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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Profession of Accounting: Where It Came From, Where It Has Been, and Where It's Going

Gary Previts, Ph.D. - Distinguished University Professor and E. Mandel de Windt Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development at Case Western Reserve University

Friday February 21, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Some of the most important aspects of public affairs are hidden in plain sight – and not even part of government. It is easy to forget about accounting until something goes wrong. Yet it might be surprising that scandals are rare, for there is an inherent conflict of interest in the business model: accountants are supposed to be a check on the people who pay for their services. Like any other business, accounting firms also are products of economic forces and social norms that might not favor integrity or the long view.

One of the major firms, Ernst & Young, began as Ernst & Ernst on East 9th Street a century ago. In August Ernst & Young donated its archives to CWRU. Professor Previts, co-author of A History of Accountancy in the United States, is also one of the profession's leaders, having served as President of the American Accounting Association and a member of many oversight boards. Join us as he introduces us to the past, present, and future of a core institution of both capitalism and democracy.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

The first of Gary Previts’ two research streams is the development of accounting thought and institutions, and his work investigates the corporate origins and ongoing events that have shaped contemporary accounting practices. His second area of focus is on regulation of accounting disclosures. In this research, he has worked with coauthors to review and evaluate the contributions of principal policy setters such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Government Accounting Standards Board. He has also worked with agencies such as the Government Accountability Office, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board regarding their oversight and regulatory responsibilities. His experiences assist in understanding how – at any given time – the prevailing economy provides context for discussion and resolution of issues.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

February 28: The Pursuit of Wellness - Case Western Reserve University's New Wellness Program With Elizabeth R. Click, ND, RN, CWP, University Medical Director and Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

March 7: Shared Success: Law Enforcement, Faith-Based Organizations, and the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program.
With Daniel Flannery Ph.D., Semi J. and Ruth W. Begun Professor and Director, Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education.

March 14: Spring Break

March 21: What the Jewish Experience Tells Us About Religion in America Today.
With Peter J. Haas, Abba Hillel Silver Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair, Department of Religious Studies.

March 28: Muslims in the United States.
With Justine Howe, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.

April 4: The “Problem” of Teen Mothers.
With Mary Erdmans, Associate Professor of Sociology.

April 11: Is the Federal Government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States Anti-Asian? With Timothy Webster, Assistant Professor of Law and Director, East Asian Legal Studies. ***Alternate Site: Mather House Room 100.***

April 18: Is Cleveland Dying?
With John A. Begala, Executive Director, Center for Community Solutions.

April 25: Pope Francis: So Far. With Paul V. Murphy, Professor of History and Director, Institute of Catholic Studies, John Carroll University
February 17, 2014

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Iran’s 1979 Revolution: Theory and Beyond

Arang Keshavarzian, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 12:00pm - 1:45pm, Thwing Center, 1914 Lounge, Case Western Reserve University, 11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Consortium on Middle East Studies (NOCMES)

Professor Keshavarzian is also the Director of Undergraduate Studies at New York University. He is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and is author of Bazaar and State in Iran: Politics of the Tehran Marketplace (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Immigration, Inc.

Jeffrey Kaye, freelance journalist, writer, and producer, Thursday, February 20, 2014, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Clark Hall-Room 309, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

Journalist & author Jeffrey Kaye discusses the economic forces that promote and encourage immigration. The public in the U.S. and other industrialized countries tend to view the politically-charged topic through a legal lens, often seeing migration as a matter of personal choice. Kaye examines the policies of businesses and governments in both rich and poor nations to show how globalization and economic policies have helped create patterns of international migration.

Jeffrey Kaye is a freelance journalist, writer, and producer. He is the author of Moving Millions: How Coyote Capitalism Fuels Global Immigration (Wiley, 2010). He worked as a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour for 25 years and was a longtime contributor to "World Report," the public affairs program of HDNet television. Kaye has traveled the world as a reporter, and is a frequent public speaker and commentator, chiefly on the subject of immigration.

Can Globalization Be Governed?

A Global Currents Lecture with Tony Porter, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, McMaster University, Thursday, February 27, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., Spartan Room, Thwing Center, 11111 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106.

To advocates like Tom Friedman, "Globalization" is a wonderful and natural process to which people need to adjust. To some critics, it is a dangerous pattern that needs to be resisted through public authority. And to others it is a process that is not natural at all, but encouraged by public policy that serves some interests at the expense of others.

If globalization were governed, how would that work, and in whose interest? Are there, in fact, efforts to govern aspects of globalization, such as international finance or global environmental threats, now? If so, how do or can they work, in the absence of world government? Tony Porter is one of the world's leading scholars of business regulation and global governance.

This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

February 2014




































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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