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Patterson School of Accountancy Credits Faculty, Library For Success

The Patterson School of Accountancy’s three programs are ranked nationally in the Top 10 by the Public Accounting Report.

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The University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy has been continually ranked as one of the best in the country for years. / Photos courtesy of Ole Miss Communications

The monthly newsletter releases an annual list of best accounting programs by undergraduate, master’s and doctoral. Just last year the Patterson School ranked fourth in undergraduate, sixth in masters’s and eighth in doctoral. The school has consistently remained in the Top 25 rankings for seven consecutive years now.
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Dean Mark Wilder

“We are currently ranked above several SEC schools and we are just under University of Texas and Notre Dame nationally,” said Dean Mark Wilder, also KPMG chair and a CPA (certified public accountant).
Dean Wilder credited the national attention to three factors: the National Library of Accounting Profession from American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the faculty and the alumni.
The Libraries
Currently housed in the J.D. Williams Library this national library has hundreds of periodicals including state society newsletters and scholarly journals whose publication dates fall as far back as 1900s. It has older items such as Pacioli’s Summa from 1494.
“We were fortunate to bring this to the university campus in late 1990s.” Dean Wilder said, “It was very competitive. Ohio State was the biggest competitor but since we had two factors that worked for us: this is an independent school of accounting, not affiliated with the business school; and we had the J.D. Williams Library which impressed the AICPA.”
The J.C. Williams library has a large archives department which the AICPA trusted to store its thousands of pre-1900s volumes and pamphlets. Dean Wilder said this national library of accounting sets the standard of accounting with its recorded development literature on accountancy over the past several decades.
“Hopefully we will keep this library on campus forever.” Dean Wilder said, “It helped loan us national visibility. We have had prospective students leave the university campus very impressed with the size of the library.”
The accounting school has five other libraries addressing all areas of accounting.
Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.49.53 AMNational Tax History Research Center, est. 1987 when Academy of Accounting Historians chose the university to house the collection, is used by several scholars and active researchers from around the world. Its listing of most items is available here.
The National EDP Auditing Archival Center, est. 1992, includes the Michael Cangemi Collection of more than 600 books on information-technology auditing.
The McMickle Accounting History Library was established in 1996 by Dr. Peter McMickle’s donation of rare accounting books to the Academy of Accounting Historians with a provision that the collection be housed at University of Mississippi. It has more than 1,700 volumes with 500-plus volumes dating from the 19th century. Its oldest volume dates back to 1655. The pre-20th century volumes are cataloged here.
Accountancy Videotape and Media Collection, est. 1980 when the school obtained a series of 1960s videotapes on famous accountants from Michigan State University, currently houses more than 600 videotapes on accounting topics along with audiotapes and various forms of electronic media. More than 120 videos deal with congressional investigation conducted by the Dingell Committee during the 1980s.
And finally the Digial Accounting Collection which was created from the university library digitizing the full text for noncurrent AICPA Exposure Drafts, articles in the Accounting Historians Journal from 1974 – 2008 and many pamphlets prior to 1923 and much more. Its collection is searchable by keyword, title and author.
Dedicated Faculty
The tremendous collections of academic thoughts and research on accounting has drawn current faculty who research as much as they teach.
Dr. James Davis
Dr. James Davis

“Teaching is central to our mission. We have a body of knowledge we need to convey to our students.” Dr. James Davis, Peery professor Emeritus of accounting. He has been a member of the faculty since 1965 and has earned all his undergraduate, masters and doctorate at University of Mississippi. Dr. Davis credits a man for inspiring the school’s expectations of education.
“Professor (Gene) Peery established a standard of quality teaching that our faculty upheld.” Dr. Davis said, “He taught at University of Mississippi from 1951 until his passing in 1993. Our faculty now is valid academically with extended professional experience. We value research and education and professional service.”
Dr. Davis emphasized on the fact that all educators at Patterson school are certified public accountants with experience in public and private sector of accounting, himself included from two years with Arthur Anderson & Co. in Houston, Tex. from 1963 to 1965.
“Several professors here have won Elise M. Hood Outstanding Teacher award.” Dean Wilder said, “It is a testament to their commitment to teaching. Our faculty too have been published in top academic journals.” Dean Wilder is one of the recipients of this award as well as Dr. Davis.
Alumni Connections
The alumni of the Patterson School of Accountancy have been noted in their contribution to the school’s success.
Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 2.39.11 PM“We have extremely loyal alumni who have been generous and feel strongly about the school.” Dean Wilder said, “Some provide scholarships and most of hire our students. We have had top accounting firms across nations hire our graduates from coast to coast, from California to New York, and Los Angeles and Boston and Austin – to name a few cities.”
“We have good programs, good students and the accounting firms recognize that.” Dean Wilder said, “We are one of the premiere schools for big firms and this success in hiring has helped us recruit new students.”
Dean Wilder concluded with a remark: “Our accounting program has always been good but in the past few decades it seems like the secret got out.”
Callie Daniels is a reporter for HottyToddy.com. For comments and criticism you can reach her at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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