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School of Accountancy

Strategic Plan

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We will be a recognized leader in providing accounting educational experiences that inspire and empower business scholars and students to perform effectively on the national and international stage.

Our purpose is to develop leaders in the accounting profession who leverage their accounting and business knowledge to create value and innovative business solutions. We ensure that all students have the skills to succeed and lead in the practice of accounting. We support the accounting profession by advancing knowledge through influential scholarship and collaboration with members of the accounting profession.

Our organizational values guide the pursuit of our Vision and Mission and inform our approach to work.

  • Maintain Integrity: We are committed to relationships and interactions with our colleagues, students, alumni, and members of the accounting profession that are characterized by honesty, integrity, and respect. We aim to be ethical in our actions and encourage ethical behavior by our students as we build and maintain trusting relationships with all of our stakeholders.
  • Commitment to Excellence: We are committed to enhancing the reputation of the SOA at USM. This commitment requires us to work with our students, members of the accounting profession, and the business community to achieve excellence. We will provide educational experiences that promote collaboration and teamwork.
  • Collaboration and Collegiality: Sustaining excellence requires faculty to interact regularly with other faculty within the SOA and the College and to work collaboratively in developing and revising classes and working on research activities.

During the next five years, the SOA will focus on:

  • Becoming the School of Accountancy choice for students in southern Mississippi by providing students with an excellent educational experience.
    Maintaining current knowledge of accounting and communicating that knowledge effectively to students and other faculty.
  • Fostering a culture and community of scholars who have a positive impact upon others and are characterized by excellent and relevant teaching and research, collegiality and considerate service to all stakeholders.
  • Enhancing external relations with alumni and members of the accounting profession.

Strategic Priority 1: Becoming the degree choice for students in southern Mississippi by providing students with an excellent educational experience.

Goal 1.1: Provide high quality education with professionally focused curricula that fosters student success in real world professional endeavors.

  • Periodic review of undergraduate and graduate degrees for changes that will contribute to student success and engagement.
  • Maintain separate AACSB accreditation for the SOA.

Goal 1.2: Create a climate of student success and engagement in the SOA.

  • Create and maintain opportunities for students to develop professional skills necessary for long-term success, with specific focus on professionalism, communication, leadership, high ethical standards, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Utilize CBED career and professional development resources fully to support resume development and interview skills by students early in their accounting degree plan.
  • Offer tutoring assistance for students enrolled in Principles of Accounting and lower level accounting courses.
  • Leverage relationships with local/regional/national employers to highlight accounting career opportunities.

Goal 1.3: Support student organizations, events, and professional goals.

  • Support Beta Alpha Psi by encouraging student membership and faculty attendance at meetings.
  • Support Meet the Firms events by encouraging student and faculty attendance.
  • Provide meaningful internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Provide students with support and assistance with professional certification.
  • Encourage certificates and digital badges relevant to professional needs.

Strategic Priority 2: Maintaining current knowledge of accounting and meeting continuing education requirements for professional licenses and communicating that knowledge effectively to students and other faculty. 

Goal 2.1: Share our expertise and learn from industry by connecting with organizations and our  communities.

Goal 2.2: Increase student involvement in outreach or applied projects conducted for businesses and organizations.

Goal 2.3: Cultivate and utilize strategic partnerships for academic programs with business, civic, academic, and professional organizations.

Strategic Priority 3: Fostering a culture and community of scholars who have a positive impact upon others and are characterized by excellent and relevant teaching and research, collegiality and considerate service to all stakeholders.

Goal 3.1: Recruit and retain talented, passionate, and diverse faculty and staff.

  • Develop and implement a faculty recruitment plan, strategy, and process.
  • Develop and implement a formal mentoring program for faculty.

Goal 3.2: Encourage and support high-quality research that impacts business theory and practice.

  • Increase visibility of faculty research accomplishments.
  • Increase visibility of faculty-student research collaborations and activities.
  • Establish collaborative research projects with members of the profession and faculty from other USM schools, colleges and other Universities to leverage expertise and increase quality and quantity of research output.
  • Increase opportunities for faculty to sharpen research skills and learn new research tools and techniques.

Goal 3.3: Encourage and support high-quality instruction that results in high impact student outcomes.

  • Support, recognize, and reward high-quality teaching and teaching scholarship.
  • Increase support for faculty development related to innovative instruction.
  • Encourage and support faculty utilization of campus teaching oriented resources.

Goal 3.4: Maintain a culture characterized by collegiality, engagement, presence, participation, collaboration, and university-wide involvement.

Strategic Priority 4: Enhancing external relations and fundraising activities. 

Goal 4.1: Increase alumni, donor, and corporate partner engagement activities.

  • Participate at alumni, donor, and corporate partner events hosted in Scianna Hall and meet with key alumni/donors and corporate partners.
  • Provide regular and consistent external communications.
  • Create opportunities for students to engage with external partners.

Goal 4.2: Support the fundraising plans of SOA and the College.

  • Establish fundraising priorities for the SOA and communicate them to the Dean.
  • Support the fund-raising activities of the College and the University Foundation.
  • Leverage faculty relationships and connections.

Goal 4.3: Enhance external relations activities.

  • Periodically survey members of the public accounting profession who employ our graduates to provide feedback regarding the performance strengths and weaknesses of our students.

reviewed and approved by the faculty, 2021

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School of Accountancy

3067 Scianna Hall (SCH) 
Hattiesburg, MS 39406 

Hattiesburg Campus

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