• 1-9 of 9
  • Susan V Crosson
    In Pursuit of Accounting's Curricula of the FuturePathways Report 4_For Print.pdf
    report posted February 8, 2016 by Susan V Crosson, tagged discussion, resource, survey in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #4: Our Curricula public
    report date:
    November 1, 2015
  • Susan V Crosson
    A Survey of Support for Teaching, Recognition of...Pathways Report 3_For Print.pdf
    report posted February 8, 2016 by Susan V Crosson, tagged commission, discussion, resource, survey in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #3: Research & Teaching public
    report date:
    November 1, 2015
  • Susan V Crosson
    November 2015 Report: In Pursuit of Accounting's...Pathways Report 4_For Print.pdf
    report posted February 8, 2016 by Susan V Crosson, tagged commission, discussion, resource, survey in Pathways Inspired Homepage > Inspired Recommendation #4: Our Curricula public
    report date:
    November 1, 2015
  • Susan V Crosson
    November 2015 Report: A Survey of Support for Teaching,...Pathways Report 3_For Print.pdf
    report posted February 8, 2016 by Susan V Crosson, tagged commission, discussion, resource, survey in Pathways Inspired Homepage > Inspired Recommendation #3: Research & Teaching public
    report date:
    November 1, 2015
  • AAA HQ
    Progress and Next Steps
    discussion posted October 13, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in Pathways Inspired Homepage > Inspired Recommendation #1: Our Profession public

    Recent Progress:

    • Compiled best practices from professionally oriented faculty surveys
    • Professionally Oriented Faculty Integration Principles
    • Journal of Accountancy taking the lead in publishing research summaries--more publications to follow
    • Faculty “Boot Camps” process developed and planned for three AAA sections
    • List of activities and opportunities provided to academics
    • Opportunities for externships/internships explored

    Next Steps:

    • Recruit programs to adopt POF Integration Principles
    • POF Integration FAQ guide
    • Identify ways to expand academic research on topics of practice interest
    • Expand distribution channels for research summaries
    • Continued expansion of “boot camps”
    • Increase connectivity between faculty and practice
    • Facilitate career transition between practice and higher education
  • AAA HQ
    Future of Faculty session at AACSB’s Deans Conference in S...
    discussion posted October 6, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #2: Future Faculty public
  • AAA HQ
    The ASK1
    discussion posted October 5, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #1: Our Profession public

    Help us encourage widespread implementation of leading practices. The Pathways Commission is asking your department or institution to adopt the principles spelled out in this document (click more below) and to openly acknowledge your support in this journey to build a learned profession.

    Here's how you can begin the movement:

  • AAA HQ
    Professionally Oriented Survey
    discussion posted October 3, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #1: Our Profession public

    Want to contribute your responses to the Professionally Oriented survey?

    Click here if you’re a
    Department Chair:

    Click here if you’re a
    Professionally Oriented faculty member:

    Your responses count! Thank you for your participation and continued support in the Pathways Commission.


  • AAA HQ
    Traditional Doctoral Programs Accomplishments: Over...
    discussion posted September 6, 2015 by AAA HQ, tagged discussion in The Official Pathways Commission > Recommendation #2: Future Faculty public

    Traditional Doctoral Programs

    Over the past 12 months, the task force members committee as individuals interviewed faculty across a spectrum of traditional Ph.D. programs. Those interviewed were directly involved in their school’s Ph.D. programs—many as Ph.D. area coordinators. Department chairs were not interviewed as they had been extensively interviewed or surveyed about faculty shortages previously. Further, much has been written about the shortage of Ph.D.– qualified accounting faculty; thus, there is no additional information or discussion about this shortage other than to acknowledge its existence.

    The major constraint facing any recommendation to increase the size and number of Ph.D. programs, which, inturn, will address the shortage of Ph.D.–qualified faculty, is to recognize the objectives of business school deans and faculty. Business school ratings and, hence, evaluations of deans are driven by MBA rankings. Other than to the extent that quality Ph.D. programs attract research-oriented faculty who are excellent in the MBA classroom, the quality and size of Ph.D. programs does little to influence these rankings. Ph.D. programs often are viewed as cost centers and a drain on school budgets.

    Faculty working with Ph.D. students are most interested in placement of students at peer schools and less interested in working with a larger set of candidates that might be placed at “lower tier” schools because their reputations are connected to the placement and “success” of their students defined by popular scholarship and research rankings. This objective function leads to a focus in admissions decisions on highly quantitative (high GMAT quantitative scores), economics-based students. Many schools screen students with the GMAT and require applicants to achieve a minimum score to be included in the set of applications that receive a more thorough evaluation. Thus, just like deans, most Ph.D. faculty like a small Ph.D. program.

    The desire to place doctoral students at peer schools leads faculty and students to want strong vitae that include working papers and papers under review in addition to their thesis papers. This expectation leads most students to take five to six years to complete their programs. It would be difficult to shorten programs given the pressure to have strong and established research records prior to entering the faculty job market. Furthermore, a strong vita with advanced working papers or with “revise and resubmits” at major journals helps students in their quest to earn tenure. Additionally, moving the academic job market up to late fall and early January also has the effect of lengthening the time it takes to graduate as most students simply will not be ready to interview with strong vitae in the late fall to early January of their fourth year. Even though we advocate lifelong learning, with a large and growing academic literature, this raises a question: Is it still feasible for the majority of students to graduate in four years to meet a tenure clock that stops five years after placement?

    A key finding from the task force members is that faculty have a strong preference for placing their Ph.D. graduates at the best schools possible (“peer schools”), which likely means that the shortage of Ph.D. graduates will be felt hardest at non-Ph.D. degree–granting schools. Thus, although each program is acting in its own best interests, this leads to the systemic problem of a shortage of future faculty. To paraphrase Walt Kelly, we have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

    One of the task force members believes the problem is not a shortage of Ph.D. graduates in total but a shortage in the audit, managerial, tax, and AIS areas. The Pathways Commission recommendations did not and our recommendations listed below do not specifically try to address the shortage in specific areas. For the reasons discussed above, many top-tier schools have little incentive to change the status quo of the types of graduates they produce. If the problem is really a shortage in specific subareas, then further work is needed to develop recommendations specific to those areas.

    Next Steps:
    As a result of the more in-depth focus on traditional doctoral programs noted above, the task force developed an expanded set of further recommendations for consideration. These additional recommendations form the basis for the next steps in implementation and will need to be prioritized and communicated going forward.


    • To encourage more qualified candidates to apply to Ph.D. programs, we need to do a better job of educating potential students about academic careers.
    • Faculty are strongly encouraged to include relevant research findings in each of their junior and senior accounting classes so that students are exposed to what academics do and how research contributes to the profession. Additionally, task force members recommend development of a list of academic review articles that would be appropriate to discuss in class when addressing key areas in the curriculum.
    • Schools with undergraduate honors programs should offer an accounting class focusing on academic research.
    • Many schools have master’s of accounting programs and, although it may be argued whether a master’s in accounting is the best preparation for a rigorous traditional Ph.D. program, the task force members recommend that academic accounting research be integrated into related accounting classes.

    The members also recommend the AAA develop a web page discussing academic careers and providing reference materials about programs. All AAA members should be made aware of this web resource, so they can refer interested potential Ph.D. applicants to the page. The web page would address questions such as what does a Ph.D. involve, how is a Ph.D. funded, what does an academic career involve, what does a newly minted assistant professor in accounting earn, etc. The website could contain short videos by leading faculty about their research and how they work with doctoral students preparing to become faculty. See the Accounting Doctoral Scholars website at; the BYU website at www., under “Preparing for a Ph.D.”; and an existing but well buried and somewhat out of date AAA website at

    • We should encourage business schools to reach out to master’s students in economics and statistics—not to increase the number of Ph.D. program slots but to enhance the accounting applicant pool with students better educated in economics and with better quantitative skills.
    • Schools without Ph.D. programs and with large master’s programs could emulate the very successful pre-Ph.D. program master’s at BYU. This program graduates approximately 10–20 students a year who go on to obtain Ph.D.s.
    • We should make a more concerted effort to attract candidates to the PhD Project and to “sell accounting” at the annual PhD Project Conference in Chicago (held in late fall each year), which also contributes to building greater diversity in the academy.
    • We should encourage schools within close geographical proximity to explore joint class offerings (as done at MIT and Harvard and at Duke and UNC) so as to reduce the per class student cost.
    • We should encourage schools to explore offering some classes via Skype or web conferencing so that geographically distant schools can participate. Alternatively, might schools offer short, intense classes on a fee-paying basis to help cover the costs of the faculty and for which students get credit at their home institution?
    • There are very few traditional Ph.D. programs offering the ability to do the Ph.D. part time for those who work or have family commitments. Is this feasible for some schools?
    • We should explore ways to shorten programs to four years. Many schools require extensive teaching assistant (TA) work as part of their funding for Ph.D.s. Although TA work is valuable, too much slows down students’ progress on their thesis and other working papers. This recommendation would require increased funding from deans or other sources.
    • We should get students involved in research earlier in Ph.D. programs. UNC and other schools have successfully instituted a SAS boot camp for students prior to formal classes or during the first or second quarter of the program. Students learning SAS and other research tools early in their program could then become productive members of a research team much earlier in their program, thus helping them get an early start on building their vita.
    • Most programs require two years of course work with a major field examination at the end of the second year. After passing the field exam, many students take 12–18 months to identify a thesis topic. Thus, many students take five or more years because they “lose” the third year. Faculty are encouraged to mentor and meet regularly with students in the first six months after their field exam to help students identify a thesis topic in a more timely manner. One way for students to identify a viable thesis topic is to meet regularly with a faculty member to discuss a two-page “What, Why, How” write-up of a potential research question without the necessity of a thorough literature review. Of course, if faculty members are already overextended because of shortages of tenure-track faculty at their school, these meetings increase demand on faculty time. At the same time, these kinds of meetings encourage students to think about research questions and faculty to provide quick feedback on viability and the faculty member’s interest in a particular research question.