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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University
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Associate Professor of Accounting Haidan Li Head Shot

Associate Professor of Accounting Haidan Li Head Shot

Message from the Department Chair: Haidan Li

A message from the chair of the Accounting Department, Haidan Li.

I’m delighted to update our community with the achievements of our students, faculty, and alumni in this newsletter.  For many years, Santa Clara University was ranked in the “Regional Universities” category by U.S. News & World Report.  This year marks the first year that Santa Clara is included in the “National Universities” category due to a change in the classification system in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.  The publication’s 2020 “Best Colleges” edition ranks Santa Clara in the top 15 percent (No. 54) among nearly 400 national-level universities.  The Leavey School of Business also placed in the top 15 percent (No. 66) of all undergraduate business programs nationally.  The quality of the Accounting program was recognized in the No. 37 ranking out of over 500 accounting programs nationwide.

This past June, we graduated 75 students, of which 57 were Accounting majors and 18 were Accounting and Information Systems majors.  We expect a greater graduating class over the next two years with over 190 junior and senior students currently in the program.  An additional 73 students graduated from our Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) program.  Our students continue to enjoy great success in the job market, leading the business school in internship opportunities and job placements.  One of our graduates, Even Chen, received the Nobili Medal awarded by University faculty and provost at Commencement, the highest distinction given to SCU students.  One of our alumni, Thomas Deal ’17, was a recipient of the 2018 E. W. Sells Award for outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination.  

Our faculty were recognized for distinguished teaching.  Professor Michael Calegari received the ACE Outstanding Faculty Award selected by the seniors in the ACE Leadership Program of Leavey School of Business. Professor Susan Parker was selected by the Accounting Senior Class for the Professor of the Year Award.  During our annual Awards Banquet in May, Professor Jim Sepe ’69, who retired in 2018 after nearly forty years at SCU, was presented the Alumnus of the Year Award.  Jim delivered a moving acceptance speech, encouraging students to find courage in career and life.

This year, we will focus our strategic priories on faculty hiring and curriculum review.  Three of our faculty members are currently on phased retirement, which is a transitional period of part-time teaching for up to five years before retirement.  It is critical to hire new faculty to maintain our high-quality teaching and grow our research reputation.  The good news is that the department has been approved two tenure-track positions to start in Fall 2020, so we look forward to having new colleagues join us next year. 

Our work on curriculum review has led to a proposed new course on accounting data analysis and visualization.  The new course is currently under review and once approved, will be offered in Fall 2020.  We are working closely with our Advisory Board to engage accounting firms and other local companies to help design projects and provide data stories for the course.  We will continue to review our curriculum to ensure that it is current and responsive to changing industry demands.  

Our Advisory Board provides support and counsel on curriculum and other matters that improve the quality and relevance of our accounting program.  Several board members assisted in our faculty recruiting by meeting with candidates during their on-campus interviews.  The participation of our Advisory Board in faculty hiring continues to be a feature that distinguishes our program from others in the country.  Joe Allanson ’85, Executive Vice President and CAO/Controller at, is our new Board President.  We thank Chantal Adam, a partner at KPMG, for serving as the Board President in the last two years.  The board has elected Aftab Jamil, a partner at BDO, as Vice President of the Board.

The Accounting Department has a new Senior Administrative Assistant.  MJ Ching joined the department in March 2019.  She received her B.A. in International Relations from University of Southern California and has worked at Loyola Marymount University as a Senior Administrative Coordinator for over three years before moving to Santa Clara. 

In closing, I would like to thank all of the donors and supporters of the department for your generosity.  Your contributions of time and financial support to our program have expanded opportunities for our students, enabled innovative research, and enhanced our ability to attract and keep high quality faculty.  Thank you for continuing to support our department.