Education Committee Report, 2003 - 2004

This year the Education Committee continued in the strategic direction established by previous two chairs, Michel Guindon and Linda Thorne. It was a relatively easy task due to the continued participation on the committee of many of last year’s members. Our members were: Ron Francis, Chair, Wendy Brown, Lynda Carson, David Drake, Sally Gunz, Robin Hemmingsen, Janet Morrill, Nicola Young, and Daniel Zéghal.  

The Committee conducted its business through a face-to-face meeting at the time of the September 2002 Board Meeting, a number of teleconferences, some phone calls, and numerous e-mails. I am pleased to report that for the most part, the program set out at the September planning meeting has been accomplished. The details follow.  

1. Sessions at Conference, 2003

The Committee determined that the currency of competency-based curricula warranted a close look particularly as to the potential impact on our University and College classrooms and modes of instruction and testing. A second area of emphasis was innovation. Here we wanted to explore some appropriate frameworks and to share experiences. A session on standards update was also planned along with a plenary on Applied Research. It was with regret that we deferred the other good ideas discussed to another time.  

We give thanks to Janet and Linda, Lynda, Nicky, Wendy, David and Robin, and Merridee and their contacts for making the program a reality.  

2. Case Competition

The Committee agreed that the case competition should continue to be run on an annual basis with two awards being granted for the best English and French cases, respectively. There should be no distinction between short and long cases. The winning cases would be posted on the CAAA Web site and the winners would be expected to provide teaching notes for the case upon request. A prize of $500 would be awarded to the two case winners along with a certificate of achievement.  

The winner for the English category this year is Elizabeth LaRegina, York University, and the title of the case is "The Culture of Compliance at CIBC Financial Planning". The French winner is François Brouard, Carleton University, and the title of the case is "Cas Gladiateurs D'Hulawa". Winning cases are being posted on the CAAA Web site for 10 months. The winners will be officially announced at the luncheon on Saturday.  

Given the response to the case competition some fine-tuning may be necessary. For example, for next year we could consider having a first and second place rather than a French and English. This is yet to be decided.  

Thanks stream to all who participated in the promotion of this competition and to Lynda Carson who coordinated the evaluation.  

3. Innovation in Teaching Award

The Committee held the second annual "Innovation in Accounting Education Competition". This competition is slowly picking up steam, as we received two very good submissions this year (there were none in the first year). The first-place winner was Gary Entwistle from the University of Saskatchewan for "Discovering Accounting Research". The second-place winner was Vanessa Magness from Ryerson University. Both Gary and Vanessa will be presenting their ideas at the CAAA annual conference, which will hopefully stimulate the generation of more ideas by the audience and some lively interaction.  

Our thanks surge to Janet who championed this competition and to all who participated in the evaluations.  

4. Estey Award

The first annual Estey Undergraduate Essay Competition was held this year. The competition is funded by the family of the late Hon. W.Z. Estey and administered and supported by the Centre for Accounting Ethics, University of Waterloo and the CAAA. The late Hon. W.Z. Estey, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and former Chief Justice of Ontario, was widely respected for his integrity and commitment to justice. Possessed of a powerful intellect, he was noted for analyzing complex issues succinctly and clearly. Mr. Justice Estey actively supported higher education and was a founding advisor to the Centre for Accounting Ethics at the University of Waterloo.  

Undergraduate students from business and related programs across Canada were invited to submit essays on business ethics topics, with an emphasis on accounting, finance or related issues. A panel of academic reviewers evaluated the papers received. This year's winner is Mr. Rob Shirkey, a Wilfrid Laurier University student. Ms. Alexandria van den Heuvel, a St. Mary's University student, received an Award of Excellence. Mr. Shirkey will present his paper and receive his award at the Members Lunch at this year's CAAA annual conference.  

Our thanks flow to Sally for her sterling work on this competition including the coordination of the panel of academic reviewers.  

5. Regional Educational Workshop

Sally Gunz represented the CAAA at the Regional Educational Workshop in early March in Vancouver. She was speaking on accounting ethics education and was able to use this opportunity to discuss current initiatives of the CAAA Education Committee and the CAAA in general. The meeting was well attended by academics from Western Canada. Pearson sponsored this workshop, like the first one last year.  

Our thanks go to Sally and Paul for their contributions in this successful event.  

6. Ideas for New Services/Programs

The Committee discussed ideas for new services/programs. For example:  

  • Create discussion groups on the CAAA Web site according to research or teaching interests.
  • Identify teaching interests on membership form in order to create interest groups.
  • Email to college and university members information on conference dates, awards, events related to teaching and research interests.

During the course of the year a number of technological problems were experienced by our systems. Accordingly, these initiatives have been deferred until next year.  

I wish to thank everyone for their suggestions and actions, and particularly to express my appreciation for the dedication and hard work of each of the Committee members. The guidance and support of our President and President-Elect as well as that of our Conference Chair and Co-Managing Director are gratefully acknowledged.  

I write this report with mixed emotions. Some of our most valued members, having served with distinction, are moving on. On behalf of the Committee and CAAA, as well as personally, I wish them every success in their future endeavours. We are now in the process of recruiting suitable candidates for membership on the Committee. Feel free to volunteer or make suggestions. And we look forward to the coming year with the strong commitment to continue an expanding educational program.  

Respectfully submitted,  

Ron Francis
Chair, Education Committee

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