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September 2020 Department Digest and Awards

The Chambers College team is doing big things, and we want to know about them! Share through this form to see them in a future edition of Let’s Talk Business and/or our other communications vehicles. Want to recognize your colleagues for their accomplishments? Click here .

The Accounting department was informed by AACSB in May 2020 that the department has achieved accounting accreditation for five additional years.

The forensic accounting group conducted its first ever virtual residencies. Pitch-to-Prosecutor, Crime Scene Investigation - Financial, Interviewing for Deception and Moot Court were all conducted using virtual platforms. Moot court included 20 participating lawyers from Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

MAcc Coordinator Gary LeDonne, along with Accounting 200, 201, 202 TAPS Nancy Lynch and Cindy Dalton put together a teaching assistant program this summer to support large online sections of these courses. The participating MAcc students will help ensure that entry-level undergraduate students have high levels of support, quick feedback to questions and a more personalized experience.

Professors John Treu and Ji Woo Ryou had articles accepted in the Accounting Review this summer. Ji Woo Ryou also had an article accepted in the Journal of Corporate Finance.

The Board of Governors voted to accept the recommendations of the Graduate Councils for MS Forensic and Fraud Examination to continue with its current level of activity.

The American Accounting Association (AAA) recognized Lauren Cooper, D. Kip Holderness, Jr., Trevor L. Sorensen, and David A. Wood as the recipients of the 2020 Accounting Horizons Best Paper Award for their article "Robotic Process Automation in Public Accounting," published in the December 2019 issue.

Professor Christian Schaupp’s international efforts in the Honors Program continue to receive recognition. His proposal for the Virtual Exchange Faculty Grant has been accepted for his project utilizing global consulting projects with Münster University of Applied Sciences, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana.

Student Profile: Avery Gunter

He says he has a hard time saying where his home base is between North Carolina and West Virginia. That’s because Avery Gunter has found a love for his home of 10 years in Morgantown.

Avery is a senior double-major in finance and accounting, and as his life outside of college is about to begin, he finds himself busier than ever, whether it’s going to Cooper’s Rock to hike or attending on-campus lectures between classes.

Student Profile: Katherine Rexroad

With a true passion in her multiple areas of study, Katherine Rexroad has been hooked on West Virginia University’s idea of thinking big since the beginning of her college career.

Hailing from Clarksburg, W.Va., Katherine is a junior in accounting and management information systems, while also minoring in data analytics. And she readily admits that she attributes her passion for her studies to WVU and the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.

Student Profile: Khadidja Diouf

Khadidja Diouf has taken to heart the idea of being a leader of tomorrow. And what she’s experiencing at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics will help make her an even better leader.

Khadidja also dedicates her time to being a Chambers Ambassador, a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a Neidermeyer Scholar, a Milan Puskar Leadership Scholar, a research assistant, and a Diversity Ambassador for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

WVU business fraud experts requested to speak to investigative, auditing arm of Congress

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When the U.S. Government Accountability Office wanted to talk about topics related to why people commit fraud and fraud in government, it turned to the business school that is a national model for forensic accounting and fraud examination — the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University.

The GAO, known as the investigative and auditing arm of Congress, asked that Drs. Richard Rileyand Scott Fleming present to the organization in Washington, D.C., on April 10. The presentation by the two Chambers College faculty will include issues such as the fraud triangle: what drives people to commit fraud, why do they seize the opportunity to commit fraud and how do they rationalize the commission of the act. The Chambers College has completed a significant amount of research on the subject, resulting in industry and academic publications such as those recently appearing in the highly held  CPA Journal and  Fraud Magazine.

Student Profile: Trevor Kiess

Portrait of Trevor Kiess

How do you represent WVU in the fullest way possible? You become the Mountaineer mascot, as this graduate student in accounting has.

Beloved accounting professor Robert Maust passes away Monday

Robert Maust, an accounting professor for 50 years at the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, died on Monday in Richmond, Virginia, after battling a brain tumor for more than five years. He was 81.

portrait of Robert Maust

Online graduate programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Online graduate business programs in data analytics, the online MBA, and forensic accounting and fraud examination at West Virginia University have been recognized in the top 50 of the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Online Program rankings.
Business Data Analytics and Forensic & Fraud Examination programs at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics comprised the Non-MBA category in business, tied for 26th in the nation out of 150 programs. These business programs saw a substantial jump up from last year’s 63rd ranking, and include a data analytics program that had been in existence only two years at the time of the ranking, as well as a forensic accounting and fraud examination program that has been called the national model.
In the MBA category, WVU’s Online Hybrid MBA was tied for 45th out of 285 ranked programs, up two places over last year. The program has been ranked in the U.S. News top 50 for seven of the eight years it has been offered.
“Rankings are really an external validation of what we do very, very well every single day — working with our top scholars in the field, identifying the best methods to deliver excellent content in a vibrant and innovative way, and making sure that our online environment meets and exceeds the quality of a face-to-face classroom,” said Virginia Kleist, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Academic Operations and Research. “Our record breaking Business Data Analytics, Online MBA and Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination Master’s Degree programs earned their Top 50 U.S. News rankings the hard way.
“These rankings really reflect the talent and efforts to deliver a superb education for elite business school students from across the nation. I’m extraordinarily proud of our whole team, and it is a great, blended team of many players to pull this off the way that we do it.”
An architect of the nationally renowned Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination programs at WVU, Richard Riley said the ranking demonstrates a commitment to the student experience and excellence in the forensic business arena.
“We are excited to the see the continued national recognition of our Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination programs,” said Riley, the Louis F. Tanner Distinguished Professor of Public Accounting and Master of Forensic and Fraud Examination Program Coordinator, Accounting. “Our hands-on experiential classroom where students learn by working up to seven investigative cases combined with on-line access is what really sets us apart. Our graduates reflect seasoned professionals, younger professionals looking to make career adjustments and entry-level students looking for direct entry into the FAFE field. This diversity of perspectives elevates all and is reflected in our student outcomes – career mobility and success.”
More than 1,500 online programs were assessed for the 2019 rankings, with indicators focusing on graduate indebtedness, course delivery and academic and career support made available to students remotely, U.S. News said.
Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College, said the business program rankings reflect the college’s heightened commitment to deliver quality, online business education.
“We have worked hard to develop online business graduate programs that reflect a vision for what the market will demand and what will enhance the global workforce,” Reyes said. “The programs in which we have been recognized by U.S. News — Business Data Analytics, Forensic & Fraud Examination and the Online Hybrid MBA — are ones that have been forward-thinking and responsive to the needs of industry. Our new online, graduate program in cybersecurity, which was only unveiled this year and, therefore, was not reviewed, is yet another example of that. These programs are also reflective of the outstanding faculty and staff who deliver them, helping us to build upon a reputation of fueling the careers of successful students.”
Dr. Keith Bailey, WVU dean of Online Learning and Continuing Professional Education, said the rankings demonstrate the continual strategic importance of expanding access to high-quality programs through online education.
“As an R1 institution that offers numerous online programs, we are continually reviewing curriculum, working with faculty and listening to student recommendations to improve and grow our online offerings,” said Bailey. “Our goal with online learning is to be constantly evolving, and seeing continual increases in rankings illustrates the importance of online programming at West Virginia University.”
WVU also entered the U.S. News rankings in the engineering and education disciplines in the online graduate rankings. For the third consecutive year, WVU’s online graduate program in software engineering has been ranked in the top 30. The program, offered by the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, was tied for 30th this year in the U.S. News rankings.
Online graduate education programs offered by the WVU College of Education and Human Services were in the top 100, and represented the biggest move up in the rankings for the University. The programs moved from 190th last year to a tie for 77th this year out of 299 ranked programs.

B&E alum returns to WVU as accounting department executive-in-residence

When it comes to the Mountain State and West Virginia University, you could say Gary LeDonne has come full circle. Growing up in Fairmont, West Virginia, he earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Fairmont State University and then went on to earn his Master of Professional Accountancy (now known as the Master of Accountancy or MAcc) in 1985 at the WVU College of Business and Economics.

After graduation, he stepped out of West Virginia and into a 30-year-long career with one of the Big Four accounting firms, then Ernst & Whinney (which became Ernst & Young and eventually its current name of EY), which took him to many different areas of the country.