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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University
Department ofAccounting

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2023 Chair's Message

Greetings from the SCU Accounting Department!

On the beautiful morning of June 17, 2023, I attended the undergraduate commencement ceremony in the University’s Stevens Stadium celebrating the graduation of 1,590 members of the Class 2023. Among them, 54 students were accounting majors and 13 A&IS majors. It has been a long time, especially after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, since I witnessed first-hand the joy and excitement of our graduates. As President Sullivan told the students, “The relationships you have formed with each other and with Santa Clara University are not just pleasant byproducts of your four years of college. They truly are the cornerstone of your Santa Clara experience.” We wish our graduates the best luck as they take the next step in their journey.

In 2023, we are celebrating the Leavey School of Business Centennial. From 1923 when the College of Commerce and Finance was first formed, to the School of Business in the 1960s, and to the Leavey School of Business we have today, the School has been committed to educating principled and innovative leaders. Looking ahead to the future, the School is launching the Leavey PLUS Initiative by focusing on partnerships, leadership, unity, and sustainability to ensure that our graduates are prepared to be a community of changemakers.

Beginning in September 2023, our Accounting and Information Systems majors have received a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) designation. A STEM designation formally recognizes how our A&IS program educates students in information technological aspects of the accounting field and further enhances our reputation in the workplace that increasingly places an emphasis on greater analytical and information technology skills. Eligible international A&IS students with a STEM designation can apply to extend their 12 months of optional practical training for an additional 24 months after graduation.

Professor Jane Ou retired at the end of the school year after her amazing 39 years of service at SCU. She joined Santa Clara in 1984 after receiving her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Born in Taiwan, Professor Ou received her B.A. in International Business from National Taiwan University. She has taught both financial and managerial accounting classes and received many teaching awards recognizing her commitment to teaching excellence and genuine care for her students. Professor Ou is best known for a series of research papers on financial statement analysis and the role of accounting information in equity valuation. Her coauthored work with Steve Penman won the 1991 AICPA/AAA Notable Contribution to the Accounting Literature Award. We are immensely grateful for what she has contributed to the department and will miss her as a wonderful colleague, an outstanding teacher and scholar, and a dear friend.

In 2023 the Accounting Department earned the No. 26 spot for the best accounting program out of over 500 universities in the US News & World Report of Best Colleges Rankings. Many of our students were recognized for their outstanding achievements. For example, Tammy Ngo, an A&IS major, received the prestigious scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholars Program. Bethany Candler, an accounting major with a real estate minor, won the Jerry Kasner Outstanding Accounting Award from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA). These achievements attest to the quality and success of our program in developing well-rounded and well-prepared students.

In AY 2022-23, the Accounting Department created a new Leadership Series program. Hosted by Dean’s Executive Professor, Chris Paisley, this program provides an exciting opportunity for business students to meet executives in the industry who are SCU accounting alumni. This program has two components: a fireside chat with the guest speaker and a dinner with a select group of accounting and A&IS students. Six speakers joined us in the first year of the Leadership Series, including Jack Lazar ’87, former CFO of GoPro and board members of Box, Global Foundries, Resideo, and thredUP, Joe Allanson ’85, EVP of Finance and ESG at Salesforce, Judy Bruner ’86, former EVP and CFO of SanDisk and former CFO of Palm, Inc., Lewis Chew ’84, former CFO of Dolby Laboratories and National Semiconductor, Ken Miller ’93, EVP and CFO of Juniper Networks, and Betsy Rafael ’83, former Chief Transformation Officer at GoDaddy and former Controller and Principal Accounting Officer at Apple. These speakers shared their personal anecdotes and leadership advice, which were greatly appreciated by the attending students.

This year we are excited to start an Accounting Young Alumni Board that is comprised of a diverse group of accounting professionals who provide career mentorship, development, and networking opportunities to current students and promote broader engagement with the SCU young alumni community. Through strategic outreach and programming, the Young Alumni Board aims to build a diverse and rich network of connections and advisers for young accounting and A&IS alumni and students.

The accounting faculty continues to be exemplary teacher-scholars. Professor Chris Paisley was recognized as one of the “Favorite Business Professors of the Class of 2022” in the Poets and Quants for Undergraduates. Research of our faculty has appeared in prestigious journals, including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Journal of International Accounting Research. In September 2023 we welcomed our newest member of faculty, Dr. Vincent Zhang, who graduated with a Ph.D. in accounting from Duke University. Dr. Zhang is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certified sustainability professional and worked as an auditor at PWC in China.

In closing, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you who generously contribute time and financial support to our program. Your support is critical to our ability to tract high quality students and faculty, and it enables us to foster strong bond with our employers and professional community. I look forward to another great year!