The Accounting Educator

The Newsletter of the Teaching and Curriculum Section
American Accounting Association

Volume V, No. 1 [Fall, 1995]

A Message from the Chair, Kent St. Pierre, University of Delaware

I assume this letter will find all of you excited about the start of a new year and heavily involved with your teaching, research, and service commitments. The Teaching and Curriculum section had a very informative business meeting in Orlando, although the number of attendees was down due to the time slot (we will hopefully correct this in Chicago). Two committees with the topics of "Attracting the Best and the Brightest to Accountancy" and "Promoting and Evaluating Effective Teaching" discussed their activities and responded to questions from the audience. It was decided by the executive committee that the reports should be sent to all of our members so that those not in attendance would have access to the findings. As Chair I feel that the role of the Section should be to distribute to our members as much information on accounting education as possible. As in the past, the results of the work of our committees will also be published in the Journal of Accounting Education in an effort to maximize the dissemination of the findings.

The last few years have been difficult for many of us in the academic side of the profession. We have witnessed changes in the alleged needs of the employers hiring our students, calls for change in the way we educate our students, increased demands from our funding groups concerning the results of our efforts while reducing the support they provide, and a downward trend in business school enrollments around the country. It is not clear where the profession is heading, but it is clear that the problems we are encountering are not easily solved. In addition to these concerns, we are also dealing with the 150-hour requirement and its effect on our programs. Due to the questions/concerns that have been expressed to me by many of our members, I have established a committee to study the effects of the 150-hour requirement on those schools that are not considered to be the "flagship" programs in their state. There are serious issues that need to be addressed focusing on -the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" and the widening of this gap in the current environment. Sue Ravenscroft from Eastern Michigan University has agreed to chair the committee. If you have any thoughts or input of any type on the 150-hour requirement, please contact Sue or myself.

I have also established a committee consisting of the past Chairs to examine where the Section is going in relation to the needs of the members and the strategic plan of the AAA. Our size and importance in the AAA necessitate some type of game plan as to the direction we wish to take; the member survey completed last year and the ongoing input from our colleagues will help us in our efforts. In addition, we have approved updating and expanding the efforts of David Stout in his "Graduate Program Resource Guide" and are searching for sponsors to help us in this area.

I would like to see a renewed effort in the recruiting of section members, especially at our regional meetings. Although we are one of the fastest . growing sections, our rate of growth is beginning to level off, with current membership approaching fifteen hundred. I will be asking the regional representatives to appoint an individual from each region to work on increasing our numbers. If you have suggestions or ideas in this area or wish to help, please feet free to contact me.

Included in this newsletter is some important information on our financial condition and several proposed amendments discussed at the national meeting. You will be asked to vote by mail on the three amendments; I have included a summary of Council's discussion with the amendments. It is important to note that in addition to the amendments, there was a separate discussion on the issue of how we vote for AAA executive officers. At the current time the voting takes place at the national meeting by those in attendance. It has been suggested that this process be changed so that all members of the AAA have the opportunity to vote by mail ballot. This will allow you to have input into the selection of the executive officers regardless of your ability to attend the national meeting. I will keep you posted on the outcome of these discussions.

I hope that you are able to attend one of the regional meetings or the national meeting and participate in the section activities/presentations/sessions. Attendance at the Teaching. and Curriculum sessions is always impressive and the topics are normally very informative. Interest in the instructional topics is a reflection of the ongoing change in the priorities of our profession. Please remember that we need your input and ideas to keep the Section viable and responsive to the membership, so let us know how we are doing and what changes need to be made! Thanks and have a good semester.

Educational Technology Award Goes to Rice

Submitted by Dick Baker

The new Educational Technology Award created by the Center for Educational Technology in Accounting was presented to E. Barry Rice of Loyola College in Maryland at the Annual Business Meeting of the Teaching and Curriculum (T&C) Section. Mr. Rice was selected by a committee of the T&C Section based on his use of classroom technology. He is also Director of the Pacioli International Centre for Accounting Education Using Computers and Multimedia, and has sponsored four Trends in Computerized Accounting Education Conferences.

Here's an Idea for Getting Your Students to Use the Net

Submitted by Bob Sanborn and Joe Hoyle, University of Richmond

Learning about and using technology can seem so complex, confusing and of doubtful use that many professors simply do not try. In fact, often our students drag us along with their insistence on doing "something new." Recently we at the University of Richmond have found a way to encourage our entire community to increase use of the Net for educational purposes. Most Nets have User News Groups available. These are very much like those "bulletin boards" you may have heard so much about. People can leave messages on the News Group to each other and anyone who accesses the News Group can read and respond to the message. We are establishing News Groups for many of our classes this fall. Anyone who accesses our net will be able to read and leave messages, but their name and user address will be recorded. Our aim is for our students to leave questions for each other. These question -s should be about the course they are taking. For example, on the Intermediate One News Group a student might ask for help in solving a dollar value LIFO question. Other students could then respond with their suggestions. We plan on having each professor who teaches the course covered by the News Group monitor the Group at least two times a week. Our syllabi will include a reward structure which provides bonus points for distribution to the "best question" and "best answer" of the week. We hope that this exercise will expand our students and our own use of the Net for educational purposes. Our aim is to also stimulate our students to think about our classes and subject more often when they are out of class. A few classes used this idea during the past spring semester, but this fall will be our first expanded effort using the idea. If anyone has suggestions or comments please send back a note to Sandra Byrd for use in future issues and/or contact me at (Tel. 804-289-8573).

Deputy Webmaster, Teaching and Curriculum Section of the American Accounting Association

Meg Dwyer - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Newsletters Maintained by

Sandra Byrd - Southwest Missouri State University

Last Updated: January 22, 1999