“ILLINOIS is the best!”
It’s a claim uttered loud and proud in the streets of Urbana-Champaign, and even in cities throughout Illinois and across the United States; but what about other countries? How well does
the ILLINOIS brand carry across Europe, the Middle East, or the Far East?
A strong indication was heard loud and clear this past summer at the European Accounting Association’s annual congress held in Istanbul, Turkey. While mingling with academics and professionals from all around the world, Cecille Medina ‘13, a current honors student in the College on a study abroad trip with 34 of her classmates, put the simple question to Shawki Farag (’63 MSA, ‘67 PhD). “How well is the University of Illinois viewed by accounting professionals outside of the United States,” she asked.
The well-respected academic and professor at the American University in Cairo exclaimed for everyone to hear, “ILLINOIS is the best!”
“It wasn’t hard to see the students knew then that they were among friends,” said John Hedeman, assistant dean of honors who was traveling with the students on a fact finding mission, visiting corporations to learn how they operate and how globalization had impacted their operations. “To say it was a moment of pride would be an understatement. It opened their eyes as to how well regarded ILLINOIS is around the world.”
The students were pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome they received at the reception.
“I think a lot of us just expected to be asked who we were and why we were in Turkey,” said Mike Lyons ‘13. “The surprise was how interested everyone was in our perspective and opinions about accounting. We felt there was this enormous respect for ILLINOIS.”
The reception was sponsored by Elsevier Science, Inc. in conjunction with the College of Business Department of Accountancy. Elsevier publishes Accountancy’s star journal, The International Accounting Journal (TIAJ).
“The purpose of the reception held each year at the EAA is to engage authors to submit high quality research papers for consideration by [TIAJ], a compendium of well respected research papers by authors from all over the world,” said Rashad Abdel-khalik, Ph.D. ’72, professor of accountancy, editor of TIAJ, and director of the V.K. Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research of Accounting. “The emphasis is on accounting in an increasingly interdependent global economy and we invite authors to submit manuscripts that help explain current international accounting practices.
The excellent student interaction energized the attendees to think more about the value ILLINOIS adds to the profession.”
Professor Ira Solomon, head of the accountancy department at ILLINOIS and a leader in the field of accountancy, was also ebullient in his praise. Describing the student’s decorum as they spoke with some of the most prestigious accounting scholars in the world, he declared the reception as “the highlight of my academic year.”