and our clerkships and electives are consistently well regarded. Many Geisel students choose careers in internal medicine in part, we believe, because of the role-modeling and supportive educational experiences they received on rotations in our department."

      In his new role as chair of medicine, Rothstein is working with colleagues from Geisel and the Tuck School of Business to create a clinical and research program that will focus on the problem of obesity. A second project is a collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges that will help patients, families, and clinicians better address care decisions at times of serious illness and the end of life.

      "It is clearly a challenging time to lead a large academic department and I appreciate the opportunity to do so," Rothstein says. "We will face the future together as a team with energy and enthusiasm, and we are destined for success."


      "The Meaning of a Name," by Donald Pease, Dartmouth Medicine, Fall 2012,  (which also has a picture of a Cat in a Hat).---


      Page 28

      . . .

      Although the naming of the Medical School marked the greatest benefaction in Dartmouth's history, it was in fact Ted Geisel's second remarkable act of philanthropy. In 1969, to celebrate the bicentennial of Dartmouth's founding, Geisel endowed the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professorship in the Humanities. The professorship was also designed to bridge an imagined gap separating the research produced in the graduate programs and professional schools from teaching in the undergraduate classroom. The 1969 Geisel professorship removed the perceived antagonism between the classroom teacher and the research scholar by underscoring how crucial this interdependent relationship was to the educated imagination of Dartmouth's students. In 2012, the Geisel name removed the invisible yet recalcitrant barrier separating Dartmouth's undergraduate and graduate sectors, and it will foster collaborative research ventures among Dartmouth's students and faculty in the Arts and Sciences, the Thayer School of Engineering, the Tuck School of Business, and the Geisel School of Medicine.


      Page 31  (which also has a picture of a Cat in a Hat)

      . . .

      Ted Geisel invented Dr. Seuss to find a voice and imagine words to cope with a world that distressed and sometimes terrified him. After complaining of a social life consisting entirely of doctors, Ted wrote You're Only Old Once in a fit of magical thinking. "If I can only stay out of the hospital," he told his personal physician, "I might live forever . . . and I can't go back to doctors after what I did to them in this book."

      Ted dedicated the book, "with affection and in affliction," to the surviving members of the Dartmouth Class of 1925. The Book of the Month club advertised it "for ages 95 and down." It sold more than one million copies the first year of publication. Imagine what would have happened—or where we'd be—if he'd written a book about lawyers.

      When news of his death reached Dartmouth 21 years ago, students and faculty began a spontaneous 24-hour vigil reading Dr. Seuss books around the clock outside College Hall as homage to the alumnus who had created a whole world. In its eulogy, Time magazine commemorated Ted Geisel as one of the last doctors to make house calls—"over 200 million of them in more than 20 languages."

      No matter whether we hail from the arts and sciences or Dartmouth's professional schools, all of us are Dr. Seuss babies. The bonds that renew our relationship to our work and to each other are animated at the juncture Audrey Geisel described as connecting "Ted's great love of his alma mater" and her "passion of caring for others" and communicated in the Onceler's injunction at the conclusion to The Lorax:

      Unless someone like you
      cares a whole awful lot,
      nothing is going to get better.
      It's not.

      What struck me is how Ted Geisel predated the 2012 Pathways Commission Report in accounting higher education which attempts to make accountics scientists more focused on clinical research in accountancy:
      2012 "Final" Pathways Commission Report ---
      Also see a summary at

      "Accounting for Innovation," by Elise Young, Inside Higher Ed, July 31, 2012 ---

      Some accountancy leaders contend that accountics research lost its way in failing to focus on classroom teachers and practicing accountants in public accounting, industry, and government.

      Essays on the State of Accounting Scholarship ---

      Perhaps when implementing the Pathways Commission resolutions for accounting researchers and teachers we should look to how medical schools are seeking to find new pathways toward clinical research by accountics scientists.

      How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
      "Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
      One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this


    • Robert E Jensen

      This is an award-winning clinical academic accounting research contribution to the profession of accountancy. It is totally within the spirit of the Pathways Commission initiatives ---

      "Scholars Receive American Accounting Association Award,"  by Terri Eyden, AccountingWeb, January 28, 2013 ---

      This January, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) announced the recipients of the American Accounting Association's (AAA) Greatest Potential Impact on Management Accounting Practice Award for 2012. The award was presented to Ramji Balakrishnan, Eva Labro, and Konduru Sivaramakrishnan for their paper, Product Costs as Decision Aids: An Analysis of Alternative Approaches, which was published in Accounting Horizons, an AAA publication.

      The award was presented at the AAA 2013 Management Accounting Section Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 10-12, 2013, by Anne Farrell, PricewaterhouseCoopers-endowed assistant professor chair in accountancy, Farmer School of Business, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; chair of the selection committee; and AAA Management Accounting Section (MAS) liaison to the AICPA Business & Industry Executive Committee.

      According to the AICPA, the award recognizes academic papers that are considered the most likely to have a significant impact on management accounting practice. It is sponsored by the AICPA and CIMA, who are "working to elevate management accounting around the world and together created the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation to distinguish professionals who excel in the field."

      Eligible papers must have been published within the previous five years and submitted by the authors or nominated by peers. The sponsorship value is $2,000.

      Balakrishnan he and his colleagues are especially appreciative of both institutes' commitment to supporting academic research in the area of management accounting.

      "A lot of academic research in accounting today is in the realm of financial reporting, with a focus on publically listed firms for which extensive data sets are available for large-scale archival research," Balakrishnan said. "We are grateful for AICPA and CIMA's support of management accounting research because it provides the needed impetus to direct some of the research focus on measurement issues and decision tools that are key to enhancing operational efficiencies of any firm, whether public or private and of all sizes."

      The award was created in 2009 to support the next generation of management accounting researchers and to recognize the importance of research to practice and the profession. Management accounting is a core discipline for the institute's members in business, industry, and government, according to the AICPA.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment
      Although this research has not yet shown evidence of adoption in business firms around the world, it certainly becomes a candidate for addition to the following table.


      I would like to challenge subscribers of the AECM to fill out the following table:


      Invented by
      Accounting Professor

      1 Balanced Scorecard ---
      Bob Kaplan (shared invention)
      2 REA ---
      Bill McCarthy


      This challenge is very easy for practitioner clinical applications in medicine, natural science, social science, computer science, engineering, and finance. It's not so easy to find where inventions/discoveries by accounting professors made splashes in the practitioner pond. It might be questioned whether Bob Kaplan invented all the components of the popular Balanced Scorecard widely applied by corporations around the world. An earlier version in 1987 was invented by a practitioner named Art Schneiderman. But I think Bob Kaplan beginning in 1990 made so many seminal contributions to the scorecard that I will give him credit for the invention that made a huge splash in the practitioner pond.

      When I was the 1986 Program Director for NYC Annual Meetings of American Accounting Association I posed this challenge to Joel Demski to address in his plenary session (shared with Bob Kaplan). Joel suggested the practitioner applications of Dollar-Value LIFO. Subsequently, accounting historian Dale Flesher dug into this and discovered that DVL was invented by Herbert T. McAnly who retired in 1964 as a partner at Ernst & Ernst after 44 years with the firm

      The Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award of the American Accounting Association are as follows ---

      2007 — "Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting"
      by H. Thomas Johnson and Robert S. Kaplan
      Harvard Business School Press 1987

      2004 — "Towards a Positive Theory of the Determination of Accounting Standards"
      by Ross L. Watts and Jerold L. Zimmerman
      The Accounting Review (January) 1978

      1994 — "Economic Incentives in budgetary Control Systems"
      by Joel S. Demski and Gerald A. Feltham
      The Accounting Review (April) 1978

      1989 — "Information Content of Annual Earnings Announcements"
      by William H. Beaver
      Journal of Accounting Research 1968

      1986 — "An Empirical Evaluation of Accounting Income Numbers"
      by Ray Ball and Philip Brown
      Journal of Accounting Research 1968

      These are all tremendous contributions to the academic side of accountancy. However, none of the inventions of Professors Demski and Feltham to my knowledge made a splash in the practitioner pond. ABC costing focused upon by Johnson and Kaplan made a splash in the practitioner pond, but ABC costing was invented by cost accountants at John Deere.

      The contributions of Watts, Zimmerman, Beaver, Ball, and Brown made splashes of sorts in the practice pond, but I have difficulty calling them seminal "inventions." In these instances the authors were extending into accounting inventions attributed earlier to professors and practitioners in economics and finance.

      There are many other accounting professors who made seminal contributions to the academic side of accountancy. For example, Yuji Ijiri is a Hall of Famer who had many noteworthy accountancy inventions. However, to my knowledge Yuji did not make a ripple in the practitioner pond except maybe for selected practitioners trying to fend against the takeover of historical cost accounting by fair value accounting. Many seminal inventions of Yuji, like the "Force," were just not deemed practical.

      My own published research is best described as extensions and/or applications invented by others ---
      To my knowledge none of my extensions made so much as a ripple in the practitioner pond.

      January 19, 2013 reply from Dan Stone

      A great idea.... which would probably be better in a research paper than on a list.

      Anna Cianci and Bob Ashton published a paper a few years ago demonstrating how the KPMG audit research support initiative led to changes in auditor / audit firm practices.

      So maybe:

      idea: the application of cognitive biases and decision aiding to audit practice Professors: a large cast many of whom got their PhD at Univ. of Illinois in the 1960s and 1970s including Bob Ashton, Bob Libby, Kathryn Kadous, and many, many others

      idea: the risk based audit Professors: KPMG monograph by Howard Thomas, Ira Solomon, Marc Peecher (along with many others)

      Dan Stone


      January 20, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for the added considerations.

      Among other things, your post suggests that some "inventions" do not have short names.

      Some of your suggestions do need further research into where credit can be given for the very first inventions of what eventually made a splash in the practitioner pond.

      For example, does anybody (Miklos?) on the AECM know of where the concept of Risk-Based Auditing had its original starting point? I fear that it may be like Dollar Based LIFO where accounting professors picked up on the seminal idea of a practitioner. For example, did some employee of the  Arthur Andersen accounting firm, that took risk-based auditing to its own demise, also invent the concept itself?

      Robert Knechel (University of Florida) supposedly traced the history of risk-based auditing, but I've not seen his paper in this regard.

      Bob Jensen


    • Robert E Jensen

      "A More Practical Model for Law Schools," by Alice Armitage and Robin Feldman, Harvard Business Review, December 24, 2015 ---

      The JD is no longer the ticket it once was to a stable career and high earnings. With skyrocketing levels of student debt and limited job opportunities, potential law students are foregoing legal careers. And with depleted budgets and enrollment at a 40-year low, law schools are scrambling to remain relevant.

      Legal education needs a radical change. To do this, it is imperative that we rethink the standard law school model — a series of required classes, some of which have little connection to the work most students will actually do as lawyers. There is a need for scalable, affordable experiences that connect students to firms and the practice of law — similar to medical school residency programs.

      Even President Obama has suggested that it is worth discussing the merits of a law degree program that entirely replaces the third year of course work with a medical school residency–style program in which students would rotate through several practice areas.

      But revolutionizing legal education need not be confined to a single class for select students. The Startup Legal Garage at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law is one program reenergizing legal education, immersing more students in real-world experiences, capitalizing on the best that traditional law school pedagogy has to offer, and remaining cost-effective for law school budgets.

      The Startup Legal Garage is structured in a unique way. Professors guide students by teaching soft skills and doctrinal classes, and they set up fieldwork projects by matching students and early-stage tech startups with partners at top law firms. The practicing attorney supervises student work on basic legal needs such as employee contracts, privacy policies, and entity formation — and the student is placed at the center of real-world law practice.

      Summer internships have always provided real world experience, of course, but they are based on the notion that everything can be learned on the job. The Startup Legal Garage model marries the best of what law schools can offer with the best of what such summer apprenticeships can offer. Tenured faculty teach the underlying doctrines in the classroom; students then bring sanitized versions of the deals they are working on into the classroom, where the professors can slow down the action, walk through it step-by-step, and show how the doctrines are working in context. There is little time for this type of education in the fast-paced world of modern practice, and there is little real world content in the glacially-paced traditional law school classroom.

      Over 100 students have gone through the program in the last two years, reorienting their legal education to hone the skills they need before their first day on the job. One recent graduate of the program, now practicing at a major law firm in Silicon Valley, said, “I can honestly say [the Startup Legal Garage] did more to prepare me for the work that I’m doing on a day-to-day basis than any other class in law school.”

      Other law schools are also working with the private sector to give students a better chance at a promising legal career. Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon, offers a legal practicum course that places students in the legal departments of local corporations. This in-house experience is combined with a seminar focusing on the legal matters they are likely to face as corporate counsel. The University of Chicago Law School, partnering with the firm of Kirkland & Ellis, has created the Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab program, coupling a classroom component with a competition in which students engage in a series of corporate legal challenges based on real-world scenarios.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment 1
      Immersing students in real-world experiences apart from traditional case study courses does not fit well into the traditional law school business model that had a very high student/faculty ratio and large classes. Wealthy universities might experiment with this models, but most law schools that are struggling financially and laying off faculty will find it harder to immerse students in real world experiences.

      Jensen Comment 2
      Given the Pathways Commission findings that accounting doctoral students are too isolated from problems of the practicing profession and conduct research of little interest to the profession, this recommendation may also apply to accountancy doctoral students --- immersing more students in real-world experiences,
      Many of our accountancy doctoral students have weak backgrounds in accounting since these programs shifted admission priorities to mathematics, econometrics, and computer science majors. Immersing these student in real-world accounting experiences is a great ideal given the initiatives of the Pathways Commission.

      Plenary Session Video:
      Building Bridges from the Academy to the Business Community
      Stanford University Professor Charles M. C. Lee
      American Accounting Association 2015 Annual Meetings
      I suspect this video is available only to subscribers to the AAA Commons that is free only to members of the American Accounting Association

      Jensen Comment
      Actually this video is quite good about how academic accounting researchers should get closer to the real-world profession, a profession that he defines more broadly than the accounting profession. Much of the video is focused on the the profession of finance and its real world decision makers.

      The best quote in the video is a borrowed quote from Mark Wolfson.
      "Risky research is doing research that everybody else is doing."
      To this I might add "using tools, like some variation of regression research, that everybody else is using."|
      To this I might add is "using purchased databases that everybody else is doing." My limited study of this is that over 90% of the recent research in The Accounting Review entails using purchased databases that enable the accounting researcher to avoid having to creatively invent ways of collecting data. ---
      "A Scrapbook on What's Wrong with the Past, Present and Future of Accountics Science"


    • Robert E Jensen

      Market looks tight and getting worse for PhD job seekers in English, foreign languages, history and philosophy ---

      Who and what decides Ph.D. program acceptances versus rejections?
      "'Inside Graduate Admissions'," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, January 6, 2016 ---

      . . .

      Many committee members said they simply had too many applications to review, and that they needed a simple measure with which to compare applicants and to exclude some. Prestige of undergraduate program counted for a lot. But grade point average? Not so much. One astrophysicist Posselt quotes said, “Grade point, most people said it doesn't affect them very much because basically everybody in the pool -- everybody in the final pool -- has such high GPAs that it's not meaningful.”

      A sociologist said this was especially a problem with the many finalists from top colleges. “Grades are increasingly a lousy signal, especially at those elite places that just hand out the A’s. So you don't even have that anymore,” he said.

      One professor told Posselt: “I have impressions that some of my faculty -- senior members -- were simply looking for the GRE. They have a threshold such as, ‘If it's not over 700, I won't read anything.’ And that cuts usually two-thirds of applicants.”

      Posselt writes of asking committee members why they were so focused on GRE scores and whether applicants attended elite undergraduate institutions, even when these criteria minimized diversity of the accepted applicant pool. She heard in response much talk about how much graduate admissions is “gambling,” and how important it is to admit students who will succeed. With small admissions cohorts and faculty members who depend on graduate students to work with them on research and other tasks, any attrition is viewed as a disaster, and committee members want to avoid the risk.

      Committee members also seemed to generalize from the experience of past graduate students who failed, wanting to avoid anyone like them in the future. They spoke of “being spooked” by seeing such applicants.

      The admissions committee members generally assumed applicants were getting Ph.D.s for careers like theirs -- faculty jobs at research universities. So they were looking for signs of research potential. And they were also unabashed elitists.

      “This is an elite university and a lot of the people at the university are elitists,” one professor said with a laugh. “So they make a lot of inferences about the quality of someone's work and their ability based on where they come from.”

      Bias Against a Christian College Student?

      In most cases Posselt observed, the committee members used banter and “friendly debate” when they disagreed with one another. They didn't attack one another or get too pointed in criticizing colleagues. She describes one discussion she observed -- in which committee members kept to this approach -- that left her wondering about issues of fairness.

      The applicant, to a linguistics Ph.D. program, was a student at a small religious college unknown to some committee members but whose values were questioned by others.

      “Right-wing religious fundamentalists,” one committee member said of the college, while another said, to much laughter, that the college was “supported by the Koch brothers.”

      . . .

      Talking About Diversity

      When Posselt probed on diversity, she found that many professors said they felt an obligation to diversify their graduate student bodies and thus -- eventually -- the collective faculty of their fields. In some fields, there was discussion about seeking more women, not just underrepresented minority groups. For example, Posselt found this to be the case in philosophy, a field that has of late been struggling with a perception (many say reality) of being hostile to women.

      Many faculty members, however, appeared more comfortable considering race and ethnicity as a slight tip among otherwise equal candidates who had advanced to a finalist round.

      One professor said, “I try not to pay too much attention. I try to admit students that are the best in my intellect with no regard for gender and race.” Only with two applicants who are “equal on intellectual merit, then I will prefer a minority,” the professor said.

      Others spoke of diversity in terms of “opportunity.” They said they wanted to admit minority applicants, but they regularly spoke about fear of seeing their yield -- the percentage of admitted applicants who enroll -- go down, as they assumed that the best minority candidates would end up at just one or two programs. Posselt writes of hearing comments such as, “Who are we going to get? It's a gamble,” and “We'll lose him to Princeton and Caltech.”

      One economist put it this way: “Gender is an issue that we get good -- we get top-notch women as well as top-notch men. Black -- we get fewer blacks. It's true. But we do try -- in the past we've tried to attract them. But then they get the same attractive offers from Columbia and Yale and Stanford and Berkeley and so forth. So it's a small group typically who get a lot of attention.”

      Merit and International Students

      Many graduate departments -- particularly in science fields -- rely on international students. The departments observed by Posselt appear to practice a form of affirmative action for everyone who is not an international Asian student in that professors de-emphasize the (typically extremely high) GRE scores of such applicants to avoid admitting what they would consider to be too many of them. This is in contrast to the attitudes of many professors with regard to considering American applicants of various ethnicities -- and who insisted on a single (high) standard there.

      Referring to international applicants, one scientist told Posselt, “The scores on the standardized tests are just out of sight, just off the charts. So you can basically throw that out as a discriminator. They're all doing 90th percentile and above. The domestic students are all over the place so there was actually some spread, some dispersion … so you could use that more as one of the quantifiers.”

      A philosopher said, “There certainly is a kind of stereotypical …” and then he paused, appearing to catch himself, before saying, “Chinese student who will have astronomical scores.”

      The professors said their view of international applicants’ test scores was not discriminatory, but based on the preparation of students in countries that place more of an emphasis on testing than does the United States.

      Many professors also expressed fears that Chinese applicants are also inflating test scores through cheating. One professor, Posselt writes, lowered his glasses during an interview to ask her, “You know about the cheating, don't you?”

      The concerns about cheating are “pervasive,” Posselt writes, with regard to tests designed to demonstrate English proficiency. The faculty members on admissions committees pay a lot of attention to this issue, and report feeling burned in the past by applicants whose scores indicated proficiency but who arrived in the United States with very poor English skills. Several departments that do not interview all applicants require interviews of international applicants.

      Chinese applicants appear especially challenging to many American professors, who report that they “seem alike” and hard to distinguish, when the admissions process is designed to do just that. One humanities professor told Posselt, “How do you compare six students from China, who all have the same last name?” (It is true, Posselt notes, that the 100 most common last names in China are the names of 87 percent of its population, and presumably of much of the Chinese applicant pool, while the 100 most common last names in the United States account for only 17 percent of the American population.)

      While departments are trying to do a better job of understanding Chinese applicants and are certainly admitting many of them, Posselt writes of a “troubling tendency to think of students from China not as individuals, but a profile of group averages.”

      What Do the Observations Mean?

      Posselt said in an interview that she wanted to study graduate admissions because it is so little understood and is so important. While admissions leaders constantly talk about the value of holistic admissions, Posselt said, it is rare to see up close just what that means. She saw much to admire, she said, in the devotion of faculty members to their disciplines and their intellectual traditions. And she believes holistic review has the potential to help graduate programs (and other parts of higher education) to identify and admit more minority talent.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment
      In accounting doctoral programs most everything is on a smaller scale. The large Ph.D. degree mills like the University of Illinois and the University of Texas that 50 years ago each cranked out 10-20 Ph.D. graduates per year now graduate 2-5 per year. The number of graduates in North America is this year (maybe 150) is barely over half of what it once was and contains a much larger percentage of foreign students, especially students weak in accounting who are strong in mathematics, statistics, and/or computer science from Asia and India.

      In my opinion GMAT or GRE scores are dominant in accounting Ph.D. admission decisions except in the case of affirmative action admissions where GMAT or GRE scores still are important among selection from the pool of minority applicants. Among white applicants who grew up in North America limited professional experience in the accounting profession is a often a necessary condition, but experience is of lesser importance among foreign applicants. According to the pathways commission, one of the problems is that Ph.D. programs do little to enhance accounting knowledge beyond that knowledge before entering the program.

      Political conservatism and religion are, in my opinion, less constraining in accounting and business doctoral programs relative to humanities where admission committees are more likely to be biased against conservatives and candidates from religious colleges. My guess is that it's easier for a Mormon to get into the accounting doctoral programs at Stanford and UC Berkeley than it is for Mormons to get into those humanities doctoral programs. BYU has a masters of accounting program in quantitative methods solely designed for getting graduates into accounting doctoral programs. My understanding is that graduates of this program are competitive in getting to virtually all top accounting doctoral programs.

      The point here is that skills in mathematics trump skills in accounting beyond the minimum accounting skills required for accounting doctoral programs. Often accounting students are admitted conditionally and cannot fully matriculate without advanced mathematical skills. Note this requirement for the University of Florida as summarized at

      As a result, some graduates of accounting programs are really not prepared to teach any of the undergraduate or masters courses in accounting. Ability and interest in teaching professional accounting, auditing, and tax varies a great deal among those graduates. Many prefer to eventually teach only information systems courses, economics courses, and doctoral seminars.

      The Pathways Commission of the American Accounting Association is working hard to put more accounting substance back into accounting doctoral programs such that Ph.D. research will be more of interest to the profession and graduates will be better able to teach accounting, auditing, and taxation ---

      My point is that admission criteria vary greatly between accounting doctoral programs versus masters programs. Masters of accounting students nearly all had the equivalent of undergraduate accounting majors. Those admitted from top accounting schools can get in with much lower GMAT scores than the scores required for doctoral students. Doctoral students can be admitted with much less accounting knowledge. Students seek accounting masters programs largely to improve their qualifications and knowledge to pass the CPA examination. Students seek accounting Ph.D. degrees largely to improve their knowledge for conducting accountics research required for tenure in accounting academe ---

       In science and humanities it's common for undergraduates to proceed directly into doctoral programs. This is less common in business and accounting.

      In humanities Ph.D. applicants are expected in most instances to finance rather long (read that seven or more years) of doctoral study. Many humanities students have spouses or significant others who financially support their long efforts to graduate. In science and business most doctoral students pay nothing in tuition and also receive modest living expenses. Science students can often complete their degrees in 3-4 years. Accounting and business students take 5-6 years, which is one of the things that greatly limits the number of applicants to Ph.D. programs, especially programs that require prior accounting and business professional experience before applying. For example, a typical accounting Ph.D. graduate spends 1-2 years getting a masters degree, 3-5 years in a CPA firm, and 5-6 years in a doctoral program. Add the years up. Now you know one of the big constraints on the number of applicants to accounting and business doctoral programs vis-à-vis science.

      It's common for economics Ph.D. graduates to be 25 or 26 years old. Accounting and business Ph.D. graduates are seldom this young.

      "What Will Doctoral Education Look Like in 2025?" by Leonard Cassuto, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 3, 2016 ---

      . . .

      Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth argue in their new book, The Humanities, Higher Education, & Academic Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), that we must create a second, teaching-oriented tenure track. Should we? My hope for the next decade is that we start that conversation. Because we need to have it, both publicly and within departments.

      Tenured or not, more of us now teach online. Colleges rely more and more on distance learning, and much of it is prefabricated. The historian John Larson, of Purdue University, worries that such courses are incompatible with graduate training. "We teach graduate students to generate original content," he told me, but they are asked to teach multiple online courses in all different areas. To do that, he said, "You need off-the-shelf materials."

      "You don’t need to write a dissertation" to teach prefabricated courses, says Larson. "If you study for six years to get a Ph.D. and your job is a continuation of graduate-school TA work, that does not produce happiness. And if your teachers are discontented, that won’t recruit the next generation."

      A lack of coherence in teaching throughout the university is nothing new. Even for an incompetent futurist like me, it’s a safe bet that the incoherence will persist. But still I hope for more. Teaching, after all, is part of the graduate-school mission. In the humanities, observes Larson, it’s "our way of delivering scholarship."

      I talk with a lot of graduate students these days, and most of them would appreciate more focus on pedagogy in their training. They want it integrated into the curriculum, not just as an add-on. Graduate students also want their education to acknowledge more career paths. A graduate student at a state university recently told me that she wished her teachers wouldn’t make these alternatives "shameful to contemplate."

      Such concerns point toward the possibility of a more flexible dissertation requirement, which can bend to suit different student needs. The students want it. Their teachers aren’t so sure. So, will there be a change in the dissertation in the next decade?

      (Pause. Writer clears throat, looks out window.) I can’t predict that.

      Do I hope for it? Yes, cautiously. Graduate schools move slowly, but they’re beginning to stir. Larson points out that foundations and grant agencies are encouraging such changes. A case in point is the recent announcement of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ "Next Generation" grants to reconsider graduate education and "promote greater integration of the humanities in the public sphere." Such rewards nourish my cautious hope.

      But we have a long way to go. For one thing, graduate programs (and all of higher education, for that matter) have a bad habit of adding features but never letting go of any. We need to say "at the expense of" more often than we do.

      Strong graduate-school leadership is another hope. The budget of a graduate dean is typically among the most overstretched in the university. If we want graduate schools to meet the future and not get overwhelmed by an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, or some other geological disaster, we need to empower their deans in tangible ways.

      Here’s the greatest cause for hope: The conversations about changing graduate school are finally happening. The problems I’ve described here have been with us for a long while, but for years we weren’t ready to face them. Yes, things have gotten worse — especially since the recession of 2008 — but we haven’t collapsed yet. Let’s fix our house before it falls over


    • Robert E Jensen

      Pathways Commission of Higher Education in Accounting ---

      How to Effectively Integrate Professionally Oriented Faculty to Achieve the Department's Mission
      ssues in Accounting Education, Article Volume 32, Issue 2 (May 2017)


      North D. Scott Showalter, Carolina State University

      James Bodtke, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign


      The purpose of this commentary is to describe the successful assimilation of Professionally Oriented Faculty into the department of accounting through the use of the Pathways Commission Professionally Oriented Faculty Integration Principles. Further, building upon the Integration Principles, we provide recommendations for attracting and retaining Professionally Oriented Faculty. We accomplish this by describing the varied journeys of six different Professionally Oriented Faculty as compared with the POF Integration Principles. We also summarize the Professionally Oriented Faculty Integration Principles and encourage adoption by member institutions of these principles with an affirmative statement.

      Clinical Professor ---

      Jensen Comment

      I'm in favor of having tenure tracks for clinical accounting faculty. This need not eliminate publish or perish criteria, only the focus of the publishing would be on scholarly articles aimed at the profession's practitioners. An indirect benefit might be to restore relevancy of academic publication among practitioners who lost interest in TAR, JAR, JAE, and most other academic research journals years ago. Exhibit A is the decline in practitioner subscriptions to AAA journals and submissions of practitioner manuscripts to those journals.