The mission of the Sawyer Business School's Accounting Department is to provide a quality accounting education in contemporary subject matters, to prepare students to face challenges of a global business environment, and to appreciate the value of ethical behavior and reputation. It is our mission to earn an excellent reputation for the quality of our graduates, our teaching, and research, as well as advancing relationships within the professional communities.
Our vision is based on advancing the mission of Suffolk University, the Sawyer Business School, and the Accounting Department. Our plan embodies our goals and provides the basis to pursue our vision of the Department's future based on the following guiding principles:
- We value providing opportunities to qualified individuals from diverse cultures and economies worldwide and providing them exceptional educational value and preparation for lifelong learning.
- We value quality service, teaching, and research, and we continually aspire to monitor and improve our department.
- We value the input of our students, faculty, alumni, employers of our graduates; and business, governmental, and nonprofit partners in planning, implementing and assessing our curriculum and programs.
- We value the contributions of diversity to the learning experience.
- Striving for excellence through continuous improvement is the cornerstone of all our activities.
- Every aspect of our conduct is characterized by high standards of ethics and integrity.
Central to our vision is the belief that we offer high-quality programs of instruction for undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds and interests. The department reflects, through its students, faculty and staff, a diverse multicultural and multinational character. Equally important is our support for scholarly inquiry that values scholarship in all its forms including the generation of knowledge, the integration and dissemination of knowledge, creative activity and scholarly reflection. The department aims to achieve its overall goal of preparing students for the challenges of a global business environment through these ideals.
We focus on the following goals to realize our mission:
- Deliver a quality program: We aim to provide our students with a wide array of relevant courses and professional interactions in order to allow our students to build the skills and experience to become experts in the fields of auditing, financial planning, tax compliance, and financial analysis. We cover all necessary topics to prepare students for the CPA exam, and offer numerous opportunities for our students to network with professionals in the fields of accountancy and taxation.
- Recruit competent faculty: We actively recruit highly qualified faculty who are either academically qualified, or have spent numerous years as professionals in their industry and are deemed professionally qualified.
- Create a supportive environment
- Enhance faculty intellectual contribution
- Maintain program relevance
- Encourage faculty excellence
- Recognize the importance of global business environment
- Continuously improve our relationship with our various stakeholders
- Focus on students' career success
- Inculcate ethical behavior in our students
Pursuant with our mission and vision, and consistent with those adopted by the Sawyer Business School, we have the following objectives:
- To highlight contemporary global business and accounting issues in all of our programs.
- To be recognized as a leading accounting program by prospective and current students, and the business community we seek to serve.
- To pursue an integrative view of business and accounting, spanning a range of functional areas and links between the private and public sectors.
- To sustain dedicated, qualified and diverse accounting faculty whose work and influence within and beyond the classroom supports our mission.
- To reinforce our global emphasis by maintaining a vibrant mixture of regional, national, and international students.
- To invest heavily in the careers of our students by optimizing the mix of skills and experiences that can contribute to future career success.
- To develop and maintain relevant, cutting-edge programs informed by our intellectual contributions and the latest ideas and business practices.
- To promote lifelong learning across the programs and services we offer to students, alumni and the business community.
- To measure ourselves against the best, and in particular against other business schools in overlapping private, regional, and global situations.
- To maintain our focus on ethics.
Strategic Core Competencies Required to Fulfill Our Mission
The Accounting Department expects the members of its faculty to strive their utmost to fulfill the Department’s mission and in so doing always to be improving semester by semester, year by year. Members of faculty are expected to place equal emphasis on teaching and research; these two activities constitute roughly 80% of our faculty's time and energy. Dissemination of knowledge through teaching, and through such outlets as academic and professional publications, presentations to academic and professional audiences, and the development and publication of instructional materials are encouraged and expected.
The Accounting Department also values meaningful service as a vital component of fulfilling its mission. Service to students and colleagues, the Accounting Department, the Sawyer Business School and Suffolk University, and to the various academic and professional bodies of accounting is encouraged.
Members of faculty are especially encouraged in their teaching, research, and service activities to interact with the professional practice of accounting, in all its forms, in ways that are appropriate to advancing the mission of the Accounting Department.
While all faculty must maintain at least a minimal level of activity in each area, we encourage faculty to develop diverse interests. Activity levels are expected to vary with rank and must conform to the Business School's Promotion and Tenure standards, as well as AACSB accreditation standards and the Business School's AQ/PQ standards.
We seek external validation of our efforts to continuously improve the overall quality of the Accounting Department programs through continued AACSB-I Accounting Accreditation.
Overview of the Strategy Formulation Process
The departmental strategic focus is the responsibility of the Accounting Department faculty with input from various professional and academic stakeholders and our deans’ office. Our mission, vision, and objectives serve as the basis for all department strategic decisions. The mission statement reflects our commitment to be responsive and adequately serve our stakeholders, especially those operating within the accounting profession. Our vision and objectives help define items important to us in achieving our mission.
The current cycle of the strategic planning process began in the spring of 2009. Regular department meetings (generally monthly) since then resulted in mission, vision, and objectives statements that are reviewed by the external Accounting Advisory Board (generally at an annual gathering) and revised as needed. The mission is prominently displayed in the accounting office, is presented as part of the syllabi for accounting courses, and is included with advising materials.
We intend to develop our strategy over a rolling five-year period. Progress toward strategic objectives will be reviewed annually, and any revisions to our strategy and objectives will be included in an updated rolling five-year agenda. Our continuous improvement process requires us to define an action plan each year based on our strategic accomplishments. We use inputs from our stakeholders, our strategically-related assessment efforts and our assurance of learning initiatives to identify action items. At the end of each academic year, we prioritize our initiatives and implement a plan to accomplish the most important items. We continuously monitor our progress toward achieving our objectives.
Consistent with the Sawyer Business School's strategic initiatives, we see three important groups of stakeholders in all our activities: students, the internal community (faculty and administration), and the external community (alumni and the accounting and corporate world). The students provide a bridge between the other two stakeholders, and therefore, a focus for our continuing efforts.
As we prepare our students for the future, their expected learning objectives will fall into three main categories: curriculum content (such as subject and business knowledge), personal and career development (such as leadership and networking skills), and ethical behavior and decision-making. We also expect our graduates to pursue professional certification.
We believe that an educational focus of professional and ethical competence with a global vision utilizes our current competencies while responding to market demand. If we support this focus across all courses in the accounting program, it can lead to a substantive change in what we stand for, in the content of our programs, and a significant improvement in our standing and reputation. We have identified three schools as aspirational in achieving our mission. We intend to strive toward the excellence exemplified by American University, Santa Clara University, and Marquette University. We will endeavor to achieve excellence in our master's and baccalaureate programs similar to that achieved by these universities.