2006 Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Congratulations to Our 2006 Recipient
Mary E. Barth
The Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting, Emerita

Professor Mary Barth was cited by PhD students for her outstanding support of their academic work and her personal dedication to their careers.

In honoring Barth, who joined Stanford GSB in 1995, doctoral students praised her supportive relationship with them and their work, while recognizing that at the same time she holds the influential position as one of 14 members of the International Accounting Standards Board.

“Mary has somewhat of a celebrity status,” wrote one student. “I’ve been to conferences in Europe on two occasions, and PhD students over there seem amazed that she is my advisor and that I know her personally. You could consider her the Michael Jordan of accounting.”

“Mary is one of the main reasons I chose to come to Stanford,” wrote another. “She is unique in that her work has had as much of an influence on accounting practice as it has had in academia. She is a role model for me in my career.”

Said another: “Each time I give her a draft of my work, the level of detail in her feedback and thoughtfulness in her comments leave me with the impression that she knows my work better than I do.”

In 1996 Barth received the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award.

Excerpts and Highlights from Nominations

On Teaching

She is an excellent teacher and an example for the whole GSB.

Mary reaches out to students in ways that are truly educational, compassionate and inspirational.

Mary is an outstanding educator in every sense of the word, and i believe ideally suited for this award.

I have met several excellent professors during my academic career but Mary is exceptional.

Every assignment has taught me something and she is always available to discuss ideas arising from it or explain them in painstaking detail so that it becomes relevant and interesting.

Mary is generous with information, whether it is data, knowledge, or ideas.

On Advising and Research

Mary is so approachable. PhD students at the GSB are confronted with high pressure in a demanding program and professors may naturally tend to overlook this fact. A real contribution to our community is when a faculty member can identify when they are really needed by students.

She has made all the difference in my graduate school experience. I have not found a professor who gives so freely of her time, ideas, and essentially herself. In encouraging students to achieve the best they can, she establishes a bond with students that motivates them to continue persevere even when the chips are against them.

Each time I give her a draft of my work, the level of detail in her feedback and thoughtfulness in her comments, leave me with the impression that she ends up knowing my work better than I do.

She has been very understanding and supportive, which I think is one of the things that makes a professor really good - Not only the ability to produce great research, but to care enough to encourage excellence in others.

I am not nominating Mary on account of her great career achievements; I am nominating Mary because of her contribution on top of these achievements. Had I been unaware of Mary’s many demanding positions, I would be under the impression that she is dedicated almost solely to my development.

Mary dedicated her time to carefully read my long dissertation proposal and other research drafts and gave me several valuable and detailed comments that were crucial to my research. In addition, I had many detailed discussions with Mary on multiple topics that were very fruitful towards my development as a researcher.

Working as her RA has been a tremendously satisfying experience and I could not wish for a more positive contribution to my development than the research experience I gained working with her.

In working with her, I have found her to be understanding of other demands on my time and also keen to ensure that the RA experience is beneficial for the student.

Exemplar

Mary is regarded by the accounting community as the professor with the greatest impact on US and international accounting policy as well as one of the top-ranked accounting researchers in the world. She holds many positions, each of which requires extraordinary commitments that would exceed the capabilities of other highly qualified and smart people.

Mary’s personal research has critically influenced the field of accounting, but an even greater impact has come through contributions to the GSB students, many of which are done behind the curtain when designing the PhD program as the dean.

I cherish Mary’s dedication to GSB students. I am grateful that Stanford has such a dedicated professor, one that has such a positive effect on the PhD community.

Mary gives endlessly her time, knowledge, wisdom, and passion to the GSB community in general, and the PhD program in particular.

Recently, Mary was ranked among the 100 most influential people in finance worldwide, a list that includes the president of the United States.

On a personal note, Mary is one of the main reasons I chose to come to Stanford. She is unique in that her work has had as much of an influence on accounting practice as it has had in academia. She is a role model for me in my career.

This may sound unbelievable, but Mary has somewhat of a celebrity status around the world. I’ve been to conferences in Europe on two occasions, and PhD students over there seem amazed that she is my advisor and that I know her personally. You could consider her the “Michael Jordan” of accounting.

In an analysis of acknowledgments in major accounting journals, excluding two editors, Mary was thanked more frequently than anyone else in accounting publications. Today, we join with all these others and say, “Thank You.”