“I will always fondly remember my time as Ph.D. student at Iowa. I am not only indebted to various faculty members for the training I received as a doctoral student, I am also particularly appreciative of the care they showed (and continue to show) me and my family. While in the doctoral program, I had five major surgeries coupled with various long-term intravenous antibiotic treatments to treat a serious chronic infection in my femur. Every member of the accounting department (faculty, staff, and my fellow Ph.D. students) were incredibly kind, patient, and helpful as my family and I dealt with this difficult disease.

I remember starting Dan’s capital markets accounting seminar just weeks after the first of these surgeries. The other students in this seminar were very patient as I trudged to the seminar on crutches with various medications in tow. Despite my condition, Dan continued to expect clear thinking and insightful ideas from me. He was patient with me, but I’m thankful he did not lower his expectations due to my illness. This seminar altered my research focus entirely and has had an incredible impact on my career. I had similar experiences in all of my seminars and interactions with faculty, regardless of the physical condition I was in at the time.

The Iowa accounting “family” has continued to give me support, guidance, and friendship after graduation. I am still battling this chronic disease and I’m grateful to the doctors at the University of Iowa Medical Center for saving or prolonging the function of my leg. Many from Iowa continue to ask how my family and I are doing – beyond inquiries about my research agenda. My career and life have been improved because of my time as a Ph.D. student at Iowa.” 
-David Folsom

“As I look back on the five years I spent in Iowa, I realize how often I made naïve and sometimes embarrassing mistakes.  Dan never judged me by my mistakes, but encouraged me to overcome and learn from mistakes.  Over the past few years, I got more involved in mentoring students.  Perhaps not surprisingly, my students often made more mistakes than I expected.  Whenever I felt frustrated, I reminded myself of my own experience as a student and how Dan helped me through my mistakes.  I hope, one day, my students will do the same to their students, and our attitude toward mistakes makes us stronger and better.” 
-Guojin Gong

“The Ph.D. Program was transformational for me – very challenging but extremely rewarding due to the personal attention and dedication of Iowa’s outstanding accounting faculty.  I met many lifelong friends and developed critical thinking skills which have shaped my career.  I will always fondly remember the faculty’s commitment to its Ph.D. students!” 
-Kevin Den Adel

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“I remember a situation in Dan Collins Financial Markets Seminar that is funny now, but was awkward at the time. Ed Maydew and I were in the seminar, and we were assigned papers to present each week. Well as luck would have it, I was assigned one of Dr. Collins seminal paper on "Earnings Response Coefficients." It was an uncomfortable situation because first, it was one of his papers, and second, it was widely cited and had generated a stream of additional research on the determinants of earnings responses. When I started my presentation with "This is a seminal paper…” Dr. Collins immediately stopped me and said, "I've been around long enough that I don't need my ego stroked."  It got very silent and I looked at Ed and he just smiled. I had to change the tone of my presentation on the fly to avoid getting another comment from Dan.

I worked my butt off at Iowa, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had.”
-Charlie Sparks

“I had a very rewarding college experience at the University of Iowa for over nine years--a liberal arts undergraduate education, athletics (both as a player and coach), a Masters of Accounting, and the Ph.D. in Accounting Program. While all of these life events shaped who I am, by far the most impactful and rewarding was the doctoral program. I have so many fond memories of the faculty, students, and staff who were in the department. All these groups assisted me in so many ways, but most importantly, they instilled and nurtured in me a life-long intellectual curiosity, taught me to think as an academic, to develop an understanding, appreciation and ability to conduct scholarly research, and always act as a professional.  I always felt a strong sense of being part of a family, the family that was the Department of Accounting. The collegiality in the department defined our culture, and the strong mentoring by stellar faculty provided a perfect learning vehicle to intimately impart their knowledge. I also developed a deep passion for teaching because of them. In addition, it instilled a strong sense of purpose to give back to others. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Department of Accounting. I am so very proud to be an alum of the Ph.D. program, and a part of  the strong tradition in doctoral education. Go Hawks!!”
-Jeff Schatzberg

I am grateful for the five years I spent in my Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, which I consider to have been a very formative time for my intellectual development.  My thinking was shaped by the example and insights of all of the faculty, as well as several Ph.D. students.  Although I do not have the space here to give everyone their proper due, I would like to acknowledge just a few who were particularly influential:

  • Thanks to Bruce Johnson for giving me pointers on writing.  I recall my very first working paper was written more likely a mystery novel—you had to get to the end to learn the results! Fortunately, Bruce took some time to teach me one-on-one how to structure my paper introductions a little more effectively.  I also learned a lot from Bruce by listening to his thoughtful comments in the workshops, which were never quite the same when Bruce was absent.  Bruce directed the Ph.D. student brown bag seminars most of the time while I was in the program, and I always looked forward to those insightful discussions.
  • Thanks to Dan Collins for his constant mentoring of my research.  He gave the most thorough feedback on my working papers that I have ever received!  The drafts I gave him for review invariably came back fully marked up with pointed questions or comments in the margins.  He also pushed back strongly on certain bad habits in my writing (which he characterized in one early draft as sounding like “barroom brawl”!).  I learned to be a much more careful thinker and writer under his tutelage.  I also appreciate Dan’s service as my dissertation committee chair (with Bruce as my co-chair).  At times I would have preferred to have run the gauntlet rather than continue pushing through on my dissertation, but my work always improved in response to the rigorous feedback I received.
  • Thanks to Rick Tubbs and Ramji Balakrishnan for providing encouragement and oversight to the Ph.D. student instructors of Managerial Accounting when I was in the program.  I got creamed in the teaching evaluations of one of my sections in my first semester of teaching, and I remember Rick Tubbs calling me into his office to give me some tips on managing the classroom.  The next semester was a marked improvement!
  • Thanks to all my Ph.D. student office mates for many engaging conversations and light-hearted moments.  For instance, when I was across the hall from Doug’s office, it was my office mates that pointed out Doug’s office-leaving routine.  Whenever Doug left his office, he would take a few steps down the hall, pause, and walk back to jiggle the door handle to make sure it was locked.  We never did discover what he was so carefully hiding in there!” 
    -Rick Cazier

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“One of my strongest memories of being a Ph.D. student at Iowa was the incredible bond that developed among the students. In my very first semester I had to write one of Bill Kinney’s famous “three paragraphs” for a research project.  I was completely stumped on what to write about. I had recently read about “multidimensional scaling” and it sounded very cool to me, so I was attempting to connect this statistical method to anything I could think of in accounting, with little success.  Bill kept sending me three paragraphs back covered with question marks.  The other Ph.D. students- July Rayburn, SP Kothari, Charles Wasley, and Tom Omer, to name a few--would gather around and look at Bill’s comments as if they were some sacred script that we had to decipher.  We would collectively revise the document, and I would give it back to Bill, and it would return again with a new set of questions.  Finally, after four or five rounds, I slid a revision under Bill’s door while he as at lunch. The three paragraphs came back to me a few hours later with three words, “okay, do it,” and a big footprint right in the middle of the page.  The footprint spoke volumes, but so did all the high-fives all around in the Ph.D. offices when we collectively got me past my first “three paragraphs.” I could not have survived the Ph.D. program without my fellow students.” 

-Russel Lundholm

“There are so many stories from my days in the Ph.D. program that I want to share with you and so many people that I want to express my gratitude to. First and foremost, I cannot express enough appreciation to Dan and Bruce for being incredible mentors. Nobody can get through Iowa’s Ph.D. program without taking Dan’s seminars. I remember that Dan required us to submit research questions every week related to the papers covered in that week. For every single question that we submitted, Dan filled the margin of the pages with detailed comments and suggestions. I am sure that many of my fellow Ph.D. students’ published papers originated from the questions that they submitted for Dan’s class (not dance class for those of you who remember the joke). Bruce-- Dear Professor Emeritus BJ-- has a keen eye for intricate patterns in the data (and a fondness for Hawaiian shirts). Examining the empirical data with eagle eyes (or rather, hawkeyes) and mulling over every single word in a manuscript are among the various lessons that I learned from Bruce. There are so many other faculty members who shaped how I think and conduct my research today-- Cristi, Paul, Sonja… it is just not possible to be all-encompassing in this short note. Last but not least, my fellow Ph.D. students-- I will not forget how together we survived Microeconomics, Real Analysis, the Finance comp, the Accounting comp and how much I enjoyed shooting the breeze with you. We supported each other through the program and continued to be friends afterwards. Wherever we are today, we will always share a connection to Iowa.”
-Rong Zhao

“As I entered the Iowa Ph. D. program, a colleague gave me two pieces of advice:  First, study what you are interested in, and second, remember that perseverance is key to successfully completing your program.

Given I was interested in examining auditing and information systems problems using an experimental approach, this colleague questioned my choice to attend the Iowa program that emphasized archival financial methods. However, thanks to the efforts by several including Doug DeJong, Rick Tubbs, and Al Shepanski, I was able to study what I was interested in. Now that Iowa State is considering establishing an accounting Ph.D. program, I realize how much effort these individuals had to go through to make sure I was given the adequate resources and guidance to succeed while studying different areas and methods.

Regarding perseverance, I will readily admit, I was not the brightest candidate that entered the Ph.D. program. However, the Ph.D. directors I worked under, Doug DeJong and Rick Tubbs, and the department chair, Dan Collins, went out of their way to make sure that each of us persevered to earn our degrees whether it was pep talks in the hallways or following workshops, encouraging collaboration among the Ph.D. students, extensive involvement with workshop presenters and new faculty hires, and invitations to holiday parties and social events, just to name a few.

To summarize, I appreciate the willingness of all the faculty and staff to assist us during the program. The Iowa Ph.D. program was definitely demanding; I have carried the lessons I learned from it forward throughout my rewarding career at Iowa State.” 
-Diane Janvrin

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“My days in Iowa started with joy when I received an admission letter from Dan Collins in April, 2008, while standing on the “top” of a waiting list. However, it did not take a while until the joy of admission turned a lot of pains. Soon after the semester started, I had been overwhelmed by reading papers, taking course works, and participating in weekly workshops. What made it worse (or better in hindsight), the financial crisis of 2008 completely burned my bridge back to my old job. I had no choice but to go through it. Now, it is safe to say “it worked out!”

Looking back, five years were a long journey full of joyful and equally painful moments. One thing for sure is that if Dan had not been patient enough to wait until I had settled in, I might find myself outside academia right now. Thank you, Dan, for your patience! Also, without my fellow student, Phil Quin, my life in Iowa could have easily been tougher than it was. Thank you, Phil, for your help!” 
-Jaewoo Kim

“When I was in the process of applying to Doctoral accounting programs I received an early admission to The University of Iowa. My undergraduate accounting mentor advised me that I should accept The University of Iowa’s admission offer and to withdraw my other applications. That is exactly what I did. Looking back, that is one of the smartest decisions I have made in my professional career.

The culture at The University of Iowa’s Accounting Doctoral program is very nurturing. Faculties are always happy to help the students and work with the students on research projects. I took Dr. Daniel Collins’ seminar in my second year of the program. We submitted three to four research questions each week. Dr. Collins would read our research questions and give us his detailed feedback. I can still remember how rough my first research question was. As the semester progressed, my critical thinking and research question writing skills gradually improved with more practices and feedbacks. All of the skills that I have learned at The University of Iowa have benefited me until this day and will continue to benefit me throughout my professional career.

The faculty at Iowa are also very kind and understanding of balancing between family and work.

Because I was raised up by my elderly grandparents in China I have a need to travel to China to visit them frequently. A couple of times, I’ve had to skip seminar and conference opportunities to take care of my grandparents. As a Ph.D. student, that is a lot of time to take from learning and performing research. Nonetheless, the faculty were all very supportive. They understood that family is important.

In brief, I am very grateful for the training, opportunities and kindness that I have received from the Accounting Ph.D. program at The University of Iowa. Many people have asked me since embarking on my professional career if I could choose any Accounting Ph.D. programs in retrospect, would I still go to Iowa for my Ph.D. I have never hesitated to respond, “'Yes, of course.'” 
-Xiaoli Tian

“I found my Ph.D. program at Iowa a very rewarding experience. The program was demanding, but for me it was an exciting time of learning and discovery. 

I had many memorable experiences in the program, but by far the best part of the program was working with Dan Collins as my advisor. He treated me as a colleague.  I really appreciated his mentoring, guidance, and support. Working with Dan set the standard for how to treat my colleagues and students for the rest of my academic career. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Dan. 

I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to complete the program as it greatly added to my life experience in a multitude of positive ways.” 
-Bill Salatka

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“The Accounting Ph.D. Program at Iowa is truly special. The program stands out for the many successes of its graduates. But, what really sets this program apart from the rest? Other programs have similar course offerings. Other programs have similar second-year paper and comprehensive exam requirements. All programs appear to have high expectations of their Ph.D. students as researchers. In my opinion, the one thing that differentiates Iowa’s program is its emphasis on communication.

The Iowa program excels at improving its students’ communication skills and that, in my opinion, is the program’s recipe for success. In seminars, there is a formal focus on communication and writing skills through lessons on writing new research, routine presentations, and feedback on research ideas and on mock referee reports. Informally, the faculty are willing to and do provide regular guidance on writing and on presentations. One of the most helpful comments I received was that I was “writing to myself.” This meant that my writing sometimes missed logical connections, sometimes glossed over important details, and routinely left readers confused. This comment was pivotal in pinpointing where my writing fell short and in helping me develop a process for improvement. Specifically, I now set new writing aside for one week, then I re-read it and make revisions to improve clarity and concision. I also benefited greatly from the willingness of faculty and other Ph.D. students to provide feedback on practice runs of presentations and workshops. This ensured that my conference presentations were organized and polished. While it’s easy to find similar econometrics courses and doctoral seminars at other schools, the thing that truly sets Iowa’s Ph.D. program apart is the commitment to improving its students’ communication skills.” 
-Brad Hepfer

“I am incredibly grateful for the education I received at Iowa.  It helped lay the foundation for my academic career.  While there is no way for me enumerate all of the things I learned at Iowa and all of the people I learned them from, I would like to acknowledge faculty that I took classes from or worked with on research.

Rick Tubbs taught me about validity and research design.  Bruce Johnson taught me how to ask good questions during a workshop.  Mark Penno taught me how to appreciate and better understand agency issues.  Paul Hribar taught me how to frame a potential paper in the most interesting way possible.  Dan Collins taught me a ton.  He taught me the importance of working hard, but not too hard (always take a vacation and never put work before family he once told me).  He taught me how to “triangulate” the research question to make results more convincing.  He taught me the importance of continually asking questions and generating new research ideas.  Some will be good, some will be bad, but keep at it.  “There’s a lot of horsesh*t in this barn; there’s bound to be a pony somewhere,” he once told me.  I’m still looking Dan.

Thanks to everyone at Iowa, both faculty and my fellow students, for such a memorable and rewarding experience.” 
-John McInnis

“Iowa’s Ph.D. program helped me develop my scholarship and, more importantly, made me a better person. Rigorous training from the outstanding faculty group taught me not only how to conduct accounting research, but also how to offer constructive feedback on others’ work. The tremendous amount of support from both faculty and fellow Ph.D. students guided me through all the difficult moments during the program. I can’t remember how many times I sought advice from my dissertation co-chairs Dan Collins and Rick Mergenthaler and they were always there to offer the best guidance. I also received incredible amount of help from my Ph.D. classmates, Chelsea Rae Austin, Brad Hepfer, Jaewoo Kim, Michelle Nessa, Phil Quinn, Steven Savoy, and Xiaoli Tian. Because of the constant support I benefited from, I developed the mentality to support and help others during my Ph.D. years and really appreciated this intangible value of the program. I am very proud to be part of Iowa’s exceptional Ph.D. in Accounting program!” 
-Ciao-We Chen

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“As an international student coming from Lebanon, I did not feel like a foreigner during my years at Iowa. Dan Collins, the director of the Ph.D. program, faculty, staff, and students who were during that time were all part of my big family. Since my first contact with Dan, I found how humble, dedicated, and professional he is. His support to me during those years as a mentor and advisor was tremendous. I thank Dan for giving me the opportunity to learn from a top scholar like him and be one of the graduates of Iowa’s highly-ranked Ph.D. program, which for no doubt he was one of its main pillars throughout his very successful career.

I would also like to extend my thanks to all the faculty members at Iowa for their support and wish Paul the best in leading the Ph.D. program. My gratitude also goes to Bruce whom I had the opportunity to work with and learn from his expertise and high professional standards.

As they approach their retirement, I wish Dan and Bruce many enjoyable years to come!”
-Mohamad Mazboudi

“One of the things I loved about Iowa was the collegiality. Every once in a while someone would stop by the office I shared with three other Ph.D. students saying they had a question or needed help with a problem.  Sometimes it was a professor working on a paper or a referee report or other times it was a first year student with a question about a statistics problem set.  Regardless of who it was, everyone always stopped what they were doing to help.  No one was ever too busy to help someone else.  This type of culture is rare. It speaks to the attitude of the faculty and the example they set.” 
-Andrew Acito

“There are so many memorable moments during my Ph.D. program experience at the University of Iowa it is hard to highlight only one or two.  But I think those that occurred during the Ph.D. seminars and research workshops have had some of the greatest influence on me in that they changed the way I think about the world. Initially the seminars and workshops were quite intimidating because the faculty would drill students and presenters, respectively, with questions.  Over the years, however, I learned that the more questions the faculty asked, the more important the answers. I didn’t at the time, but I now laugh when I think of Mort Pincus’s appropriate negative reaction to some of my answers to his questions about my dissertation; his questioning made me a better researcher. My classmates and I eventually learned that a sure sign that a research workshop was a bust was when the faculty pushed back from the tables and stopped asking questions.

Recently, I received an announcement from the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the AAA. It said that Mary Barth of Stanford was receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Dan Collins was receiving the Distinguished PhD Mentoring Award, and Thomas Linsmeier (Iowa Faculty 1985-1994) was receiving the Lifetime Service Award. I remember a research workshop where these three scholars were in the room along with all the other outstanding Iowa faculty members and Ph.D. students. This announcement reminded me of the many wonderful learning moments I had during my Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa.”
-Holly Skaife

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“Until actually sitting down to write this remembrance of my time at Iowa, I had planned to write about the excellent training I received from the faculty.  I am deeply grateful for their careful mentoring.  It has made a tremendous difference in my career.  But my mind keeps drifting to warm memories of my young family in those years. 

My wife and I started the Ph.D. program with a three-month-old baby girl and were blessed with two more girls along the way. Life was simple and had to be.  Ph.D. work needed to be disciplined and efficient.  Spending needed to be controlled.  Evening excursions to the park served as motivation for focused days of study, research, and teaching. Iowa City is loaded with parks and the girls had special names for the three in our neighborhood alone.  "Bumpy Park" because of the jostling stroller ride down the grassy hill to the playground.  "School Park" for obvious reason and the fun of peering through the windows into the dark classrooms.  And "Iguanas Park" because that's how their little ears heard Kiwanis.  We also loved the Fossil Beds, especially when the thawing snow created a maze of tiny streams and waterfalls, the rich greens and browns of Maquoketa Caves State Park, Lake MacBride, the Raptor Center, Amana Colonies, and the summer festivals put on by surrounding towns.

 At Iowa, Ph.D. years don't have to be a black hole in life.  For me those years were marked by intellectual growth, hard work, and the pitter-patter of little feet in our cozy townhome.”
-Jeff Burks

“My Iowa Ph.D. experience began on March 3rd, 2008, when I visited campus to meet Iowa’s faculty and Ph.D. students. Dan Collins, who would become my advisor, was the first faculty member on my schedule. Dan asked me several questions, including whether I had taken upper-level math classes (no), experience programming (no), or used Compustat or CRSP (no). My interview was not going well, and it ended with Dan telling me that the competition for slots in the Ph.D. program was fierce, and that I should not expect a call. I had heard too many good things about Dan Collins and Iowa’s program to want to pursue a Ph.D. anywhere else. I told Dan that if he didn’t call this year, I would take more math classes and knock on his door again next year. It’s unclear why Dan took a chance on me, but I’m thankful he did.

Iowa’s Ph.D. program offered camaraderie, excellent training, and an unbelievable amount of support. The friendships forged with my Ph.D. classmates continue to last years after graduation, and I could not have made it through the program without the help of Ciao-Wei Chen, Matt Glendening, Jaewoo Kim, and Xiaoli Tian. On a daily basis, I recall lessons learned from the accounting research classes taught by Joyce Berg, Dan Collins, Doug DeJong, Cristi Gleason, Paul Hribar, Mark Penno, Sonja Rego, and Ryan Wilson. I also owe a special thanks to Kay Wheeler and Renea Jay for all of their hard work and support during my Ph.D. years. I continue to be especially grateful to my dissertation committee of Dan Collins, Paul Hribar, Erik Lie, Dave Mauer, and Rick Mergenthaler. Finally, I owe the biggest thanks of all to Dan Collins for his detailed feedback and guidance on my research ideas, including every draft of my dissertation, and for serving as my advisor throughout the Ph.D. program.”
-Phil Quinn

“The Iowa Accounting Ph.D. program has had a profound impact on my career and life.  The culture of the Iowa program, rooted in Midwest values, is one conducive to producing high quality research and teaching. The training I received while at Iowa has allowed me to be an active member of the academic community.  More importantly though, it has allowed me to develop friends for a lifetime. I couldn't imagine a better place to develop and nurture not only one's academic skills but life skills as well. I am forever grateful for the impact the Iowa Accounting Ph.D. program has had on my career and life.”
-Brad Badertscher

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“I entered the Iowa Ph.D. program in 1971. Dan Collins was already in the program, ahead of me by a year or two, as was Keith Lantz. The faculty included several nurturing personalities, including Lou Biagoini, Val Lembke, and John Smith. They were always available for consultation to help us navigate the “minefield” of the Ph.D. program. The faculty also included two prolific researchers, Jack Kennelly and Bill Kinney, who gave “tough love” when they felt we needed it (which was daily, it seemed, for me!). Every day I thanked my lucky stars that I’d made it through another day without being asked to leave the program!

Dan Collins was the “informal” Ph.D. student leader for the College of Business. Dan led by example, and we tried to follow his lead. Across all areas of the program, the Ph.D. students identified Dan as the one most likely to become a “star” researcher. (Boy, did we get that right!!) So, when Dan took a time series analysis course using Box-Jenkins models (which was new at the time) others, including me, either enrolled or informally audited the course the next year. When Dan took Warren Dent’s econometrics class, the rest of us decided to get some exposure to econometrics the next year. (Unbelievably, econometrics was not a program requirement back then.)

Back in the 1970s, the lion’s share of Ph.D. students in the Business School, myself included, was interested primarily in teaching. Research, via the dissertation, was considered a necessary “hurdle” to reach the goal of being a permanent university professor. However, when I went ABD to a teaching institution to work on my dissertation, my preferences began to change. I actually enjoyed the research process and found it fulfilling. I credit the Iowa accounting faculty, Ed Jennings and Emmett Vaughan from finance and, of course, my informal student leader for enabling my professional evolution.”
-Bill Kross

“The University of Iowa is, without doubt, a special place. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to pass through its halls as doctoral students are keenly aware of the legacy of scholarship that has defined the Accounting Program at Iowa. The mentoring and guidance I received while at Iowa has had (and will continue to have) a profound impact on my research. However, years from now, when I think back on my time at Iowa, three things will always bring a smile to my face: 1) Iowa football, 2) losing badly and repeatedly to Ramji Balakrishnan in racquetball, and 3) early morning conversations over coffee at the Bread Garden with Doug DeJong.”
-Christopher Small

“Bruce Johnson led us in the brown bags a few days before each workshop. He treated us like peers and guided us toward discussion topics that would lead to interesting questions during the workshop. Those were often more helpful than the workshops because it helped me develop a taste for the quality of the research. Once during my first year, Bruce asked me to ask a question. I typically asked short questions, but since I was put on the spot I asked a more verbose and unclear question. He then simultaneously complimented me and taught me by pointing out that he wanted me to ask a question because he liked my short questions, and the one I had just asked was not a short question.

Towards the end of my third year I was floundering with the transition from coursework to research. Ramji Balakrishnan and I crossed paths in the stairway and he told me that I need to pick up the pace and that I only had one shot at this. He then proceeded to take me under his wing, give me deadlines, advice, and mentor me. Without his concern for my well-being, I doubt I would have finished the program.

Rick Tubbs taught me the value of taking things slowly and carefully. Whether it was teaching or researching, Rick considered every angle. He left no stone unturned. He polished every word of every sentence. He looked high and low. In short, he was extremely thorough. As a result, it often led to insights that would not have been found otherwise. I’m glad he was so patient with me

Most importantly, the professors, other Ph.D. students, and support staff during the time I was at the University of Iowa prepared me to support my growing family. I started the Ph.D. program as a bachelor, and left as a husband and father of three. Renea Jay taught me that you can really brighten someone’s day by remembering to send an email on their birthday. Ramji Balakrishnan, Rick Tubbs, Paul Hribar, and Bruce Johnson taught me the importance of getting to know others at a personal level and taking time to laugh with them. Perhaps the greatest benefit was networking with the other Ph.D. students at a professional and at a personal level. We often had dinners and family gatherings at each other’s’ homes, and I consider several of them life-long friends. Jay Christensen-Szalanski and John Peters, professors in other departments, taught me that you can be successful academically and still be fully active in a religion that demands a lot from its members. These are lessons that have extended to my wife and children.”
-Ron Guymon

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“I will always be grateful for the guidance I received during my doctoral program at Iowa and for the culture of learning that Dan and other members of the department created.  The environment at Iowa gave everyone the freedom to develop research agendas that played to their strengths and supported successful academic careers. In my own case, the advice and encouragement I received as a Ph.D. student led me to develop skills that took my research in directions that have been productive and very rewarding.  I am very proud to have been part of the outstanding Iowa Ph.D. program.”
-Susan Watts

“Dear Dan,

 As you begin to map out your retirement, now is a good time for me to reflect and comment on your impact on Iowa, the Ph.D. program, and me personally. Few of my life experiences – meeting and marrying my wife, Mary, births of our children, or career achievements at the University of Wisconsin – equal the impact of the four years I spent in the doctoral program at the University of Iowa. The Ph.D. program at Iowa introduced me to the core tenets of what it means to be an accounting scholar and developed in me the knowledge and skills necessary to sustain an academic career. Many of the faculty at Iowa had a hand in helping me advance in and complete the program. But you, more than anyone else, instilled in me the essential scholarly attributes. And for that, I am immensely grateful for the profound impact this has had on me as a teacher, researcher, and faculty citizen.

Before entering the program, I had four years teaching experience at a university with a teaching mission. The classes and seminars I had with you provided me an expanded domain of teaching at the graduate level. I gleaned a number of teaching insights based on observation of you in the classroom, as well as the way you structured your courses. Your role model as a teacher has had a positive influence on my teaching throughout my career in undergrad, grad, and Exec Ed settings.

As far as research, I could not have been more fortunate than to have joined the program at Iowa. Having little knowledge of accounting research and the research process, I feel truly blessed that I was introduced to the “Iowa way” in gaining the knowledge and skills to embark on my research program. The importance of role models – among both the faculty and the other Ph.D. students – cannot be emphasized enough. It was clear to all that you were central in nurturing that special environment by serving as a collaborator, role model, and mentor to the entire research community at Iowa. And there has been a significant multiplier effect as Iowa grads have gone on to be scholarly leaders and mentors at the top institutions around the country and world. I am proud to be part of the research tradition that you inspired.

Dan, you have been a great role model to me as a servant-leader. It is rare that the top researchers serve as the department chair, but you have done it and done it effectively. It is clear that you appreciate the mutually-reinforcing positive interactions between research, teaching, and service. I observed this as a member of the Professional Accounting Council and your example has been a model for me as I have engaged in various service roles over my career.

In summary, Dan, you represent the best example of what it means to be an outstanding scholar by being a role model in the areas of research, teaching, and service. You have inspired me and many others. Congratulations and BEST wishes!”
-Terry Warfield

“It’s a privilege and honor for me to talk about the journey I embarked on 34 years ago in the bucolic environs of Iowa on a sunny mid-August day in 1982.  I was very fortunate in joining Iowa at a time when all of the stars seemed to align themselves there to create an atmosphere most conducive to scholarship.  Dan’s colleagues on the Iowa faculty were Bill Kinney, Gerry Salamon, Will Uecker, and other notable faculty, including the department chair, Russell Peterson. They were energetic, industrious, and insightful and they took great pride in mentoring youngsters like me. 

Trained in economics, we invariably think of output as resulting from the combination of labor and capital.  However, as I reflect upon my days at Iowa, my epiphany is that I have come to recognize the salient role culture plays in an organization.  Iowa was a humble place in its financial and physical resources, but with Dan and others there, it had boundless energy, aspiration, team spirit, discipline, and compassion.  It personified a “can do” culture that was very high in morale.  Dan was central to creating this culture that was palpable at the time I joined the program.  I am sure my colleagues from the time will vouch for it.  What is extraordinary is that the program has sustained it for more than three decades and counting!  A Pantheon of faculty has wandered through the corridors of Iowa, with Dan welcoming them and bidding them good bye, but he has been the high priest and guardian of the culture that has been the embodiment of his selfless service to the profession.  The results speak for themselves.  Iowa has one of the most enviable records as a scholarly research program in accounting.  And as one of the beneficiaries of this largesse, I am most grateful to you, Dan, and to Iowa. Salute!” 
-S.P. Kothari

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“Learn to tell a good story, learn to adapt your story to the audience at hand, and make sure you back up your story with the appropriate design and methodology.”
-Tom Omer

“My family and I have incredibly happy memories of our time at Iowa. In addition to the exceptional training I received, my family and I particularly remember the kindness, generosity, and support of the faculty, especially Ramji, Joyce, and Doug. Words cannot fully express my gratitude for the countless hours and resources the faculty invested in me and for the compassion and care shown to my family and me.”
-Geoff Sprinkle

“Ah, Seashore Hall. It wasn’t much, but it was what we had! Before the business school moved into the comparatively luxurious Pappajohn Building in 1993, it was housed in Phillips Hall. However, Phillips Hall was not nearly large enough, so the Ph.D. student offices were a couple blocks away in the venerable Seashore Hall. I always thought the name Seashore was ironic, because in Iowa you are about as far from the seashore as you can get, and a Ph.D. program is nothing like a beach vacation. Rumor had it that Seashore Hall had been the university hospital in the early 1900s and our offices had been the patient rooms. Indeed, the offices had extra-wide doorways; said to be necessary for the hospital staff to wheel the patients in and out of the rooms on gurneys.

It was a hot summer day when I turned the key for the first time in the door of the small office I would share with two other Ph.D. students. I was greeted with: concrete floors, no air conditioning, the stale smell of an old building, and three metal desks that looked like they were from the cold war era, each with a metal folding chair. That was our home. Ergonomics was not something we talked about, or expected, in those days. In the winter, Seashore was heated by steam heat via those old radiators you see in movies. The radiator in our office leaked, so if you turned the dial for it to heat up, the office would soon resemble a greenhouse for tropical plants.

Though modest, Seashore Hall became home base for study sessions, a lot of late nights working on SAS programs in the basement computer lab, and just plain gossiping and laughing with the other Ph.D. students. Economics, mathematical statistics, econometrics, and countless workshop and seminar papers were daily topics and often sources of vigorous debate. We were graduate student nerds for sure, but we had a home and we formed a tight community. I learned a lot and made lifelong friends there in Seashore Hall.”
-Ed Maydew

“I remember traveling around the Midwest with Dan collecting microfiche that companies or schools no longer wanted.  Sung Choi and I were along one time when Sung requested a turn at driving.  Of course a rain storm hit us while I was in the front seat and Dan in the back.   Future Professor Choi could not find the switch for the wipers!  That was the end of that experiment.  Dan leaned to me and said softly, "You drive."

I had a good time as a doctoral student.  I never did learn much about financial accounting research or "spinning tapes."  However, now I often use archival data to answer the questions that interest me.  My education was broad enough from the faculty at Iowa that it was always the question that mattered, not the technique.  Why do managers, accountants, or auditors do what they do?  Do I have the skills to answer that question?  As a graduate of the Iowa doctoral program, I may know or I know that I can't do it myself but I know who has the knowledge to coauthor with me.  Knowing my strengths and limitations was critical to me and was fostered by the Iowa faculty.

Dave Burgstahler, Fran Ayres, and I once had lunch with Nils Hakansson from Berkeley.  As we were walking back to the business building he told us that he thought Iowa had the second best accounting program in the Midwest (second only to Chicago).  He was speaking primarily of the Ph.D. program.  I would like to think that his statement is still true, and it gets better with every graduate.”
-Steve Butler

“Clay Bedford said that "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." I brought my curiosity to Iowa but left with the skills needed to harness that curiosity and propel the process of lifelong learning in a purposeful way. Acquiring the tools to answer complex questions and the ability to develop new tools and techniques has made my career as an academic both interesting and rewarding. While at Iowa, I also learned about the other two facets of academic life, teaching and service. After transitioning into an administrative role in the last year, I have developed a greater appreciation for my time at Iowa where so many of the faculty contributed greatly to all three aspects of academic life. My curiosity has expanded beyond teaching and research to include greater service to the college. The faculty at Iowa continue to demonstrate the importance of all aspects of academic life through their commitment to students, in advancing their research and by making significant contributions to the institution.”
-Nicole Jenkins

"I have very fond memories of my time in Iowa City. I was not an accounting major as an undergraduate. I studied sociology and psychology and was fortunate to have a curriculum that included quite a bit of research, so  I was familiar with the structure and design of research papers when I started taking accounting courses in the master’s program at Iowa. My initial intent was to study accounting to help out with my husband’s business as he had just purchased a drug store in Williamsburg, Iowa. At the time, all master’s students were required to participate in the research seminars. Unlike many masters students, I really enjoyed these and found the subject matter fascinating, so I ended up entering the doctoral program after finishing my master’s degree. I was fortunate to be assigned as a research assistant to Bill Kinney even before I entered the doctoral program. He asked me to pull some data from Compustat. This required Fortran programming. I had never take a course in programming so was not sure how to do this. Bill suggested that I get a book and figure it out so I did!  I recall each of my seminars in accounting from Bill Kinney, Jerry Salamon and Will Uecker.  In Jerry’s master’s class I was fascinated by Demksi’s Information Analysis. This continued in Will Uecker’s class where we read Demski and Feltham’s Cost Determination a Conceptual Approach.

"From Bill Kinney I learned new ways to think about auditing and its linkage to the accounting statements and risk. He constantly stressed a need to study issues that were of importance to the profession of accounting and auditing and to see academic research in these areas as contributing to the profession and ultimately impacting practice.  He also introduced me to the famous “three paragraphs” needed to make research paper work. I did not have a complete seminar from Dan Collins as he was new to Iowa at the time, but he taught several sessions in capital markets in Bill’s class and I was sure this was the type of work I wanted to do. Dan was captivating as he described the structure and design issues in capital market papers and the role of accounting information on market behavior.

"I was interested in the impact of taxes and regulations on capital markets so I took courses in economics and sat in on some classes at the law school to study more about tax law. This led me to my dissertation research on the capital market impact of repeated investment tax credit and repeals. In addition to great accounting faculty, I had outstanding classes in economics with Warren Dent and  Tom Pogue, as well as a great finance seminar from Mike Rozeff.   I still have some of my notes and books from these classes.

"Finally, I recall my classmates Mike Doran, Cliff Cox, Jim Groff, Bill Salatka and Dave Burgstahler with great fondness. All were great colleagues and friends through the program. Judy Rayburn entered the program later. I recall  taking her to coffee to encourage her to apply directly to the PhD instead of starting with the master’s program. We became good friends then and remain so today."
-Francis Ayers

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