School of Business accommodated students affected by accounting program change

To the editor:

I am writing to correct errors and elaborate on the article which appeared in the Feb. 15 edition of The Lamron regarding the Advanced Financial Accounting course. I appreciate your reporting on a topic of interest to School of Business accounting majors and it is important to all of us in the School of Business that the information published be accurate.

The School of Business announced in the Spring of 2004 that Advanced Financial Accounting (Acct. 303) would no longer be offered at the undergraduate level, not "at the beginning of this semester" as reported in the article.

At this point, the School of Business repeatedly advised students who were interested in sitting for the CPA exam that they needed to take the Advanced Financial Accounting course. At the beginning of the Fall 2004 Semester, an e-mail was sent reminding all Juniors and Seniors that the undergraduate Advanced course would be offered for the last time in 2004.

In the Spring of 2005, after considerable review and analysis, based on the needs of our students, we decided to offer Acct. 303 one last time in Fall 2005. Juniors and seniors could have taken the undergraduate course at this point.

The Lamron article raised the issue of cross-listing the graduate level Advanced course so that it could be taken by undergraduates. We considered doing this, but ultimately decided against it because of regulations by our accrediting body (AACSB-International), the effect on a graduate class of a large number of undergraduates (probably outnumbering the graduate students), and curriculum issues in the MS in Accounting program, where we are working hard to create and sustain linkages between the various graduate courses.

Students are not being pressured to enroll in the Masters program, as was asserted by the students in the Lamron article. The School of Business has maintained our strong array of activities directed at supporting our accounting students in the recruitment process, after earning the BS or the MS. We have consistently presented information about both the MS in Accounting program as well as about preparing for the job search after only four years.

We have done this in an even-handed manner, taking the approach that each student must decide for themselves which path to take, after hearing the facts and a variety of viewpoints.

We have tried to make the St. John Fisher option as easy as possible for our students. As part of an inter-college agreement, students going to St. John Fisher do not pay additional tuition for this course. Also, we are allowing the Fisher course to transfer in as the equivalent to our Acct. 303, even though the course does not cover several of the topics which have been part of the Acct 303 curriculum, and to count for our required accounting elective. And we are waiving, on a case-by-case basis, the number of 300-level credits required to be completed at Geneseo. These are areas of flexibility within our control that we believe help our students in this situation.

-Mary Ellen Zuckerman

Dean, School of Business