2021 Chair's Message
Greetings from the SCU Accounting Department!
After an 18-month absence, Santa Clara’s campus finally sprung back to life in September 2021 as we welcomed students back into the classrooms for in-person instructions. The Broncos have started a long-waited transition to normalcy with a high vaccination rate of over 98% for nearly 10,000 community members and robust safety measures such as indoor face coverings requirements and mandatory testing in the first two weeks for the on-campus residents.
The SCU accounting program is the only AACSB-accredited accounting program in Northern California and one of only five in California. In March 2021, we successfully received an extension of accreditation in the AACSB Continuous Improvement Review that occurs once in every five years. The accreditation visiting team commended our department in many areas, including teaching, research, student support, and strong ties with the business community. During the exit meeting with the University President and Provost, the Chair of the visiting team highly praised our department and said that we are "the gold standard that other programs can look to.”
This past June, we graduated 102 students with 63 Accounting majors and 39 Accounting & Information Systems majors. An additional 47 students graduated from our Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) program. We are extremely proud of our students for their strength and resilience despite the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also appreciate the hard work of our faculty and staff in redesigning courses and adopting new technology to enhance the quality of virtual learning.
After nearly 40 years at SCU, Professor Neal Ushman retired in summer 2021. Neal has made many contributions to the accounting department, including his immerse impact in the classrooms as the instructor for Intermediate Accounting II (ACTG 131). He held such a high academic standard for the students that everyone knows him as “the one who should be feared.” Neal moved to five acres of forested land near a town called Gaston in Oregon after his retirement. While he is enjoying the spectacular view in his new home, Neal needs to figure out how to continue watching Bay Area sports as a season ticket holder of the 49ers and Warriors.
In summer 2021, Professor Hyungshin Park left SCU to join the Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Hyungshin joined the SCU accounting department in 2016 and was instrumental in redesigning an existing required course, Accounting Information Systems (ACTG 134) to incorporate key database concepts and the ETL processes (Extract, Transform and Loading). The department has been approved a tenure-track line to fill his vacancy in Fall 2021.
This fall we welcomed Dr. Stacey Ritter, our newest faculty member to the accounting department. Stacey earned her PhD from University of Southern California and has professional experience in consulting and auditing at Deloitte, internal auditing at Raytheon, and within the Provost Office at the University of Cincinnati. Stacey is a licensed Certified Public Accountant with a master’s degree in Accounting and a minor in Management Information Systems from UT Austin. She is teaching ACTG 11, the introductory financial accounting course.
One of our strategic focuses this year has been on curriculum review and revision in anticipation of the upcoming CPA exam changes in mid-2024. The key changes include a core exam covering three areas (financial accounting and data analytics, tax, and auditing and systems) and a selection of an area of specialization from business analytics and reporting, systems and controls, and tax. Under the guidance of the AICPA’s sample curriculum, we have begun reviewing the current course coverage and identifying possible gaps between the new CPA exam requirements and our course offerings. We will be working closely with the Advisory Board to review our curriculum and consider possible revisions.
Our Accounting Advisory Board provides support to the strategic mission of the department and counsels us on curriculum and other matters that improve the quality and relevance of our program. We thank Joe Allanson ’85, Executive VP and CAO/Controller at Salesforce.com, for serving as the Board President in the last two years. The board has elected Kevin Reagan, a partner at RSM, as the new Board President, and Lindsey Piziali, a partner at PWC, as Vice President. In 2021, four members departed or retired from the Board, including Dan Bowen, a partner at Armanino (who joined the board in 2009), Chantal Adam, a partner at KPMG (who joined the Board in 2013), Kristine (Tina) Caratan ’74, a retired partner from Moss Adams (who joined the Board in 2005), and Katy Yeager ’89, a retired senior consultant and director at RGP (who joined the board in 2004). We are also delighted to welcome three new members of the Board: Ricardo Martinez ’98, an auditor partner at Armanino, Alison Barr ’03, an auditor partner at KPMG, and Kathy Ryan ’78, Chair and Founder of RoseRyan.
2021 has not only witnessed the continued disruptions of the pandemic, but also welcomed the exciting transition to a new chapter for the Broncos. As we look forward to the New Year, I would like to extend my heart-felt gratitude to those of you who have supported and continue to support our programs. The success of our department would not be possible without the help of our donors and supporters – Thank you!