Accounting Program Response to AACSB Sixth Year Review Team Report October 11, 2006

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1 Accounting Program Response to AACSB Sixth Year Review Team Report October 11, 2006 In response to the Sixth Year Review Team Report (hereafter the Report ) dated January 23, 2006 and May 22, 2006, we have prepared this comprehensive response to address the issues and concerns indicated in the report. To facilitate the team s review of our progress to date, this report is organized as follows: within each of the three areas to be addressed (Strategic Planning, Assurance of Learning and Faculty Qualifications), there is narrative discussion of issues/concerns raised in the Report s Additional discussion section (pages 2-4) followed by a reproduction of the three areas of concern and our progress to date on these issues. Overall Comments The May 22, 2006 letter suggests that we acquire an independent consultant to assist us in our maintenance of accreditation process. Through recommendation from Bob Picard, the Continuing Review Team Chair, we arranged for Dr. Michael Tearney, faculty emeritus at the University of Kentucky, to visit on August 23-24, His expertise was of tremendous help in reviewing and refining our strategic planning process and progress with assessment of learning. In addition, the May letter asks the school to assess the allocation of necessary resources and the larger issue of a strategic review of the value and commitment to maintaining accounting accreditation. In discussions with the Provost, the Dean and the Associate Dean during Spring and Summer 2006, several major decisions were made: 1) the absolute necessity of UAF maintaining the only separately-accredited accounting program in the State, including the incremental costs to do so; 2) as part of #1, the Director was funded to attend three AACSB seminars, Accounting Accreditation, Assessment, and Continuous Improvement so that he would be more qualified to lead and guide the accounting program faculty in the decisions to be made and processes developed to get the Accounting Program well on it s way in satisfying the Continuing Review Team s concerns in the limited time leading up to this report; 3) as noted above, funding was provided to bring in our consultant, Dr. Tearney; and 4) the Provost has granted authorization to hire a tenure-track audit/ais faculty to replace the adjunct now teaching our auditing courses.

2 2 Issue #1 Strategic Planning (Business Standard 4) The Report indicated that our previous response (dated October 13, 2005) did not provide evidence of a functioning and effective strategic planning process. Since our report was filed, we have held eight Accounting Program meetings and one Accounting Program Advisory Board meeting (Meeting Minutes attached [Appendix 1], as well as the composition of the Advisory Board [Appendix 2]). For the most part, the meetings focused on our accreditation issues and, as this report indicates, substantial progress has been made. From the Accounting Review Team Sixth Year Report, 1/23/06: Standard Reporting expectation Accomplishment expectation 1. Strategic Planning Business Standard 4 The program will: 1) report on its formalized strategic planning process including the development of (and subsequent resolution of) action items that focus nearterm efforts; 2) report the level of stakeholder involvement. The program will list action items that focus near-term efforts and define the achievements of the next one-to-three years. The advisory board will be an integral part of this process. Background for the Planning Process: Mission Statement, Vision and Core Values Accounting Program Our mission is to: 1. Prepare accounting graduates to be leaders in business, public accounting, private accounting, governmental entities, and not-for-profit organizations 2. Conduct meaningful research that advances accounting and business knowledge. 3. Perform service of benefit to the Accounting Program, School of Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, profession, and community. 4. Develop a reputation for high quality accounting education for accounting and business students. 5. Foster and develop entrepreneurial abilities of students. Our Vision: We aspire to be a nationally competitive accounting program educating future generations of leaders in collaboration with business, non-profit organizations and the community; the accounting program will produce quality research in support of accounting professionals, accounting researchers and accounting teachers. Our Core Values 1. To pursue continuing improvement in meeting our mission.

3 3 2. To demonstrate teaching excellence that provides students the competencies needed to be successful in accounting and other business careers. 3. To be a valued source for intellectual contributions and information that makes a significant contribution to the profession and education. 4. To support the accounting profession through involvement in professional and academic organizations. 5. To treat students, staff, and faculty with dignity and fairness. 6. To promote a multicultural and diverse environment for our students, staff, and faculty. 7. To foster an awareness of ethical values. 8. To promote and maintain a strong collegial and supportive environment. 9. To foster an atmosphere of free and open inquiry. 10.To develop an understanding and appreciation of entrepreneurship. A. The Planning Process The Accounting Program at UAF is composed of six full-time, tenure-track slots. As a result, most decision-making processes are handled by the faculty as a whole. This saves significant amounts of time, as it avoids an extra layer of approval process. Moreover, all faculty are aware of important issues and decisions that must be made as they unfold, allowing for spontaneous interaction and discussion prior to a formal meeting to resolve or decide on a plan of action. Over the past several years, we have found that this process has worked well. In addition to issues raised by the faculty, we are also sensitive to the needs and concerns of our two major stakeholder groups, students and the Accounting Program Advisory Board. Keeping abreast of student issues is facilitated by the existence of UAF s most-awarded student organization, the Great Alaskan Accounting People, or GAAP, of which the Accounting Program Director is Faculty Advisor. Constant interaction with the officers and members both formal and informal allows for sharing of any significant concerns, as well as successes. In addition, most of the accounting faculty regularly attend GAAP s bi-monthly meetings, creating an environment where students get to know the faculty outside of the classroom and again, fostering easier sharing of concerns. Early in 2006, all members of the Accounting Program Advisory Board which admittedly was not utilized as effectively as it could have been in the past were contacted to determine if they were still willing to serve and all agreed. In addition, the Board was enlarged from ten to fifteen members. These individuals who have a heartfelt desire to see the Accounting Program be the best it can be are from private industry, CPA firms and not-for-profit entities, both in Alaska and in the lower 48. Knowing that these individuals time is valuable, only two meetings per year are normally proposed, but they are carefully planned and orchestrated to utilize the Board s experience and views on the issues facing the Program. As an example, the Agenda for the most recent meeting, held May 12, 2006, is attached (Appendix 1), along with a list of the members (Appendix 2). The date of the next meeting is Friday, October 27, 2006 and will focus primarily on elements of our strategic plan. B. The Strategic Plan After lengthy discussions among ourselves, significant input from our Advisory Board and consideration by the officers of GAAP, we have identified nine major strategic thrusts to

4 4 improve and advance the effectiveness and outreach of the Accounting Program during the next five years. The thrusts will be listed in order of priority and immediacy for action. In order to measure progress on each element of our Strategic Plan, the description will include the following five items: Person primarily responsible Estimated cost Proposed source of funds Markers to indicate meeting the goal Time frame 1. Implement a long-term itemized plan for continuous curriculum development (Mission elements #1 and 4): Historically, changes to curriculum have basically occurred on an ad hoc basis. Moreover, there was little attention paid to assessing outcomes, i.e., were our students learning and retaining the knowledge and thought processes we worked so hard to impart to them. Now, not only do accreditation standards require outcome assessment or assessment of learning, it is obvious to us that this must be a required and regular element of our strategic plan - regardless of accreditation standards in order to insure that we are being as effective as possible in preparing our students for their careers after graduation. As many schools and programs have discovered, however, this is an ambitious and arduous process, as reliable direct measures are difficult to identify. Moreover, success in this area is elusive as the target is constantly moving. Nevertheless, we feel strongly that we need to know how we are doing and have developed what we feel is a reasonable and workable process that is elaborated upon in the section of this report dealing with Issue #2 Assurance of Learning. In summary, it is composed of the following three ongoing measures: a. Performance on the standardized ETS Business Test b. Performance on embedded questions from professional exams in courses in the accounting curriculum c. Performance on professional examinations such as the CPA, CMA or CIA exam. In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Accounting Program Director Estimated cost: $5,000 Proposed source of funds: School of Management Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o Standardized ETS Business Test: Performance at least equal to other business majors on the general business portion but above the performance of other business majors on the accounting portion of the exam o Embedded questions on course exams: Initially, 60% correct since students are just learning the material, moving towards 75% over 3-5 years o Performance on professional examinations: pass rate per part at least equal to the national average over a 5-year rolling period, with a long-term goal of exceeding the national average

5 5 Time frame: ETS data for two years already available and presented subsequently in the discussion of Issue #2 Assurance of Learning in this report; embedded questions beginning Spring All full-time, tenure-track faculty, per AACSB International accreditation criteria, be either academically qualified (AQ) or professionally qualified (PQ) (Mission elements #1, 2 and 4): Admittedly, prior to submission of our initial 5-year Accounting Program Maintenance Report in December 2004, this seemed an insurmountable hurtle, as several faculty members were neither AQ or PQ. While requiring 100% AQ or PQ status exceeds accreditation standards of 90%, due to our small faculty size, even one non-aq or non-pq faculty puts us below the requirements. However, given the importance of maintaining our separate accounting accreditation, all Program faculty, per the documentation included in Appendix 4 of this report, are currently AQ or PQ. To increase the likelihood of maintaining a 90% AQ/PQ status, we will implement a Faculty Development program to monitor and assess progress of individual faculty towards this goal via: the forward-looking annual Faculty Workload Proposal submitted each Spring for the following academic year the backward-looking annual Activities Report submitted in the Fall for the prior academic year In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Accounting Program Director Estimated cost: $1,000 (journal submission fees) Proposed source of funds: Individual faculty discretionary spending accounts supplemented by additional funds from the Dean s office as necessary Markers to indicate meeting the goal: Four, blind refereed journal articles per AQ faculty member in a 5-year window Time frame (Faculty Development program): Starting Spring 2007 with review of the Faculty Workload Proposals 3. Increase the number of accounting majors (Mission element #4): Over the last several years, the number of students graduating as an accounting major has been in the range of 10-15/year. Our desire is to increase that to 20-30/year. One primary reason is that employers of our graduates keep asking for more, as they are not able to fill their hiring needs with our current supply. This obviously is a good problem, as it is indicative of our high placement rate normally % within six months of graduation. Since the demand is there and it is not expected to change in the near future we desire to do all we can to meet that need. Specifically, our action steps, including person(s) responsible, include: Visiting senior nights at local high schools members of SOM s Client Services Committee; Sherry Woods-Tiemestra, student, who attended an AICPA Student Leadership Conference in May (She has already visited one high school in Fairbanks.) Attending the annual UAF Career Fair all faculty Consider an accounting-oriented career fair GAAP organization Attend all new student orientations Accounting Program Director

6 6 Encourage Advisory Board involvement and support through classroom visits, GAAP organization attendance, the Annual Awards Ceremony, etc. Manage the drop out rate in introductory accounting classes by having experienced accounting students staff an Accounting Lab where assistance is available Accounting Lab personnel, currently Crystal McGill Develop and distribute an Accounting Major brochure Accounting Program Director in consultation with SOM administration o Insure that Campus tour guides have this available Consider developing a yearbook for accounting majors GAAP organization In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Individual(s) indicated above Estimated cost: $4,000-5,000/year (brochure, lab workers, yearbook) Proposed source of funds: SOM, GAAP organization Markers to indicate meeting the goal: Self-explanatory for most action steps; for managing the drop out rate: 20% initially, declining to 10% over a 3 year period Time frame: All items within 3 years 4. Increase the number of accounting students taking a part of a professional exam (CPA, CMA, CIA) prior to or within three months of their graduation. (Mission elements #1 and 4): While not all graduates will take a professional examination after graduation, we feel that one measure of a high quality program is success on relevant professional exams for those who choose to take them. In addition, we have been informed by some employers over the lack of willingness of our students to become certified. Primary action steps, with responsibility, include: Continuously encouraging them to take a professional exam Make materials available for taking any of the three certifications (CPA, CMA, CIA) Embedding in examinations for all accounting major courses questions from relevant previous professional examinations all faculty Offering a CPA Exam review course Accounting Program Director with assistance from interested faculty. This would be a non-credit optional course for interested students staffed by faculty on a voluntary and separately remunerated basis. (At this point, the largest percentage of our graduates accept employment with CPA firms.) In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Individual(s) indicated above Estimated cost: None CPA Exam review course would be self-supporting Proposed source of funds: None Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o Embedded examination questions: Initially, 60% correct since students are just learning the material, moving towards 75% over 3-5 years o CPA Exam review course: Self explanatory offering the course Time frame:

7 7 o Embedded examination questions: Starting Fall 2006 in Intermediate Accounting, other courses to follow in Spring 2007 or when offered o CPA Exam review course: Offer two parts near the end of Spring If successful, offer other two parts in late Summer Maintain 90% placement rate for accounting major graduates within six months of graduation (Mission elements #1 and 4): Encourage attendance and involvement in GAAP Encourage participation in internship program Encourage both on- and off-campus interviewing Encourage participation in annual Spring Break trip to Anchorage to visit firms Have GAAP Faculty Advisor be responsible (with assistance from administrative staff) to send out annual survey to graduates to monitor this rate In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: GAAP Advisor primarily Estimated cost: None Proposed source of funds: None Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o Results from annual survey o Placement rates calculated from the annual exit survey. Time frame: Most items, immediate; Annual survey: Spring/Summer Increase membership and involvement in GAAP (Mission elements #1, 4 and 5): Make students aware of the many benefits to GAAP membership networking, exposure to numerous recruiters and different types of firms Make students aware of all the options available with accounting degree Faculty should make students aware of upcoming GAAP events and activities, not only encouraging involvement but reinforcing the value of membership Write article for ASCPA journal? Allow GAAP members to recruit in intro accounting courses Place ads in UAF student newspaper? SOM newsletter? Encourage GAAP members to write articles for the student newspaper Take attendance at GAAP events In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: GAAP Advisor primarily Estimated cost: None Proposed source of funds: None Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o Have GAAP track membership vs. number of accounting majors o Have GAAP track attendance Time frame: Immediate

8 8 7. Strive for a portfolio of faculty to have relevant professional certification or have relevant professional interaction (Mission elements #1, 2 and 3): We desire to have a faculty that is current with developments within their particular specialty. To that end, we will: encourage faculty without professional certification in their field, if available, to consider obtaining it encourage faculty to obtain some type of relevant work experience in their field of expertise every five years encourage faculty to participate in professional/practitioner meetings in Fairbanks on a regular basis Encourage faculty to maintain their certification(s) through continuing education activities. In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Accounting Program Director Estimated cost: <$250/year/faculty member Proposed source of funds: Individual faculty discretionary spending accounts per School of Management policy Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o Professional certification: 50% of the faculty within 3 years o Relevant work experience: 50% of the faculty within 5 years o Participation in meetings: 100% of faculty within 1 year Time frame: As indicated above 8. Formalize various options for students to meet 150-hour requirement for certification (Mission elements #1 and 4): While no specific academic plan is specified in Alaska s 150-hour requirement, our desire is for students pursuing this objective to utilize those extra 30 hours beyond the bachelor s degree to enhance their educational preparation for a successful career in public accounting and eventual passing of the CPA exam and obtaining their CPA certificate Moreover, at some point either Alaska or another entity may specify more definitely the composition of those 30 hours and we want to be ready to meet those demands. To that end, we will: Advise students to consider obtaining their MBA degree Develop a guidebook to use in counseling students on various options on how best to utilize those hours if a specialized degree is not desired Should licensing requirements change and a specific structure be implemented, study the feasibility of offering a specialized masters degree in accounting In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: All accounting faculty Estimated cost (of masters degree in accounting): Indeterminate at this time Proposed source of funds: University of Alaska budgeting process Markers to indicate meeting the goal:

9 9 o Accounting students pursuing MBA degree: Observing increasing percentage of undergraduate accounting majors pursuing an MBA o Specialized masters degree in accounting: No markers at this time o Keep track of the number of accounting students taking various options. Time frame: o Accounting students pursuing MBA degree: Begin collecting data Fall Increase the number of accounting faculty as necessary to meet the needs of the Program (Mission elements #1 and 3): In addition to having all full-time, tenure-track faculty either AQ or PQ, there is a desire amongst all of our faculty to be on 2-2 teaching loads. Per SOM requirements, five referred publications in the previous five years is required (AQ status requires less than this). In addition, should a masters degree in accounting become a potential reality, existing faculty are insufficient to offer additional accounting courses. Finally, given current budget constraints, there is currently little or no ability for faculty to offer additional elective courses. This is because current full-time, tenure-track faculty are teaching nearly all accounting courses and sections offered each semester. Therefore, should a new course be proposed, hiring of adjunct faculty would be necessary to teach the normal course the full-time faculty member would have taught. Therefore, we have a goal of gradually increasing faculty size as more faculty move to a 2-2 load, provide incentive for new course offerings and prepare for potential implementation of a specialized masters degree in accounting. In the short run (the next academic year): Hire auditing/ais faculty member to bring the full-time, tenure track accounting faculty size to six. We are currently utilizing a PQ adjunct to teach our auditing courses but desire a full-time, tenure track faculty member. However, given that accounting already faces a faculty shortage with auditing the most severe success in this endeavor will be difficult to predict. In terms of the five measurement criteria described above: Person primarily responsible: Accounting Program Director Estimated cost: $150,000 (salary and benefits) per faculty member Proposed source of funds: University of Alaska budgeting process Markers to indicate meeting the goal: o % of faculty on 2-2 load. o Student to full-time faculty ratios for accounting classes o Successful hiring of an auditing/ais faculty member Time frame: Hire an auditing/ais faculty member during to start in Fall 07. Add one new faculty slot in the next five years

10 Issue #2 - Assurance of Learning (Accounting Standards 39 and 40) 10 The Report indicated that the Team found little evidence that the accounting program faculty understood the assurance of learning standards and the role of direct measures in that process. To remedy this deficiency, the Program Director, Professor Michael Davis, attended several AACSB seminars (Assessment Seminar, Accounting Accreditation Seminar and Continuous Improvement Seminar) to learn more about this process so that he could guide the faculty in developing learning goals as well as measurement metrics. In addition, we brought in a consultant in August 2006 to help us in this process. As indicated below, significant progress has been made, including identification of our five learning goals, as well as objectives, criteria and measurement metrics, with direct measures whenever possible. Moreover, some benchmarking measurements are being made during Fall Regarding utilization of the ETS Business Exam as one of our direct measures, we have provided evidence below of undergraduate accounting major performance versus all other undergraduate business majors. This is also being used as benchmark data as we move forward in the assessment process. From the Accounting Review Team Sixth Year Report, 1/23/06: 2. Assurance of learning Standards 39 and 40 The program will report on learning objectives as addressed in Accounting Standards 39 and 40 along with the programs plan for assessing the student learning outcomes related to these objectives. The program will develop learning objectives focused on the development, measurement, analysis, validation, and communication of financial and other information along with a plan for assessing the outcomes of those objectives. As discussed in the Strategic Plan portion of this Report, it is critical for us to insure that we are being as effective as possible in preparing our students for their careers after graduation. While we as a faculty are getting a relatively late start in this process, with the help of a consultant, we feel that we have made great strides in this area since our last report. Not only have we adopted five specific learning goals, we have identified specific objectives and assessment measures for each goal. As indicated on the following pages, we plan to use direct measures whenever possible. Our learning goals are as follows (presentation in tabular format follows):

11 11 Goal #1: Personalized Education The BBA degree in Accounting will be responsive to the distinct goals, experiences and talents of our diverse student body. Goal #1 Objectives Criteria Measures Personalized Education: The BBA degree in Accounting will be responsive to the distinct goals, experiences and talents of our diverse student body. 1a. Students will have direct access to faculty, administration and staff for advisement and mentoring regarding their academic and professional career. Students will be satisfied with academic and career advising. Students will be satisfied with the service provided by the SOM administration. Items in the senior survey a. An item in the senior survey. Students will be satisfied with the availability of career counseling and placement services. An item in the senior survey. 1b. Students will have access to small classes, a low student/faculty ratio, and direct interaction with faculty. Students will be satisfied with the class sizes for their business courses. Class sizes will be capped to foster interaction. An item in the senior survey. Class size distribution The school will have a small student/professor ratio. Student/professor ratio. Student satisfaction with their ability to develop a close relationship with the faculty outside the classroom. An item in the senior survey. 1c. Students will have opportunities to develop professional relationships and undertake career development through extracurricular organizations and activities. Student satisfaction with co-curricular and extracurricular organizations and activities available to them Students will participate in co-curricular and extracurricular organizations and events that contribute to their learning. Senior Survey To be assessed using an online (Blackboard based) survey to be administered to all senior students mid-way through the SPRING semester each year. Items in the senior survey. Count of students participating in co-curricular and extracurricular organizations and events (such as GAAP and the many events sponsored by GAAP).

12 1. Educational Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes: 12 The definition of this goal and development of its various objectives, desired outcomes and measurement metrics were developed over a span of several months in 2006 involving all of the program faculty and consultation with the Accounting Program Advisory Board and officers of the student accounting organization, GAAP. Input from employers was indirectly obtained via the Advisory Board, as many of its members are owners and/or employees of firms that hire UAF accounting graduates. We feel that this is a critical competitive goal for our Program, as most state schools tend to have fairly large and therefore primarily impersonal classes. We strive to keep our classes in the student range, with all upper level classes taught by AQ or PQ faculty. 2. Assessment Methods and Activities: In addition to indirect measures of personalized education to be included in the senior survey, we will use more direct measures such as average class size (compared to other state universities), student/professor ratios and tallies of student involvement in GAAP activities throughout the academic year. 3. Assessment Results and Evidence: To be collected starting Spring/Summer Uses of Assessment: The results of the student survey will be shared with the Dean, the Associate Dean, the Student Advisor in the Dean s Office, the officers of GAAP and the Advisory Board. Issues raised will be handled expeditiously so that graduates will indeed feel like they received inexpensive yet personalized education

13 Goal #2: Competent Communication Skills Accounting graduates will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. 13 Goal #2 Objectives Criteria Measures Communication Skills: Accounting graduates will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. 1a. Accounting graduates will have the ability to make professionalquality presentations using modern technology. Students' oral presentations will be succinct, organized, well reasoned and coherent, and will demonstrate disciplinary understanding. In addition they will demonstrate an awareness of the audience, use appropriate body language and voice qualities and create enthusiasm about the topic in others. Analysis of student presentations using an oral presentation rubric. ACCT 361 Intermediate Accounting (Davis) - FALL ACCT 401 Advanced Accounting (Davis) - FALL 1b. Accounting graduates will have the ability to write clear and comprehensive memos, internal and external reports. Students' writing will be succinct, organized, well reasoned and coherent, and will demonstrate disciplinary understanding. Analysis of student writing samples using a writing rubric. ACCT 452 Auditing (Wilson) FALL 1. Educational Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes: The MBA faculty as well as the faculty as a whole decided during the academic year that both oral and written presentation skills were very desirable characteristics we wanted our graduates to possess. This issue was also discussed extensively by our Accounting Program Advisory Board during the Spring 2006 meeting. Finally, the issues and concerns have been shared with the GAAP officers and they concur. 2. Assessment Methods and Activities: The MBA Committee of which the Director of the Accounting Program was a member - began work on these issues during Fall 2005 and progressed steadily in determining desirable characteristics in both oral and written presentation skills. Once those issues were resolved, efforts were then directed to developing practical and relatively straightforward rubrics to consistently and comprehensively measure and provide valuable feedback to the student. These rubrics were first class tested in our MBA courses during Spring 2006, with all faculty strongly encouraged to utilize them. The writing rubric will also be used with some modifications in our undergraduate writing intensive courses starting in Fall The writing intensive course in the accounting program is ACCT 452 Auditing, although use of the rubric is encouraged in any class where significant amounts of writing are required. The oral presentation rubric at least in the Accounting Program is being utilized in both ACCT 361 Intermediate Accounting (Junior level) and ACCT 401

14 14 Advanced Accounting (Senior level), Since all students in ACCT 401 will have taken ACCT 361 a year earlier, we will be able to measure if any improvement has occurred. Appendix 3 contains samples of the rubrics used to assess writing proficiency and oral presentation skills at the undergraduate level. The minimum competency level was set at Level 2 Meets Expectations for the writing samples and Satisfactory for oral presentations. 3. Assessment Results and Evidence: Collection of data for accounting majors will begin during Fall Uses of Assessment: Due to long-standing concerns both from faculty and recruiters, minimum proficiency and hopefully significant progress beyond that level over time is considered essential for satisfactory performance in our graduates chosen careers. Moreover, all accounting majors are required to take 9 credits of writing and oral intensive courses as part of their undergraduate education, in addition to an English Department course in technical writing. Should we find that overall performance is below the minimum proficiency, we will consult with the appropriate department heads to formulate a plan for improvement.

15 Goal #3: Technical Proficiency Accounting graduates will possess advanced and current knowledge in the field of accounting. Goal #3 Objectives Criteria Measures Technical Proficiency: 1a. Students will have the ability to Representative authoritative sources use databases to explore tax code utilized and cited, with appropriate Accounting graduates will possess advanced and current authorities and audit, financial and conclusions drawn knowledge in the field of governmental standards to draw accounting. well-reasoned conclusions on accounting issues. 15 Analysis of skills in tax using a sample of student performance on tax cases via an evaluation rubric. ACCT 330 Income Tax (Abramowicz) Every other FALL starting Fall 06 Analysis of skills in audit, financial and governmental standards using a sample of student performance in writing assignment via an evaluation rubric. ACCT 452 Auditing (Wilson) Every other FALL starting Fall 08 1b. Students will have the ability to utilize generic accounting packages. Proficiency with Quickbooks Evaluation of skills in ACCT 262 Accounting Concepts & Uses II (Zhao) SPRING 1c. Students will be knowledgeable about fundamental concepts of financial, managerial and cost accounting, auditing, taxation and accounting information systems. Performance on professional exam questions and standardized exams At least 60% correct answers on professional exam questions embedded in course exams. FALL SPRING ACCT 361 Davis ACCT 362 Davis ACCT Berry AIS 316 LAN ACCT 330 Abramowicz ACCT 452 Wilson Performance exceeding all SOM BBA graduates on the accounting portion of the ETS Business Exam BA 462 Business Strategy - SPRING (Collins)

16 1. Educational Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes: 16 The faculty, officers of GAAP and the Advisory Board members all agreed that it is essential that accounting graduates from UAF must possess competency in certain essential skills in order to be able to perform effectively in their chosen specialty in accounting. Those basic skills are listed above as the objectives of our Accounting Program, along with criteria and measurement metrics. In essence, we desire that our graduates are not only familiar with current accounting and tax rules but that they know how to access authoritative sources to research current issues or proposed new rules. In addition, we desire that our students are familiar with basic computerized accounting packages for two reasons: 1) Since most firms utilize computerized accounting software, graduates need to be familiar with how they work and the output they produce, both from a utilization and audit perspective; and 2) a significant percentage of the local employment market, where a large percentages of our graduates accept employment, have expressed a desire that our graduates have this exposure. 2. Assessment Methods and Activities: Due to the constantly changing nature of accounting and tax rules, we will assess student skills in utilizing appropriate data bases and research skills via performance in cases or writing assignments. We will assess knowledge of current rules by performance on CPA, CMA or CIA exam questions embedded in course exams as well as performance on accounting questions in the ETS Business Exam administered in BA 462 Corporate Strategy, the SOM senior capstone course. The minimal standard on embedded questions will be 60% with a goal of moving towards 75% within 3-5 years. The criteria on the ETS exam will be performance exceeding all SOM BBA graduates. The criteria for competency with computerized software packages will be proficiency using Quickbooks in ACCT 262 Accounting Concepts and Uses II. 3. Assessment Results and Evidence: Collection of data to begin in Fall Uses of Assessment: Outcomes will be shared with all Accounting Program faculty and the Advisory Board members. In areas where performance is below desired minimums, efforts will be made to identify the cause of the weakness and the development of solutions.

17 Goal #4: Professionalism Accounting graduates will be equipped to function professionally in a business environment. 17 Goal #4 Objectives Criteria Measures Professionalism: Accounting graduates will be equipped to function professionally in a business environment. 1a. Students will have the ability to identify ethical issues. 1b. Students will demonstrate a professional work ethic and demeanor. Students will demonstrate adequate levels of learning regarding ethical issues and principles to resolve them satisfactorily, Employer satisfaction with professional work ethic of student interns and graduates Analysis of student responses on ethical issue questions to a case containing ethical issues. BA 323 Business Ethics (Lehman) - SPRING Survey of internship supervisors (FALL) and employers of graduates (one year out surveys) 1. Educational Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes: Unlike other business majors, accounting is viewed as more than just a major by employers and the business world. Similar to law, accounting is viewed as a profession, especially for those entering public accounting. Irrespective of one s chosen field, we desire that our graduates be equipped to function as professionals. To that end, our objectives are for our graduates to be able to identify ethical issues and possess a professional work ethic. 2. Assessment Methods and Activities: We generally believe that, although desirable, it is difficult to teach students to be ethical. However, it is possible to determine if students can identify ethical situations and at least provide a response to those situations. Hopefully, this will also impact future behavior. We will measure this ability by using cases that incorporate ethical issues. We will use surveys from internship supervisors and employers of our graduates given one year after graduation. 3. Assessment Results and Evidence: Collection of data to begin in Spring Uses of Assessment: Results will be shared with all Accounting Program faculty, GAAP officers and the Advisory Board. As less-than-satisfactory results with this goal can have far reaching and potentially long-lasting impact; well-reasoned solutions will need to be generated quickly.

18 Goal #5: General Business Knowledge - Accounting graduates will possess understanding of all business disciplines within the BBA degree. 18 Goal #5 Objectives Criteria Measures General Business Knowledge: Accounting graduates will possess understanding of all business disciplines within the BBA degree. Graduates will be knowledgeable about fundamental concepts in business and economics, including integrating knowledge within those disciplines. Performance at least equal to all SOM BBA graduates. Educational Testing Service (ETS) Business Test BA 462 Business Strategy (Collins) - SPRING 1. Educational Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes: Similar to other majors in SOM, accounting majors are expected to possess a basic understanding of all business disciplines within the BBA degree (economics, finance, business law, marketing and management), including how to integrate that knowledge into a functional and comprehensive whole. 2. Assessment Methods and Activities: The primary assessment tool utilized is the ETS Business Exam administered in BA 462 Business Strategy, which is the senior capstone course. The criteria is performance by accounting majors at least equal to that of all SOM BBA majors. 3. Assessment Results and Evidence: As a benchmark, the exam was given in Spring 2005 and 2006: In Spring 2005, 32 students took the exam, ten of them accounting majors. In Spring 2006, 32 students took the exam with seven of them being accounting majors. Average scores on the exams were as follows: Accounting Majors All Other SOM Majors Spring Spring Uses of Assessment: With Spring 2005 and 2006 forming the benchmark, we will monitor the results in later years and identify areas for investigation and resolution.

19 19 Issue #3 - Faculty Qualifications (Business Standard 10) The Report requested information on academic and professional qualifications, as well as development contributions brought to the Program by each faculty member. In addition, the Report indicates that there was a lack of clarity in our PQ qualifications: From the Accounting Review Team Sixth Year Report, 1/23/06: 3. Faculty Qualifications Business Standard 10 The program will provide information on academic and professional qualifications for each faculty member with sufficient detail as to actions, impacts and timing to support an understanding of faculty development activities. Documentation must clearly identify which of the three areas of contributions is represented in each faculty member s development activities. The program should provide detail of the qualifications and development contributions brought to the program by each faculty member including a list of publications by faculty member indicating the name of the journal, the title of the article and the publication date. 50% of faculty resources are academically qualified. 90% of faculty resources are either academically qualified or professionally qualified. An aggregated portfolio of current capabilities is sufficient to support high quality performance of all activities in support of the program s mission. The program demonstrates a clearly defined process by which it evaluates how faculty members contribute to the mission and maintain their qualifications. To facilitate presentation of our response, this section is organized as follows: 1) a presentation of the SOM Intellectual Contributions Policy for Academically Qualified and Professionally Qualified Faculty, passed by the SOM s Executive Management Committee on February 28, 2005 and which applies to all SOM faculty, including Accounting Program faculty; 2) a direct response to the PQ Qualifications issue; 3) further information on faculty AQ/PQ status by presentation of standard accreditation review tables II and IIA followed by a brief description of each faculty member and AQ/PQ status (supplemented by Appendix 4 which provides an extensive narrative description of each faculty member s intellectual contributions and professional involvements during the period to justify determination of their AQ or PQ status); and 4) a discussion of our faculty development process and 5) further detailed information on each Accounting Program faculty member to justify their AQ or PQ status.

20 20 SOM Intellectual Contributions Policy for Academically Qualified and Professionally Qualified Faculty The SOM has developed and vetted a written AQ and PQ policy that is commensurate with the schools rededication to research in its tripartite mission of teaching, research and service. Moreover, this policy applies to all faculty with the SOM, including accounting program faculty. In general, the AQ policy calls for four refereed journal articles over the previous 5 years for the faculty member to be deemed AQ in his/her area. The complete adopted AQ and PQ policy is provided below: University of Alaska-Fairbanks School of Management Passed by Executive Management Committee 2/28/05 Intellectual Contributions Policy for Academically Qualified and Professionally Qualified Faculty 1. Introduction and History Intellectual contributions sometimes referred to as academic scholarship, have been an integral component of the work of the SOM. The objective of this document is to describe and interpret the faculty's scholarship responsibilities as specified by our school's mission and the AACSB standards for intellectual contributions. This process does not establish guidelines for the awarding of tenure or promotion. 2. Mission and Standards The school's mission statement and the AACSB standards both prescribe intellectual contributions as a vital part of our professional responsibilities. School's Mission and Vision Statement Adding value to Alaska, the North and their diverse peoples, by creating, sharing and promoting business knowledge in a cooperative environment. The purpose of the School of Management is to achieve recognized excellence in programs of teaching, research, and service. The School of Management is the oldest and only fully accredited business school in Alaska and strives to be the first choice for students, AACSB Standards Standard 2: Mission Appropriateness The school s mission statement is appropriate to higher education for management and consonant with the mission of any institution of which the school is a part. The mission includes the production of intellectual contributions that advance the knowledge and practice of business and management. Standard 9: Faculty Sufficiency The school maintains a faculty sufficient to provide stability and ongoing quality improvement for the instructional programs offered. The deployment of faculty resources reflects the mission and programs. Students in all programs, majors, areas of emphasis, and locations have the opportunity

21 21 employers, and management faculty. The School of Management will be a state and regional leader in research and education through the delivery of creative, innovative programs that enhance the effectiveness of businesses, especially those with operations in Alaska. We will create learning environments that allow participants to exceed their expectations, and we will be known for providing significant added value for our Alaskan constituencies. to receive instruction from appropriately qualified faculty. Standard 10: Faculty Qualifications The faculty has, and maintains, intellectual qualifications and current expertise to accomplish the mission and to assure that this occurs; the school has a clearly defined process to evaluate individual faculty member s contributions to the school s mission. 3. School of Management Expectations of Academically Qualified Faculty The AACSB Standards require that... "Academic qualification requires a combination of original academic preparation (degree completion) augmented by subsequent activities that maintain or establish preparation for current teaching responsibilities. The School s designation of a faculty member s current academic qualification is based upon academic preparation, current teaching assignment and record of intellectual contributions. Original academic preparation defines the minimum set of requirements for maintaining academic qualification as follows: a. A doctoral degree in the area in which the individual teaches and 1. Maintains a current research record normally including 4 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise determined by the Executive Management Committee. 2. Maintains a current research record normally including at least 3 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise and sufficient other appropriate scholarship activities (e.g., grants) determined by the Executive Management Committee. b. A doctoral degree in a business field, but primary teaching responsibility in a business field that is not the area of academic preparation 1. Maintains active involvement in the area of teaching responsibility through writing, participation in professional meetings or related activities. 2. Maintains a current research record normally including 4 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise determined by the Executive Management Committee. 3. Maintains a current research record normally including at least 3 refereed

22 22 journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise and sufficient other appropriate scholarship activities (e.g., grants) determined by the Executive Management Committee. c. A doctoral degree outside of business, but primary teaching responsibilities that incorporate the area of academic preparation 1. Maintains active involvement in the area of teaching responsibility through writing, participation in professional meetings or related activities. 2. Maintains a current research record normally including 4 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise determined by the Executive Management Committee. 3. Maintains a current research record normally including at least 3 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise and sufficient other appropriate scholarship activities (e.g., grants) determined by the Executive Management Committee. d. A doctoral degree outside of business and primary teaching responsibilities that do not incorporate the area of academic preparation 1. Has completed course work or personal study sufficient to provide a base for participation in the mix of teaching, intellectual contributions, and service sought by the school. 2. Maintains active involvement in the area of teaching responsibility through writing, participation in professional meetings or related activities. 3. Maintains a current research record normally including 4 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise determined by the Executive Management Committee. 4. Maintains a current research record normally including at least 3 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise and sufficient other appropriate scholarship activities (e.g., grants) determined by the Executive Management Committee. e. A specialized graduate degree in law or taxation (Must teach only within the boundaries of the specialized degree or in general education courses in the school.) 1. Maintains a current research record normally including 4 refereed journal articles published within discipline-based, professional, or pedagogical journals within the last five years in the faculty s area of teaching and academic expertise determined by the Executive Management Committee.

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