Accounting professor a strong believer in corporate governance

When the corporate accounting scandals were at their height‚ and names like Enron and WorldCom dominated headlines around the world‚ Dr. Dana Hermanson could predict with some degree of certainty when reporters were going to seek a comment from him.

Georgia (Oct 20, 2003) — When the corporate accounting scandals were at their height‚ and names like Enron and WorldCom dominated headlines around the world‚ Dr. Dana Hermanson could predict with some degree of certainty when reporters were going to seek a comment from him.

“During most of 2002‚ either I would get a call or (fellow KSU professor) Paul Lapides would get a call on pretty much every big story that came along; it was remarkable‚” said Hermanson‚ a co−founder of Kennesaw State University’s Corporate Governance Center who is now working alongside Lapides to establish a similar think tank at the University of Tennessee. “There were times when we both got calls on a particular issue. We’d kind of laugh about it later as to‚ ‘Well‚ at least we said things that were pretty consistent.’”

Hermanson‚ one of the country’s foremost experts on corporate governance‚ doesn’t mind working with the media. He realizes that such exposure‚ while time consuming‚ allows him to reach more people‚ and thus have a greater impact‚ than if he reserved his expertise solely for academic journals and his classroom in the Coles College of Business.

“One of the things I recognize is that if you just operate in the academic world‚ and you only write to academic audiences‚ you’re going to have limited impact on practice‚” he said. “And to the extent that you can interact with the media‚ and even through quotes and articles get some of your key research findings out there‚ in a way you’re taking your message to the business community.”

Hermanson is starting his 11th year at Kennesaw State. Among his colleagues is his wife‚ Heather‚ who also teaches in the accounting department. They came here together in 1993 after completing their doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin.

“I always wanted to be an academic‚” said Hermanson‚ a past winner of Kennesaw State’s Distinguished Service and Distinguished Scholarship awards. “I saw the freedom and flexibility that my dad (a retired accounting professor) had and it really made for great family life as I was growing up.”

Teaching in the Coles College‚ Hermanson has the opportunity to touch the lives of sophomores taking their first steps toward a career in accounting‚ as well as professionals returning to school to earn their MBAs. The experience level is different‚ but the message remains the same.

“I really don’t try to alter my approach all that much‚” Hermanson said. “I recognize that many undergraduates don’t have the same degree of business experience‚ and I may not get the same degree of insightful questions from the class‚ but I really don’t cut back on the principles and the insights I try to give them. I recognize that the sticking rate may not be quite as high if they don’t have business experience‚ but I still try to give them the full message. It seems to work out pretty well.”





A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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