Management And Accounting Web

Leslie, D. W. 2008. Accounting Faculty in U.S. Colleges and Universities: Status and Trends, 1993-2004. A Report of the American Accounting Association.

Note by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Advice for Ph.D. Students and New Faculty | Educations Issues Main Page

From 1993 to 2004 full-time, tenure-eligible accounting faculty at institutions with baccalaureate degrees declined by 19.11 percent. Over that same period, full-time non-tenure eligible accounting faculty decreased by 7.7 percent and all accounting faculty (full time and part-time) at all types of institutions (including 2 year) decreased by 13.3 percent from 20,321 to 17,610.

The following tables show these trends. Tables 1 and 2 show faculty by tenure-eligible, and non-tenure eligible at institutions with baccalaureate degrees. The third table includes all accounting faculty at all types of institutions by tenure status.

NSOPF Estimate Number of Full-Time, Tenure-Eligible Faculty*
Institutions with Baccalaureate Degrees or Higher
Field 1993 2004 % Change
Accounting 6,331 5,121 -19.11
All other Business Fields 16,993 20,352 +20.20
* Adapted from Table 1 based on the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty

NSOPF Estimate Number of Full-Time, Non-Tenure-Eligible Faculty*
Institutions with Baccalaureate Degrees or Higher
Field 1993 2004 % Change
Accounting 1,169 1,079 -7.7
All other Business Fields 3,649 6,148 +68.0
* Adapted from Table 2 based on the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty

Number of All Accounting Faculty at All Types of Institutions
(including 2-Year) by Tenure Status*
Status 1993 2004 % Change
Tenured 5,825 4,779 -18.0
On-Track 2,384 1,909 -19.9
Not Eligible 12,112 10,922 -9.8
Total 20,321 17,610 -13.3
* Adapted from Table 3

While the number of accounting faculty were declining, undergraduate enrollment was increasing. According to an AICPA estimate, undergraduate accounting enrollment increased by 12.3 percent from 1999 to 2003.

AICPA Estimated Total Undergraduate Enrollment in Accounting*
1999-2000 2003-2004 % Change
Undergraduate Enrollment 127,960 143,735 +12.33
* Adapted from Table 4

The data on accounting faculty shows very different trends across different types of institutions. For example, full-time faculty at doctoral granting universities increased by 7.68 percent over the 1993-2004 period, while the number of full-time faculty at non-doctoral granting institutions declined by 30.69 percent. The table below shows how the non-doctoral institutions have been dealing with this problem. The decline in full-time faculty at non-doctoral institutions (-1,430) was partially offset by an increase in part-time faculty (+841).

Number of Full- and Part-Time Accounting Faculty by Type of Institutions*
Full-Time Faculty Part-Time Faculty
Type of Institution 1993 2004 % Change 1993 2004 % Change
Research/Doctoral 2,853 3,072 +7.68 2,163 851 -60.66
4-Year Non-Doctoral 4,572 3,169 -30.69 2,714 3,555 +30.99
2-Year 2,274 2,287 +5.72 4,601 3,911 -15.00
Total 9,699 8,528 -12.07 9,478 8,317 -12.25
* Adapted from Table 5

It appears that the trends indicated by this study will continue. Accounting programs are producing approximately 140 Ph.D.s per year while faculty retirements are estimated to be about 500 per year. In addition, approximately one-half of the Ph.D. degrees granted in the U.S. are to non-U.S. citizens who might not stay to teach in the U.S.

For more recent estimates of the accounting faculty shortage see Kachelmeier, S. J., S. Madeo, D. Plumlee, J. H. Pratt, G. Krull and G. Thornton. 2005. Report of the AAA/AAPLG Ad Hoc Committee to assess the Supply and Demand for Accounting Ph.D.s. A joint project of the American Accounting Association and the Accounting Programs Leadership Group. (Note).


Related publications and summaries:

AACSB International. 2003. Sustaining Scholarship in Business Schools. AACSB.

Albrecht, W. S. and R. J. Sack. 2000. Accounting Education: Charting the Course through a Perilous Future. Accounting education Series (16): American Accounting Association.

Behn, B. K., G. A. Carnes, G. W. Krull Jr., K. D. Stocks and P. M. J. Reckers. 2008. Accounting Doctoral Education - 2007 A Report of the Joint AAA/APLG/FSA Doctoral Education Committee. Issues in Accounting Education (August): 357-367.

Bergner, J. 2009. Pursuing a Ph.D. in accounting: Walking in with your eyes open: Here's how the doctoral track looks through the eyes of one student. Journal of Accountancy web-exclusive article. (Mentioned in the March issue as an AICPA resource on page 40). (JOA Link).

Beyer, B., D. Herrmann, G. K. Meek and E. T. Rapley. 2010. What it means to be an accounting professor: A concise career guide for doctoral students in accounting. Issues in Accounting Education (May): 227-244. (Summary).

Bishop, C. C., D. M. Boyle, R. R. Clune and D. R. Hermanson. 2012. A different model for doctoral education in accounting and auditing: Student and faculty reflections. Current Issues in Auditing 6(1): A1-A16. (Note).

Bonner, P. 2010. New pathways to accounting excellence. Journal of Accountancy (October): 56-60. (Interview with Pathways Commission Chair Bruce Behn related to charting a national higher education strategy for the next generation of accountants).

Bonner, P. 2012. Bolstering the future of accounting education. Journal of Accountancy (October): 38-39.

Boyle, D., D. Hermanson and M. Mensah. 2011. Addressing the accounting and auditing faculty shortage: Practitioners' perceptions of academia. Current Issues in Auditing 5(1): A70-A85.

Boyle, D. M., B. W. Carpenter, D. R. Hermanson and M. O. Mensah. 2013. The accounting doctorate shortage: Opportunities for practitioners. Strategic Finance (May): 30-36. (Note).

Campbell, T. L., J. R. Hasselback, R. H. Hermanson and D. H. Turner. 1990. Retirement demand and the market for accounting doctorates. Issues in Accounting Education (Fall): 209-221.

Gary, R. F., C. A. Denison and M. L. Bouillon. 2011. Can obtaining an accounting Ph.D. provide a positive financial return? Issues in Accounting Education (February): 23-38. (Summary).

Grasso, L. 2008. The accounting Ph.D. shortage: Crisis or opportunity? Cost Management (March/April): 15-25. (Note).

Hunt, S. C., T. V. Eaton and A. Reinstein. 2009. Accounting faculty job search in a seller's market. Issues in Accounting Education (May): 157-185.

Martin, J. R. Not dated. The accounting doctoral shortage and opportunities to teach accounting. Management And Accounting Web.

Martin, J. R. 2016. AACSB International 2013 and 2016. 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 Salary Survey Reports: Executive Summary. AACSB. Management And Accounting Web.

McNair, C. J. and B. Richards. 2008. Unintended consequences: Death of the teacher-scholar. Cost Management (January/February): 21-28. (Summary).

Meyer, M. J. and P. L. Titard. 2000. Those who can ... teach. Want to exchange your Palm Pilot for a blackboard, get a PhD and go back to college as a teacher? The time to do it is now. Journal of Accountancy. (July): 49-58. (Note).

Meyers, R. 2006. Teaching for the love of it. Journal of Accountancy (June): 30-38.

Plumlee, R. D., S. J. Kachelmeier, S. A. Madeo, J. H. Pratt and G. Krull. 2006. Assessing the shortage of accounting faculty. Issues in Accounting Education (May): 113-125.

Reigle, D. 2008. Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits. AICPA.

Ruff, M., J. C. Thibodeau and J. C. Bedard. 2009. A profession's response to a looming shortage: Closing the gap in the supply of accounting faculty. Journal of Accountancy (March): 36-41. (JOA Link).

The Pathways Commission. 2012. The Pathways Commission on Higher Education: Charting a National Strategy for the Next Generation of Accountants. American Accounting Association and American Institute of CPAs. (Note).

Trapnell, J. E., N. Mero, J. R. Williams and G. W. Krull, Jr. 2009. The accounting doctoral shortage: Time for a new model. Issues in Accounting Education (November): 427-432. (Note).