These are tough times for academic departments around the world.  Hiring is down, budgets are tight, many faculty are already teaching overloads, and workshop series and PhD seminars are often the first to come under the Dean’s scrutiny when looking for places to trim costs.

So as the FASRI Editorial Board prepares for the AAA Annual Meetings, one task has been to write a document making the case for PhD program directors and department chairs to consider incorporating our Round Table Discussion Series and blog into their formal activities.  As Bob Lipe puts it in the attached document:

Is your department looking to interject more topical financial reporting issues in your seminars?  Do you have students constantly asking, “where can I find out about research issues that are important to practice?”  Would you like to hear what standard setters and other researchers think about contemporary issues?  The Financial Accounting Standards Research Initiative (FASRI) engages in activities that can help Department Chairs and PhD Program Coordinators incorporate financial reporting research issues into their PhD program.  And participation in the activities is free!

Bob goes on to suggest a few possible ways to incorporate FASRI activities into your department:

  • A required seminar built around the Round Table Discussions.  Students could be assigned the pre-session readings along with relevant research papers.  Then they could all watch and listen to the Round Table with the computer image projected on a screen and the audio played through speakers.  They can type questions or comments during the session. The seminar could conclude with a discussion of potential research topics.
  • A series of “brown-bag” sessions for students and faculty interested in financial reporting issues.  This could provide a cost-effective alternative to hosting guest speakers each week.  The projector screen and speakers set up would be the best format.
  • Individual students with interests in standard setting research can be encouraged to participate in the Round Tables via their computer and a headset with microphone.

We are glad to be able to provide this type of service, and we are confident that as departments around the country world start to get involved, our Round Tables and blog content will benefit tremendously.  Let us know if you have other ideas on how we might work with your department.