University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Dean Emeritus Williams Named to Accounting Hall of Fame

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February 19, 2020

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He is among five new members to be inducted into the hall of fame in August during the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dean Williams was instrumental in securing the transformational $50 million gift to the college in 1998 from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. At that time it was the largest upfront cash gift ever given to a public business college. Williams was hired from the University of Southern California in 1993 by the University of Arkansas and served as dean of the Walton College until 2005.

During his time as dean, the U of A’s College of Business Administration was renamed the Sam M. Walton College of Business and secured its first recognition among the top 25 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings.

Williams was instrumental in the formation of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and founded the college’s Dean’s Executive Advisory Board, the Business Alumni Advisory Council, the annual Business Forecast Luncheon and the college’s Alumni Awards. He established the first diversity office on the University of Arkansas campus, which was also the first at any Southeastern Conference business school.

He also secured funding for Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development and began fundraising to support the building of Willard J. Walker Hall.

The Accounting Hall of Fame originated at The Ohio State University in 1950 and has inducted 101 members since its inception. In 2017, the operations of the Accounting Hall of Fame were assumed by the American Accounting Association.

Williams also is a past president of the American Accounting Association (1984-1985) and past chair of the Board of Directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB, from 2004-2005. His role as chair of the AACSB Board gave him the opportunity to strengthen, expand and advise institutions as to the elements of accounting accreditation activities. He served as director of education of the association, president of the Administrators of Accounting Programs and president of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy. He also served as chair of the Accounting Education Change Commission from 1989-1993. The AECC’s statement on the “Objectives of Education for Accountants” was widely quoted and its work served as the basis for many curriculum advances. Working with the Atlanta office of KPMG, he established the Financial Reporting Roundtable involving the 20 largest companies headquartered in Georgia. Williams was the founding dean of the School of Accounting at USC, served as accounting area coordinator at Texas Tech University and was a senior scholar at Kennesaw State University. He also served as executive director of the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, from 2008-2012. He received the FSA/Joseph A. Silvoso Faculty Merit Award for distinguished contributions to the federation, to the profession of accounting and to accounting education in 1993 and again in 2011. He received the association’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1996. He was the fifth educator to receive the AICPA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 2002.

Upon Williams’ retirement, the University of Arkansas established the endowed Doyle Z. and Maynette D. Williams Chair in Professional Accounting.

Bruce Behn, chair of The Accounting Hall of Fame committee, said this year’s inductees represent a diverse group of accounting thought leaders from a breadth of practice and educational backgrounds. The nomination process engaged members of The Accounting Hall of Fame, the association and other professional accounting organizations.

Promoting excellence in accounting education, research and practice, the American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. It was founded in 1916, it has a rich and reputable history built on leading-edge research and publications.

Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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