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School of Accounting's Charlotte Wright retires after 35 years with OSU

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Charlotte Wright
Charlotte Wright

Charlotte Wright, Regents Professor and Anadarko Petroleum Chair in the School of Accounting, retired from Oklahoma State University in June after 35 years in the Spears School of Business.

“Without a doubt, I have most enjoyed the students during my time at OSU. I have had so many great, hardworking, honest students from all across Oklahoma. Many of my students have gone on to have outstanding careers in industry, public accounting and in academia,” Wright says.

After Wright completed her master’s degree in professional accounting at the University of Texas at Arlington, she took a position with a major oil and gas company in Dallas. A few years later, she decided to go into a doctoral program and received a fellowship from the Institute for Petroleum Accounting Research at North Texas. There, she was able to work with some of the top experts in the oil and gas accounting industry as well as the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also received a substantial grant to pursue a dissertation in oil and gas accounting.   

Wilton T. Anderson, then-head of the School of Accounting at OSU, wanted to add oil and gas accounting to the curriculum and contacted her during her first year in the doctorate program. “He recruited me throughout the time that I was in the program. I ultimately accepted the position here in 1982 after I completed my doctoral degree at the University of North Texas,” Wright says.

"I have had the unique pleasure of working with Dr. Wright as a student and now as a colleague,” says Sarah E. Johnson, clinical instructor in the School of Accounting. “Both experiences have been instrumental in my success as an accountant and as a teacher. Dr. Wright has constantly challenged me to be better, work harder and deliver the best possible classroom experience for my students. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with her and learn from her. Congratulations to Dr. Wright after 35 years of service to the Oklahoma State School of Accounting."

During her career, Wright taught more than 3,500 students.

“Charlotte Wright has had an incredible career at Oklahoma State as a professor, research scholar and faculty mentor to many of us,” says Robert Cornell, a former professor in the OSU School of Accounting. “She upholds the standards of excellence in every aspect of her career including teaching, research and service. Faculty like Charlotte make the Oklahoma State University School of Accounting a special place for students, faculty and alumni.”

Wright started the School of Accounting’s Oil and Gas Accounting Conference in 2004 and managed the conference since its inception. In 2012, she and Cornell reconfigured the School of Accounting’s annual Accounting and Financial Reporting Conference. The pair took the conferences to tremendous success. Under their management, the conferences generated over $500,000 in scholarship money to support graduate students in accounting as well as benefited thousands of professionals in the state and region.

Wright is the author of Fundamentals of Oil and Gas Accounting, an international best-seller used by professionals and by colleges and universities around the world, bringing considerable positive attention to the School of Accounting. She is also the author of International Petroleum Accounting.

She has authored more than 45 research publications, over 30 selected academic proceedings and presentations, and given education presentations on more than 50 topics at professional meetings and conferences. She has four working papers and research in progress.

Wright has held memberships and chairs of numerous committees in the School of Accounting, the Spears School and university wide.

Wright has consulted with dozens of U.S.-based and international companies and offered litigation support in numerous cases.

Wright served on the International Accounting Standards Board Extractive Activities Advisory Committee from 2002 to 2009.

Her major awards include the American Society of CPA’s National Literary Award (1986); the SSRN Top Ten List for “Detecting and Predicting Financial Statement Fraud: The Effectiveness of the Fraud Triangle and SAS No. 99,” with Chris Skousen and Kevin Smith (2016); OSU Spears School of Business Richard Poole Faculty Excellence Award (2014); School of Accounting/Phillips 66 Exceptional Service Award (2014); OSU Regent’s Distinguished Research Award (2011), and the Oklahoma Outstanding Accounting Educator by the Oklahoma Society of CPAs (2009).

Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with highest honors, and a master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington. She also has a doctoral degree in accounting with minors in finance, economics and research methods from the University of North Texas.

In 2015, Wright was promoted to Regents Professor.

“Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to work with some awesome students here at OSU. Many of them have gone on to have highly successful careers in industry, public accounting and academia,” Wright says.  “I am so incredibly proud of the successes of each and every one of them. Because of my focus in oil and gas accounting I have had the opportunity to travel to virtually every oil- and gas-producing country in the world. I have met and worked with some of the foremost experts in the world. I believe that my work has had a significant influence on oil and gas accounting and financial reporting practice in the U.S. and globally.”

In retirement, she plans to continue working on her books and her consulting practice. She has opportunities to work with the Department of Justice and the U.S. State Department on two separate oil and gas-related cases. “Perhaps the most exciting opportunity is to join a team of experts engaged by the United Nations and World Bank on a two-year project aimed at designing and evaluating best practices in petroleum fiscal policy for developing countries. This work is incredibly interesting and enables me to take another deep dive into IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), which is the focus of the latest book I am writing” Wright says.  

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