As I end my term as president of the APLG I am reminded how quickly a year goes by. I am also reminded of the many roles that an accounting program leader plays. Besides being a teacher and a scholar, we attempt to provide the administrative support to make our programs the best they can be. In our doctoral programs we are taught to conduct research and possibly how to be effective teachers, but we receive no training in administration. This is where the APLG comes in. The stated mission of our group is to “stimulate excellence in accounting education through outstanding leadership of accounting programs.” Hopefully we were able to help members’ administration of their departments through our efforts to fulfill that mission. I am proud to have played a small role in that effort.
One of my goals as president was to take this message to a wider audience – to involve more accounting program leaders in the APLG. Although many schools are consistently represented at mid-year meetings, there are many more that have never been involved or are represented only sporadically. We attempted to accomplish this through increased involvement in regional AAA meetings and through the development of a membership committee whose charge is to identify and attract new members to the APLG. All members can help in this effort by discussing the benefits of membership with their counterparts in their geographic region.
Of course one of the best benefits is the APLG mid-year meeting. The 2010 meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico featured speakers from the AICPA, AACSB, and the FASB. There were also sessions on surviving an administrative position, financial statement issues, and distance learning. The goal of the program committee was to provide all schools – small and large, public and private, Ph.D granting and not – with information that is useful in helping accounting program leaders create an environment in which their faculty can be the best they can be in the classroom and in their scholarship. For the first time, the meeting sessions were videotaped with the videos available on the AAA website for those who could not attend or who would like to view the sessions again. Next years’ mid-year meeting will be in Savannah. I hope you’ll be able to attend.
As useful as I have found the annual meeting sessions, I believe I have benefitted more from the informal interaction with other department leaders from throughout the country that I have met through the APLG. We face many of the same challenges and the ability to discuss those challenges with colleagues is invaluable. To the extent that I’ve learned to perform the administration part of my job after 10 years as a department chair, I’ve learned it from this organization and its members. Indeed there are chairs who I consider mentors and even more that have moved from being colleagues to being friends. I hope that you have or will have as positive an experience as I have.
Finally, I want to thank all those who have contributed this past year to make our section function. These include the officers, board members, accounting firm representatives, conference coordinators, and other members who have taken time from their busy schedules to advance the mission of the APLG. I invite all members to become involved with the APLG through membership in its board of directors, involvement in one if its committees, or the administration of APLG activities at mid-year meetings. Such involvement will ensure that our section continues to provide value to its members. This is your section, please make the most of it.