If you still believe the out-dated stereotype about accountants, then you've never been to an UBCOW (Universities of British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington) event. UBCOW research symposiums have been held each year at one of the three business schools since 1978. This year's event took place at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business. Accounting faculty members and Ph.D. students from all three universities converged at the Lillis Business Complex for a lively exchange of ideas on February 17-18.
"The purpose of the UBCOW symposium is to allow faculty to share their research and get feedback from other accounting scholars," said Professor Helen Gernon, head of the accounting department. Gernon explained that the expertise of Lundquist faculty members provides insights to faculty at the University of Washington and University of British Columbia and vice versa. "The event also enables scholars, especially junior faculty members and Ph.D. students, to build collegial relationships that they will have for the rest of their careers," added Gernon.
Assistant Professor Angela Gore, who presented her research at the event, said she found the feedback from the symposium particularly valuable, noting that she is already incorporating suggestions from attendees to bolster her arguments.
"It's a very energetic and inquisitive group. No one's afraid to give comments," said Gore. "People that present at this symposium usually end up with quality research published in the top journals."
Gore's working paper, "Determinants and Implications of Municipal Cash Holdings," is among the first research projects to investigate the reasons why many U.S. cities amass large amounts of surplus funds and the consequences of doing so. The research has implications regarding the fiscal responsibilities of local governments.
According to Assistant Accounting Professor Lisa Kutcher, who served as academic director of the symposium, feedback about the event from faculty at all three institutions was positive. "The constructive criticism and feedback greatly benefited the works in progress of all presenters," she said.
Kutcher also noted that UW and UBC attendees were treated to a tour of the Lillis Business Complex by Charles E. Johnson Professor of Accounting Dale Morse. Faculty members from those institutions were particularly impressed with the facility, gaining insights that their schools might incorporate while pursuing plans for their new buildings in the next few years.