Scholarship, Education, Leadership and Service Inform Bentley Professorship Appointments
Bentley University is pleased to announce the appointment of Mahendra Gujarathi and Jay Thibodeau as the university’s Rae D. Anderson Professors of Accountancy. Both have made their mark in scholarship, education and service for the university, for academia more broadly, and for the profession. The appointments recognize their commitment to scholarship with national and international impact, to education at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and executive), and to the leadership and peer mentoring roles they play.
“Bentley’s Department of Accountancy has a deserved international reputation for distinction thanks to the commitment of its outstanding faculty members,” says Mike Page, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bentley. “Mahendra and Jay stand as exemplars of this academic excellence – as teachers, as scholars, and thanks to their active and willing service to the university and the profession.”
For more than three decades, Professor of Accountancy Mahendra Gujarathi has taught a broad spectrum of undergraduate, graduate and executive education courses in financial reporting, financial analysis, corporate finance, strategic cost management and international accounting. He received the Day MBA Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010 and the Adamian Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006.
“Trying something new to promote interesting, relevant and rigorous learning in the classroom for students and for me, has been a constant endeavor throughout my career,” Gujarathi says. “It is the breath that keeps me going and has made my classroom experience as enjoyable today as it was when I started the journey 30 years ago.”
Curricular innovations that Gujarathi has successfully implemented at Bentley include the design and delivery of international accounting courses, the use of technology and service-learning in accounting curriculum, a synchronous accountancy course using Saba Centra software, and the development of a financial statement analysis course for the MS program in Global Financial Analysis. He also developed a two-course sequence for the Accountancy honors program that presented an integrative perspective of accounting, corporate finance, and economics and business strategy.
His pedagogical initiatives have not gone unrecognized. Among awards and recognition are the Bentley Curricular Service-Learning Award, Bentley Innovation in Teaching Award, and a grant from the PwC Foundation for incorporating IFRS in accounting curriculum. His research on diverse topics such as the efficacy of using ERP software, service learning initiative, and technology-based solutions in accounting education is published in the Journal of Accountancy, Accounting Horizons, International Journal of Accounting, Issues in Accounting Education and CPA Journal.
Nationally ranked as #1 case-writer in accounting, his work is published in Issues in Accounting Education and address important unresolved issues presented in a decision-oriented context to which students can relate well. Cases have been used at 30-plus institutions both in the U.S. and overseas including Boston University, Georgia State University, University of Wisconsin, Tuck School of Business Administration, and University of Wisconsin. Gujarathi was recently appointed adjunct professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
Jay Thibodeau has a track record of excellence in research, teaching and service. He is the only professor in Bentley’s history to win the Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Gregory H. Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising. He is also nationally recognized in all three areas.
Since the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, he has taken on educational roles with Big Four audit firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, including his role as a master instructor for KPMG’s National In-Charge Audit training program in which he leads their national instructors in delivering course materials to train newly promoted in-charge auditors across the United States. His work in the field provides concrete and actionable ideas to improve existing auditing and accounting courses, and has completed experimental research studies in areas such as the efficacy of a fraud knowledge tool on risk assessments and planning judgments, and the impact of metaphorical teaching on auditors’ judgment processes.
“I strongly believe that the problems of accounting and auditing practice should influence the research agenda of academic accountants,” Thibodeau notes. “Scholarship should also be focused on the improvement of auditing and accounting education.”
He co-wrote two leading books, Auditing and Accounting Cases: Investigating Issues of Fraud and Professional Ethics (Irwin/McGraw-Hill, fourth edition) and Auditing and Assurance Services (Irwin/McGraw-Hill, fifth Edition), and has published more than 40 articles, books and book chapters.
Thibodeau played a critical role in the development of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the American Accounting Association (AAA) international Access to Auditors program to generate research on issues that are relevant to audit practice while providing doctoral students and tenure-track professors with access to audit firm staff to complete data collection protocols. In April 2013, he was elected to be the incoming President of the Auditing Section of the AAA, which includes one year each as vice president-academic, president and past-president.
Committed to curriculum innovation, Thibodeau recently collaborated with the market-leading provider of electronic confirmations, Confirmation.com, to develop a case that provides students with the opportunity to electronically confirm an audit client’s cash balances. The case has been used by more than 120 different colleges and universities throughout the country.
Observes Page: “I cannot think of any individuals more qualified to receive the honor of being named Rae D. Anderson professors than Mahendra and Jay, and fully expect them to elevate these named positions to even greater heights through their world-class research, through the direct impact they have on their students, and through their collegial approaches.”