The results of the study appeared in the journal Issues in Accounting Education in fall 1995 in an article titled "A Proposal for Measuring Scholarly Productivity of Accounting Faculty." Over a 25-year period, the study assessed "both the quality and quantity of the publication records at over 700 institutions nationwide using 40 journals," according to the authors, James R. Hasselback and Alan Reinstein.
Tennessee Tech placed in the top 25 percent among all the schools studied. Of the nearly 300 programs studied that are accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, the university finished in the top half. The study included some of the most prestigious schools in the country, such as Harvard, Yale and Rice Universities, as well as some of the Southeast's largest and best institutions, such as the universities of Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.
"We should be very proud of our position for two reasons," Charles Caldwell, chair of the Department of Accounting and Business Law, explains. "First, Tennessee Tech accounting faculty have only been expected to publish research since we became accredited." (The undergraduate business degree program received accreditation in 1978, while the graduate program earned accreditation in 1981. The undergraduate accounting program received a separate accreditation in 1986.)
"Second, the university compared favorably with numerous institutions that grant doctoral degrees and that have resources far exceeding Tennessee Tech's to support research and publication efforts."
Caldwell points out that many faculty support their research projects with their own money. "It shows great dedication on their part," he notes.
The authors of the study cite numerous older studies that point to the importance of published research as a way to evaluate the quality of both faculty and their programs. Because the university performed so well in a study that looks at both quantity and quality, Caldwell says he is "extremely proud" of the faculty's achievement.
"The findings of this study underscore what Tennessee Tech's business school has contended all along: that students who want a high quality education in business do not have to attend a larger university or pay the high tuition charged by most regional universities," says Caldwell. "Tennessee Tech's accounting department offers both educational value and affordability."