5th Year Accounting. Maintenance Report. Prepared for the AACSB Peer Review Team Visit

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1 5th Year Accounting Maintenance Report Prepared for the AACSB Peer Review Team Visit

2 Dr. W. Rhea Ingram Dean Dr. Judith Kamnikar Department Head School of Business Auburn University at Montgomery P.O. Box Montgomery, AL th Year Accounting Maintenance Report Prepared for the AACSB Peer Review Team Visit

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Department of Accounting received AACSB initial accounting accreditation on April 29, Uniquely, the Department of Accounting, School of Business, Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), was the first school in the state of Alabama to earn AACSB accounting accreditation for a program offering only an undergraduate concentration. The department is dedicated to maintaining its AACSB International accounting accreditation as evidence of its commitment to quality education and continuous improvement. Background Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) was established as a metropolitan campus of Auburn University in the capitol city of Montgomery, Alabama by an act of the Alabama Legislature in 1967 and opened its doors to students in Since this date, the accounting program has been an integral part of the University s curricular offerings as a unit within the School of Business. The School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree (BSBA) with specializations in 8 areas, including Accounting, plus multiple graduate offerings. The Alabama Commission on Higher Education has approved all business degree programs. The School received its initial AACSB accreditation in 1988, with reaffirmations in 1994, 2004, 2009 and is currently applying for reaffirmation in At the time of application for accounting accreditation, the administrative unit was the Department of Accounting and Finance. Upon receiving initial accreditation, the Dean with support of faculty and university administration reorganized the department structure. The finance program was moved to the Department of Economics (currently the Department of Economics and Finance) where it had originally been established. The Department of Accounting became a unit within the School of Business as of January 1, The Department of Accounting would have had its first five- year maintenance review in 2017, yet, the accounting faculty elected to apply for the fifth year maintenance of accreditation during the 2013 year to articulate with the accreditation cycle of the School of Business. The department has a long tradition of delivering a superior education to its students. The mission of the department, therefore, includes a commitment to providing high quality accounting education to its students, as well as to making intellectual contributions that can be applied to the business environment and classroom instruction. The department strives to produce a mix of scholarly works focused on contributions to practice, learning and pedagogical research, as well as some discipline- based research. In addition, the faculty provides strong support of student organizations that facilitate students' introduction to the accounting profession. The department is committed to maintaining strong ties with the business community, especially the accounting profession, and to providing responsible service to its various stakeholders. As a result of the department s quality education focus, it enjoys an excellent regional reputation. The accounting professional community not only supports the program with donations of time and funds but also through the employment of its graduates for internships, part- time and full- time positions. Graduates of the AUM accounting program are employed by international, regional and local CPA firms, government agencies, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Further, its faculty members are committed to teaching excellence and have won state- wide teaching- related awards. The faculty members manage to do this while meeting the School s research requirements and participating in service to various stakeholders. The department s reputation assists in attracting i P age

4 students who are academically strong and compete successfully for employment, internships and success on the CPA examination. The students participate in the department s two student organizations activities, ones that are geared to their professional development. Alumni of the department are valuable assets to the continuous improvement process. Many hold partnership/principle status in public practice firms, CFO positions in government and business, as well as senior management positions in industry and nonprofit organizations. These alumni have provided significant support both financially and as members of our Accounting Advisory Board. This Board provides valuable input to the department s strategic plan, curriculum development, student development, fund- raising, and promotion. The alumni contacts also result in invitations to the faculty to participate in seminars and continuing professional education sessions that are essential to the department s mission and accreditation. Degree Program The Department of Accounting offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree (BSBA) with a specialization in accounting. The program is delivered primarily on campus and by 7 full- time faculty members (all tenured or tenure- track) and one or two part- time adjuncts, as needed. The Bachelor s degree requires 24 hours of accounting in addition to the 6 hours of accounting principles taken as part of the requirements of the business core for all business majors. During the five year review period, academic years through , there were 177 BSBAs with an accounting specialization awarded, representing 18.8% of all BSBA degrees awarded during that time. The average fall enrollment in undergraduate accounting courses for the review period was 214, which represents 18% of all undergraduate School of Business enrollments for that census period. Strategic Management Planning Process The department s strategic planning process includes the faculty and department head drafting a plan which incorporates the University s and the school s strategic plans. Then, feedback is received from the dean, the school s leadership team, the Accounting Advisory Board members and officers of the two student organizations. Their input is taken into consideration with appropriate modifications made by the accounting faculty for the final strategic plan. Financial Strategies The accounting department head has administrative and budgetary responsibility for all matters concerning the department. The head manages the various resources (money, other assets and people) that are allocated to the department by the University and the Dean. The funding is provided by the state, student tuition, accounting firms, alumni and friends of the department. Annual allocations, distributed by the University through the Dean s office, are primarily to pay for the department s operating expenses and travel- related expenditures. The department also has generated scholarship funds provided by friends and alumni, subject to rules of the University s foundation office, which provide scholarship awards to juniors and seniors. In addition, the department has access to funds generated from two CPE programs jointly sponsored with the Alabama Society of CPAs (ASCPA) and the Association of Government Accountants Montgomery Chapter (AGA). These funds have been used to promote department academic programs and faculty development, research, and travel. ii P age

5 Assurance of Learning The Department of Accounting had three learning goals during the census period for initial accounting accreditation. The AACSB peer review team made the following recommendation for continuous improvement: While AUMs assurance of learning program is adequate, the department should continue to develop the program by considering whether more learning goals and learning objectives would be helpful in guiding curricular development..the department continue to evaluate whether other learning goals could be useful, whether those learning goals could be supported by additional or revised learning objectives, and whether the analysis of measures could be improved. The department has revisited its assurance of learning program with the result of (1) modifying the learning goals and objectives; (2) improving assessment measurements; and (3) restructuring the entire process. Participants Many of the policies and procedures related to the department s faculty management are provided by the University s Faculty Handbook and School of Business Policies. The standards for Academic Qualification (AQ) and Professional Qualification (PQ) for accreditation purposes are part of the School Policies. During the reporting year (fall 2012 spring 2013), the full- time accounting faculty was 100% participating faculty with the department head being PQ and the other faculty all AQ. In the period following initial accounting accreditation, 7 adjuncts (6 PQ and 1 AQ) taught a total of 15 courses over six academic semesters/terms which resulted in an average 85.71% qualification ratio. For Fall 2012, the sufficiency ratio for the Department of Accounting is 93.9%. iii P age

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS University Background and Governance Environmental and Internal Analysis PROGRESS UPDATE ON CONCERNS FROM PREVIOUS REVIEW STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT Department of Accounting Mission Department Vision Departmental Goals Mission Focused Strategic Planning Process Selected Accomplishment ( ) Financial Strategies Next Five Years PARTICIPANTS Students Faculty ASSURANCE OF LEARNING Curricula Developments Learning Goals Assessment Results Learning Goals and Curricula Impact iv Page AACSB Business Maintenance Report

7 APPENDICES Appendix A: Government Financial Management Program Appendix B: Accounting Advisory Board Appendix C: Undergraduate Enrollment Data Appendix D: Accounting Department Strategic Plan, Appendix E: Faculty Participation Appendix F: Financial Data Appendix G: Internship Form Appendix H: Student Curriculum Sheet Appendix I: Student Advising Guidelines for Accounting Majors Appendix J: EBI Survey Results Advising Appendix K: Delta Epsilon Kappa: Accounting Honor Society Appendix L: Assurance of Learning Appendix M: Exhibit AOL.J Appendix N: Miscellaneous v Page AACSB Business Maintenance Report

8 LIST OF FIGURES & TABLES Tables: AUM Accounting Graduates Current Employment Percentage of Students Enrolled Full- Time and Part- Time Percentage of Enrollments by Course Level and by Day and Night Offerings Department of Accounting Instructional Budgets Accounting Program Non- University Generated and Unrestricted Funds Accounting Scholarship Donors AUM and Accounting Program Enrollment and Graduates Accounting Completers ACT Scores of Graduates Receiving Undergraduate Degrees Firms/Businesses Providing Internships School of Business EBI Survey Five- Year Summary of Developmental Activity Supporting PQ Accounting Certifications Held by the Accounting Faculty Selected Service/Leadership Activities of the AUM Accounting Faculty Department of Accounting Learning Goals Goal 1 Assurance of Learning Goal 2 Assurance of Learning Goal 3 Assurance of Learning Goal 4 Assurance of Learning vi Page AACSB Business Maintenance Report

9 SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS The Accounting Program in the School of Business, Auburn University at Montgomery, was granted AACSB accounting accreditation April 29, The accounting faculty unanimously elected to submit a fifth- year Accounting Accreditation Maintenance Review in 2013, articulating with the School of Business accreditation reporting cycle. This Accounting Accreditation Maintenance Report provides information for a five- year period (i.e., through ); however, the information presented in this report focuses on the two years following the initial accreditation report. University Background and Governance Established in 1967 as the metropolitan campus of Auburn University in Montgomery Alabama by an act of the Alabama Legislature in 1967, AUM was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as an operationally separate institution in 1973 and is scheduled for its next SACS review in The School of Business degree programs have been approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and accredited by AACSB since The School of Business is scheduled for reaffirmation in Additional information about the University Background and Governance is available in the School of Business Fifth Year Maintenance Report, pages 1-2. The accounting program is a vital part of the School of Business and is administratively housed in the Department of Accounting. Resources from the university and various external sources provide the department with continued viability. The process for AACSB accounting accreditation started with the Application for Accounting Eligibility/Pre- candidacy for AUM on February 5, On May 23, 2006 the Accounting Accreditation Plan was submitted to AACSB. On October 2-4, 2011 an AACSB team visited campus for an evaluation. The team made a positive recommendation to the Accounting Accreditation Committee and initial accounting accreditation was granted April 29, Environmental and Internal Analysis A key success factor for the Department of Accounting is its excellent relationship with alumni and accounting professionals in private practice, corporate, and governmental accounting. The accounting faculty is committed to this relationship because of the professionalism it brings to the accounting curriculum and the opportunities for the accounting students. With feedback from these stakeholders, the Accounting Accreditation Maintenance Report provides information to highlight the strengths, challenges, and opportunities that drive its strategic planning process. Strengths High Standards A major strength is the AACSB International Accounting Accreditation. AUM was the first public school in Alabama to receive accounting accreditation of an undergraduate only program. This distinction allows AUM to provide a program based on the high quality standards set by the AACSB not only in accounting but as part of the only AACSB- accredited business school in the highly competitive academic market in Montgomery. The accounting program meets students needs in a variety of ways to obtain the necessary education requirements to compete for entry- level accounting positions. Although the education 1 P age

10 requirements to take the Uniform CPA Examination as an Alabama candidate are higher than the minimum requirements for the BSBA Accounting Specialization, these additional requirements can be satisfied through the AUM s MBA program or by completing additional undergraduate courses. Quality Curriculum Driven by the department s mission statement, the accounting curriculum provides high quality accounting education to our students with opportunities for them to develop the skills necessary to participate effectively in a competitive global environment. It is a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that has aided in the success of our graduates. The undergraduate curriculum is comprehensive in nature consisting of 24 semester hours of accounting including two accounting electives. The courses are offered on a systematic basis so that the students may attend the program during the day, in the evening, or both. The students have access to a full array of classroom technology and related software programs to aid in the learning process. The department has developed an on- line governmental financial management (GFM) program and offers the GFM courses online or hybrid format (See Appendix A: Governmental Financial Management Program). The department s faculty has made strides in upgrading its course learning goals and objectives allowing assessment of student outcomes. The upgrade has taken place for the lower division accounting courses included in the business undergraduate core as well as the upper division accounting core courses and electives. The upper division accounting courses address the department learning goals and objectives including technical knowledge, use of technology, and professional ethics and internal control (See Assurance of Learning section). Productive and Engaged Faculty All full- time accounting faculty members are academically qualified using standards developed by the School of Business. Each member of the accounting faculty develops and publishes quality peer- reviewed research in journals that can be used to enhance classroom performance. In addition, the Department of Accounting has: faculty members that are nationally known for their research and business interactions, especially in the area of governmental accounting; all 7 faculty members are licensed CPAs with some having additional certifications, a faculty with professional and business interaction on a regular basis evidenced by attendance at professional meetings, conferences, or consultant activities; a stable core of faculty with all but the newest member tenured; a strong reputation that enhances faculty recruitment to replace those who leave, which is due primarily to retirement; and, professionally qualified adjunct instructors with regard to education, work experience and certifications. Even though AUM has a research requirement like other similar schools, faculty members see their teaching responsibilities and serving the students as their first priority. 2 P age

11 Successful and Generous Alumni Students within the department are an additional strength. They represent a diverse population and enrich the classroom experience for both student and faculty. The students have attained the high academic standards to complete the accounting program and are prepared to enter the profession. According to input from employers, AUM accounting graduates are among the best in their firms and companies. In addition, students graduating from the accounting program have been successful in completing graduate accounting programs at both the masters and doctoral levels. AUM accounting graduates have also graduated with advanced degrees from many universities including but not limited to Auburn University at Montgomery, Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Georgia State University, Troy State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Denver, and Yale University. Students graduating from the accounting program have been successful in navigating a career in accounting, government, and business and have moved into top managerial positions, such as partners at CPA firms or controllerships in business and government. The table on page 4 lists selected AUM accounting graduates current positions and firm/organization. Strong Partnerships The Department of Accounting has an excellent regional reputation. The alumni identified on page 4, plus more, are generous, not only with their donations of time and funds, but also with their praise for the program. Employers, including international, regional, and local CPA firms, government agencies, and corporations, consistently return to campus to recruit AUM accounting majors for internships, part- time, and full- time employment. These alumnae and their employers have supported the accounting program with student scholarships (22 scholarships over the past five years), student internships (21 over the past five years), and interaction with students at several academic and/or professional sponsored programs. The department s faculty members have stayed connected to the practitioners, as well as to other professors, by delivering continuing professional education (Drs. Deal, Kamnikar, Marudas, and Turpen) and participating in various organizations such as the Alabama Society for CPAs, the Government Finance Officers Association of Alabama, the Association of Government Accountants Montgomery Chapter, the Institute for Management Accountants, and the American Accounting Association and their committees work. For example, Dr. Keren Deal participates at the national level with the Association of Government Accountants in the following roles: Vice Chair of the editorial board for the Journal of Government Financial Management, a national AGA publication; member of the Professional Ethics Board; Regional Vice- President Elect of the Gulf Region. Dr. Kamnikar has served on national committees of the AICPA, GFOA, and AGA. Dr. Kamnikar has served as President of the state GFOAA and Secretary of the Board for ASCPA; Drs. Deal and Kamnikar have served as President of the AGA Montgomery Chapters; and Dr. Heier has served as President of the IMA Montgomery Chapter. Dr. Leach has worked with the IMA to direct IMA scholarships to the AUM students. All of those contacts have promoted the department throughout the region and nationally. 3 P age

12 AUM Accounting Graduates Current Employment Name Position Organization Bonee Barrow Bailey, CPA Partner James Blake, CPA Partner Scott Grier, CPA Partner Jeremy Morehead, CPA Partner Aldridge, Borden and Company Rhonda Sibley, CPA Partner Jason Westbrook, CPA Partner Mathew D. Binns, COA Helen F. Cleondis, CPA Partner Jerry W. Grant, COA Partner Bern Butler Capilouto and Robert Andy Jones, CPA Partner Massey, CPAs Clifford E. Massey, CPA Partner Susan M. Patterson, CPA Partner Phyllis Ingram, CPA Partner David Norris, CPA Partner Carr, Riggs and Ingram, CPAs James Walker, CPA Partner Joe Gary, CPA Partner Diamond, Carmichael, Gary, Patterson and Duke, PA. Kath Carter, CPA Partner Ernst andyoung Mitch Stroud Manager of Cost Accounting Hyundai Motor Manufacturing AL Dennis Fain, CPA Partner Rusty Golden, CPA Partner Annamarie Jones, CPA Partner Martin Lee, CPA Partner Jackson Thornton and Company Patti Perdue, CPA Partner Lyvonnia Poppell, CPA Partner Daniel Thompson, CPA Partner Rena Mears, CPA Partner, Retired KPMG Will Brown, CPA Assistant Division Controller Rheem Manufacturing AL Janice Hamm, CPA Deputy State Comptroller State - AL, Dept. Of Finance Laneita Littleton, CPA Chief Budget Officer State - AL, Dept. of Mental Health Jeffrey M. Wright Chief Accountant State - AL, Dept. of Public Health Fran Copeland, CPA, CGFM Chief Financial Officer State - AL, Dept. of Public Safety Bill Flowers, CGFM, CGFO Chief Financial Officer State - AL, Dept. of Transportation Clynton Hart, Jr., CPA Partner Daniel Newman, CPA Partner John W. Parrish, CPA Partner Warren Averett LLC Adam Stephenson, CPA Partner Another advantage of the department is its Accounting Advisory Board (See Appendix B: Accounting Advisory Board). The department head in conjunction with the dean s strategic planning process expanded and formalized the Accounting Advisory Board to include 24 voting members and 2 ex- officio members. The 24 voting member board represents public practice firms (46%), government agencies, state and federal, (33%), and business organizations (21%). The School of Business Dean and the Accounting Department Head are ex- officio members of the Accounting Advisory Board. AUM accounting alumni comprise 79% of the voting members of the Accounting Advisory Board. The advisory board provides the necessary stakeholder input throughout the strategic planning process including student learning outcomes, the accounting curriculum, the strategic plan, and the professional accounting issues that will impact the program. 4 P age

13 Challenges Increased Competition Montgomery and the River Region is a competitive academic market with three local universities (two public and one private) both offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting. The main campuses of Troy University, Tuskegee University and Auburn University are within a 40- mile radius, which is near enough to attract students wanting a traditional campus experience. In addition, there are several proprietary colleges and universities that have entered the Montgomery market over the last five years. Two- year schools have become additional major competitors for entering freshmen that has reduced the numbers of sophomore students taking introductory accounting courses. Challenging Staffing Issues The Department of Accounting has been fortunate in hiring new faculty with appropriate qualifications. However, while the department is currently fully staffed by qualified individuals, three faculty members, 42.8% of the accounting faculty (See School of Business Maintenance Report, p. 6), are eligible for retirement. The lack of qualified accounting faculty will be the challenge in replacing the expertise to maintain the quality of the program. In addition, providing adequate funding for continuing faculty development, research efforts and compensation may hamper the department s ability to retain quality faculty. Decreased funding from the State of Alabama has made funding research and travel difficult. This decreased funding also makes it difficult to maintain competitive salaries, thereby making recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty more of a challenge. While grant availability exists, the AUM business faculty, in general, has limited access to research grants. However, there has been a strong bond among the accounting faculty and a commitment to the purpose of the accounting program provided in an urban environment that initially attracted the faculty and explains the low turnover. Opportunities External Funding To a significant extent, the department relies on resources provided by the University and School for its operations. For example, faculty and staff salaries and benefits are funded through the University budget. Likewise, all the department s facilities, utilities, support staff, and general operating cost are funded through the University budget. In the 2013 fiscal year, the Accounting Department s Operations & Maintenance budget totaled approximately $1.13 million. To supplement the budget, the department maintains certain externally generated funds that provide financial support for faculty travel and other activities if needed. The annual contributions from external activities are approximately $13,500 and average balance throughout the year is approximately $40,000. Stakeholder Involvement The department continues to engage the Accounting Advisory Board and other accounting professionals by having them make formal presentations at accounting club meetings and classes, presentations at the annual induction ceremony for Delta Epsilon Kappa (DEK) accounting honor society, providing internship opportunities for students, and networking events for students on campus and/or in the Montgomery professional accounting community. Because AUM has a long 5 P age

14 tradition of providing an excellent accounting education to students with a diverse background, many alumni stakeholders from public practice firms, private companies, and government have been involved in the accounting program at AUM for many years. Finally, employer and alumni stakeholders have been generous with their contributions to the accounting program, especially in the area of accounting scholarships. The program s stakeholders either provide or support several scholarships for accounting majors and several professional accounting organizations provide annual scholarship opportunities to AUM accounting majors. Enrollment Growth As previously mentioned, the Department of Accounting resides in a competitive academic market with three local universities (two public and one private) offering undergraduate degrees in accounting. The largest competitor is Troy University, which has both undergraduate and graduate accounting programs in two locations: (1) Troy, Alabama (50 miles from AUM) and downtown Montgomery (8 miles from AUM). In addition, Alabama State University has a Master s in Accounting degree and Huntingdon College, a private institution, offers a 150- hour undergraduate degree in Accounting. However, the AUM accounting program attracts the working student, both traditional and non- traditional, by offering accounting courses day, night, hybrid, and online. Course planning guides are designed for students who want to take day courses only or evening courses only both of which can be supplemented by hybrid and/or online courses. The department has a history of providing a high quality education for working students and should attract students in the future. The accounting specialization in the BSBA degree contributes significantly to the overall University enrollment (See Appendix C: Undergraduate Enrollment Data). For the academic year the accounting program generated 4.74% of the total university enrollment at the undergraduate level. This ranked the accounting program 8 out of the 27 academic units that offer undergraduate courses. The academic units were Liberal Arts, Biology, Secondary Teacher Education, and Elementary Education. Degree Programs Included in the Review This review addresses the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree (BSBA) with a specialization in Accounting. The degree does not meet the accounting concentration as defined by the Alabama State Board of Public Accountancy. In order to better serve its students, the department does offer graduate level courses in accounting. AUM accounting students can fulfill the State Board s 150- hour education requirement by taking extra accounting classes at either the undergraduate level or enroll in the MBA program that allows three elective courses which can be accounting graduate level courses. 6 P age

15 PROGRESS UPDATE ON CONCERNS FROM PREVIOUS REVIEW The peer review team report from the initial accreditation visit had only one recommendation to address prior to the next visit: Auburn University at Montgomery should closely monitor the following items and incorporate them in your ongoing strategic planning initiatives: While AUMs assurance of learning program is adequate, the Department should continue to develop the program by considering whether more learning goals and learning objectives would be helpful in guiding curricular development. The assurance of learning program is currently based on three learning goals (technical knowledge, effective use of technology, and ability to recognize and analyze ethical issues). These three goals are supported by seven specific learning objectives which are evaluated by measures that occur in three classes. Loop- closing examples exist for each learning goal. However, since assurance of learning should always be a continuous improvement process, the PRT recommends that the Department continue to evaluate whether other learning goals could be useful, whether those learning goals could be supported by additional or revised learning objectives, and whether the analysis of measures could be improved. In 2006, the department created learning goals and objectives for the accounting curriculum with assessment performed in This process has continued since that time (See Assurance of Learning section). The following is a summary of assessment progress made since the initial accreditation report. The department has revisited its assurance of learning program with the results of: (1) modifying the learning goals and objectives; (2) improving assessment measurements; and (3) restructuring the entire process. Originally, Goal 1 read as follows. Goal 1: Our students can identify and measure relevant data and report results in formats that meet the needs of the report users and adhere to legal and professional standards. After reviewing the team s recommendation, the faculty collaborated and developed three learning objectives for Goal 1 to read as follows. Objective 1a: Objective 1b: Objective 1c: Students will perform steps in the accounting cycle including the analysis of data for the preparation of adjusting entries and preparation of general purpose financial statements. Students will identify and calculate product costs. Students will prepare appropriate tax documents for individuals. After review, the faculty decided to keep original Goal 2. Goal 2: 7 P age Students can effectively use technology in an accounting environment and the related objectives.

16 Originally, Goal 3 read as follows: Goal 3: Our students can recognize and analyze ethical issues that occur in the accounting environment. After reviewing the team s recommendation, the faculty collaborated and developed two learning objectives to read as follows. Objective 3a: Objective 3b. Students will understand the codes of conduct and ethical guidelines for professional accountants. Students can recognize and analyze ethical issues that occur in the accounting environment. After reviewing the team s recommendation, the faculty collaborated to create an additional goal to read as follows. Goal 4: Students will identify internal control weaknesses, their impact and recommend mitigation for weakness. The Department of Accounting is committed to the assurance of learning process for the established learning goals within the separate accounting program. The accounting program not only has established learning goals for the program but also for each course. These learning goals are listed on the course syllabus and instructors assess the goals in various ways at different points in the semester (See Assurance of Learning section). 8 P age

17 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT The Department of Accounting strategic planning process aligns with the Auburn University System, AUM, and the School of Business strategic planning processes (See Appendix D: Accounting Department Strategic Plan, ). The department and school are mission- driven and reflect the three primary responsibilities stated in the University s mission: teaching, research and service (See School of Business Maintenance Report, pages 13-18). The mission of the department supports those of the University and School by emphasizing a high quality, student- centered accounting specialization degree. In addition, the department faculty produces quality research and is involved in the professional accounting community as well as the larger Montgomery business community. This faculty- stakeholder relationship complements the University s mission to be an integral part of the surrounding community, state, and region (AUM Strategic Plan, ). Department of Accounting Mission The Department of Accounting has a mission to support diverse constituencies, while directly supporting the mission of both the School and the University. A primary element of the department s mission is to provide a high quality accounting curriculum and sound instruction in the classroom providing its primary stakeholders (i.e. the students) with the knowledge, skills and ability to be successful in the ever- changing accounting profession. The Department of Accounting mission statement reads: In support of the missions of Auburn University Montgomery and the School of Business, the BSBA- Accounting Specialization is intended to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary for entry- level positions and advancement in accounting. The program provides an in- depth study in the basic areas of accounting and serves a market consisting of full- time, part- time, and evening students from Montgomery and the Central Alabama region. The department s objectives are: To provide students with the: o Necessary educational background for entry into and advancement in the accounting profession, o Skills necessary for success in the accounting profession and o Educational background necessary for entry into a graduate program; and To provide intellectual contributions through a mix of discipline- based contributions to practice and pedagogy that can be applied in the business and government environments and in classroom instruction. Although the education requirements to take the Uniform CPA Examination as an Alabama candidate are higher than the minimum requirements for our BSBA- Accounting Specialization, these additional requirements to sit for the CPA exam can be satisfied through the Auburn University Montgomery MBA program or by completing additional undergraduate courses. Our quality is reflected in the success of our students, alumni, and faculty, and in the enhancement of the personal and professional lives of community residents through faculty service and research. 9 P age

18 Department Vision The accounting faculty envision the department being a national and international model for accounting education and a partner of choice for educational and professional opportunities with public practice firms, government, business organizations, and non- profit entities including professional accounting organizations. Department Goals Goal 1: Serve a diverse student body with student- centered and accessible programs. Goal 2: Provide a curriculum in the accounting discipline that is current in its content and develops relevant skills as well as certification opportunities. Goal 3: Attract, maintain, and retain a diverse, highly qualified faculty. Goal 4: Provide continuing learning opportunities for our stakeholders. Goal 5: Provide opportunities for stakeholders to participate in strategic planning and assessment of the accounting program. Mission Focused The department has a published mission statement that directs the department s commitment to be responsive and adequately serve a market consisting of full- time, part- time, and evening students from Montgomery and the Central Alabama region. In addition, the Accounting Program provides a quality education for those who wish to retrain and further their employment prospects. Historically, students enrolled in AUM accounting courses are nontraditional (ages 24 or older), working (90+%) either part- time or full- time, post baccalaureates who are changing or enhancing career paths, and individuals completing the educational requirements to sit for the CPA examination as an Alabama candidate. As such, the department attempts to schedule classes to serve this diverse group of students. Knowing that our students wish to carry a full- time course load, the department schedules classes to support the students academic goals and also provides information through its Student Advising Guidelines to assist students in planning their course schedule as a day or night student. The distribution of enrollments by full- time and part- time is decided on the number of hours carried (See Table below). Most full- time students are also working students. These students typically schedule their courses in blocked time slots to allow them to be employed within the region while they are finishing school. Some students prefer to take classes during the day and work in the evening while other students work during the day and take classes during the evening. Percentage of Students Enrolled Full- Time* and Part- Time Fall 2008 through Fall 2012 Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Full - Time Part - Time *Full- Time = 12 or more semester hours Source: AUM Office of Institutional Effectiveness 10 P age

19 The table below indicates that demand for the undergraduate courses is slightly higher for evening and online courses than for day courses. Most graduate courses are cross- listed courses that can be used as electives by students in either the undergraduate accounting program or the MBA program or the post baccalaureate students taking accounting courses. The demand for these courses is primarily evening or online. Therefore, the Department attempts to serve its diverse student body by providing courses on a scheduled basis and at times that will facilitate their academic completion. Students enrolled in accounting courses during the census period at AUM were classified as freshmen (5.3%), sophomores (18.9%), juniors (21.8%), seniors (19.8%), and post baccalaureates (34.2%). With approximately 1/3 of enrollments in accounting courses being filled by individuals who wish to change their career path or enhance their career path which can include continuing their education to qualify to sit for the CPA exam, the AUM Accounting Program AUM has been and continues to serve its stakeholders and the broader River Region community. The department s mission statement includes the objective, intellectual contributions will be a mix of contributions to practice, pedagogy and discipline- based research that can be applied in the business and government environments and in classroom instruction. The faculty of the department is expected to remain current in their area of expertise by publishing research and attending Percentage of Enrollments By Course Level and by Day and Night Offerings Fall Semesters 2008 through 2013 Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Undergraduate Accounting Enrollments Day 47% 47% 49% 43% 45% Night 53% 53% 52% 40% 43% Online 0% 0% 0% 17% 12% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Graduate Accounting Enrollments Day 17% 0% 2% 0% 0% Night 83% 100% 79% 50% 95% Online 0% 0% 0% 50% 5% 100% 100% 81% 100% 100% Total Accounting Enrollments Day 42% 40% 42% 32% 35% Night 59% 60% 58% 42% 54% Online 0% 0% 0% 26% 11% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Source: AUM Office of Institutional Effectiveness & AUM Argos Database 11 P age

20 educational programs in conjunction with their teaching responsibilities. The intellectual contributions published by the accounting faculty are primarily projects that advance the knowledge and effective business practices in accounting and are used in the classroom to demonstrate the importance of maintaining competence (continuous improvement) in a very dynamic discipline. The research conducted by the department s faculty is predominately contributions to practice research (85%) that relates directly to effective professional practice (See Appendix E: Faculty Participation; specifically AACSB Table 2-1: A Five Year Summary of Intellectual Contributions). Because the accounting faculty interacts significantly with the professional community, the focus of their research is current issues and emerging trends in the accounting profession. As such, the intellectual contributions of the faculty are linked closely with the accounting profession with publications in practitioner periodicals such as The Journal of Accountancy, The Journal of Government Financial Management, The Internal Auditor, The Practical Accountant, The Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, Financial Accountability and Management, and Journal of Management Accounting. The accounting faculty conducts joint authorship with other accounting and business faculty and business professionals. The School of Business and the Department of Accounting have written guidelines that specify expectations of faculty with regard to intellectual contributions (See School of Business Maintenance Report, pages 27-28). Strategic Planning Process The School of Business engages in a systematic planning process that is intricately linked to the University s process (See the School of Business Maintenance Report, pages 15-16). Accounting faculties serve on University and School Strategic Planning Committees and Task Forces which provides information to the department for use in its strategic planning process. The development and review of the department s mission statement is part of the periodic strategic planning process for the University, School, and Department. This process occurs every five years. Stakeholders at every level (university, school, department, students, community leaders, etc.) are included in the process to provide input to the mission. The strategic plan includes goals, objectives, and action plans. As noted above, the School has a five- year strategic plan supported by departmental strategic goals and objectives, including those for the Department of Accounting. Following the spring semester of each year, strategic goals are identified for the University and the School. The department identifies goals and related objectives that are linked to goals of the University and School. These goals and objectives are discussed among the faculty members and the School Leadership Council, which includes the School dean, associate deans, and department heads. At the end of the following year, an assessment is performed of the goals and objectives established for that year. Assessments of the department s strategic goals for the census period are also provided in Appendix D. Additionally, certain high priority continuous improvement goals have been identified. These goals are as follows: Continue to provide students with opportunities for professional interaction in the form of internship opportunities, networking events, and attending professional educational events; Continue to conduct assessment of the accounting program learning goals incorporating in action plans for areas identified as less than 70 percent achievement of learning goals; 12 P age

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