Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

A History of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urgana-Champaign / Accountancy at Ole Miss: A Sesquicentennial Salute / the University of Virginia's McIntire School

Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

A History of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urgana-Champaign / Accountancy at Ole Miss: A Sesquicentennial Salute / the University of Virginia's McIntire School

Article excerpt

Norton M. Bedford, A History of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana: Center for International Education and Research in Accounting, 164 pp., price not available)

Dale L. Flesher, Accountancy at Ole Miss: A Sesquicentennial Salute (Oxford: University of Mississippi School of Accountancy, 1997, 92 pp., price not available)

William G. Shenkir and William R. Wilkerson, The University of Virginia's Mclntire School of Commerce, The First Seventy-Five Years 1921-1996 (Charlottesville, VA: McIntire School of Commerce Foundation, 1996, 170 pp., price not available)

Reviewed by Kevin F. Brown Drexel University

To an observer of the current, sophisticated state of the many programs for business education, these programs may appear to be inseparable components of their universities. Notable characteristics of such business programs include welldeveloped curricula, organized faculties, consistent student bodies, and strong ties to the communities which the programs serve. Given such characteristics, these business programs may seem timeless, without any beginning. However, these programs did not always exist, and the characteristics which they display today are the result of development over time. Histories of such programs communicate how these developments occurred. An understanding of the historical evolution of programs provides an important context for evaluating current developments and challenges. Unfortunately, the body of histories of business programs is not large. Past contributions to this literature include C. Aubrey Smith's Fifty Years of Education for Business at the University of Texas [1962] and Maurice Moonitz's History of Accounting at Berkeley [1986]. However, new contributions are being added to this literature and additional histories can be expected. The purpose of this essay is to provide a brief review of the content and style of three recent additions - The University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce by William G. Shenkir and William R. Wilkerson, Accountancy at Ole Miss: A Sesquicentennial Salute by Dale L. Flesher, and A History of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by Norton M. Bedford.

THE MCINTIRE SCHOOL OF COMMERCE

With 141 pages of text, Shenkir and Wilkerson's The University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce is the longest of the three histories. Part I covers the first 50 years of the McIntire School and takes up about one-third of the text. Part II, which represents the remainder of the text, spans the next 25 years of the School's history. Appendices list faculty members, trustees, student scholarships, and awards. While Part I follows a chronological ordering, the chapters of Part II are divided among several major themes, such as curriculum, faculty, students, and administration.

Shenkir and Wilkerson begin their history with a fascinating background of the founding of the McIntire School in 1921. While the study of economics dates to the early years of the University of Virginia, the effort to include business and commerce in the curriculum began in 1904 with the appointment of Edwin A. Alderman, the first president of the University of Virginia. Alderman, realizing the potential importance of business education in a modern economy, brought Thomas Walker Page to Virginia to establish the economics and commercial curriculum. The first step in this process was the founding of the Wilson School of Economics, made possible by a $500,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie. As business practices continued to develop, spurred on by the economic demands of World War I, Alderman sought to provide more resources for education focusing on business administration and commerce. A gift of $200,000 by Paul G. McIntire in 1920 resulted in a separate school for such instruction named in his honor [Wilkerson and Shenkir, 1996].

As a state institution, the University existed to provide Virginians with an education. …

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