CKGSB Prof Talks Hall of Fame Entry, Career Advice

February 10, 2016

CKGSB Professor of Accounting James Ohlson looks back on his distinguished academic career and also gives some advice to those looking to make it in his field, as he celebrates becoming the 93rd member of the Accounting Hall of Fame.

CKGSB Adjunct Professor of Accounting James Ohlson has become the 93rd member of The Accounting Hall of Fame. In a career that has spanned schooling in Stockholm, London and California, and has even incorporated a stint in the Swedish army, Prof Ohlson is, to quote from his official Hall of Fame citation, “a world-renowned and dedicated scholar [who] has given us new and important insights into the key role of accounting earnings in the valuation and operation of economic enterprises”.

Watch Prof Ohlson talk about his Hall of Fame entry, his past career,

more recent work and his advice to accounting students.

After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with both an MBA in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Business Administration in 1972, he joined the accounting faculty of Stanford University as an assistant professor where he remained for two years before returning to Berkeley, becoming the L. H. Penny Professor of Accounting in 1983.

Further stints followed as the George O. May Professor of Accounting at Columbia University, Leonard N. Stern Professor of Business at NYU, as well as affiliations with Arizona State University, the University of Chicago, LSE, the Stockholm School of Economics, the University of British Columbia and UCLA. 

Despite publishing over 60 papers in scholarly journals, he views the highly cited “Earnings, Book Values, and Dividends in Equity Valuation” as his “main paper.”  While Prof Ohlson admits the paper was less than warmly received at the time of publication in 1995, it has proven resilient. In 2000, the paper received the American Accounting Association’s Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature Award, followed in 2013 by the Seminal Contributions to Accounting Literature Award.  The research has had a major impact on the way equity valuation is taught and researched in empirical settings.

As testament to his skills as both a teacher and mentor, he has chaired the doctoral dissertation work for over 13 students who now hold faculty positions in major US universities. He also has an extensive record of editorial board service to every major academic journal in accounting.

His honors and awards include an honorary doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics, four awards from the American Accounting Association for notable contributions to the field, the Association’s Educator of the Year Award, and in China, the prestigious Chiang Jiang Scholar award.

Watch the video above to hear Prof Ohlson talk about his Hall of Fame entry, his past career highlights (including his most famous paper), his more recent work (including a forthcoming paper co-authored with CKGSB Associate Dean and Professor of Accounting and Finance Liu Jing) and his advice to accounting students.

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