OSU-educated professor wins 2022 Don Herrmann Accounting Ph.D. Award
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
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Dr. Timothy B. Bell is the 2022 recipient of the Don Herrmann Distinguished Accounting Ph.D. Alumni Award.
The award, presented by the School of Accounting, was created in honor of the late Dr. Don Herrmann — a member of the school’s faculty for 13 years who passed away in 2018 at the age of 54 after battling brain cancer.
“I am so very honored to receive this prestigious award,” Bell said. “This recognition brings me back to my arrival in Stillwater when on Jan. 3, 1978, I was married at the Payne County Courthouse, and my wife and I enrolled in our coursework at OSU on that same day, she in the master’s program in mass communication and I in the accounting Ph.D. program.”
Bell received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Jacksonville University (1971), MBA from the University of North Florida (1975), Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University (1981) and joined the accounting faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1981. Bell now serves as the Coggin Distinguished Professor of Accounting at North Florida.
“To say that my studies at OSU prepared me well for my academic career would be a gross understatement,” he said. “Within my first year on the faculty at UT-Austin, I had a sole-authored paper drawn from my dissertation published in the 'Journal of Accounting Research' and a second co-authored work published in 'The Accounting Review.'”
In 1987, Peat Marwick Main & Co. (now KPMG) recruited Bell to join the firm’s audit research group where over a 22-year career he directed numerous programs involving auditing research and classroom case development.
“The position at KPMG was a unique niche in which I had one foot in practice and the other in academe,” Bell said. “I was able to apply scientific rigor to issues emerging on the front lines of a rapidly-evolving profession and share findings with practicing audit professionals, faculty and students around the world.”
Bell published numerous articles in highly rated journals, including "Journal of Accounting Research," "The Accounting Review," "Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory," "The International Journal of Accounting, Management Science," and others. He is co-editor of the AICPA monograph "Auditing Practice, Research, and Education: A Productive Collaboration" (1995) and co-author of the KPMG monographs "Auditing Organizations Through a Strategic-Systems Lens" (1997) and "The 21st Century Public Company Audit" (2005) and the KPMG-sponsored classroom case books "Cases in Strategic-Systems Auditing" (2002) and "Triangle Manufactured Homes: Off-Balance-Sheet Transfers of Subprime Loans" (2008).
Both the 1995 and 1997 monographs received the Joint AICPA/AAA Collaboration Award in 1998. In 2003, the 1995 monograph also received the Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award from the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association. In 2005, Bell received both the Auditing Section’s Distinguished Service in Auditing Award and Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award.
Since returning to academe in 2009, Bell has published articles in the "Journal of Accounting Research," "The Accounting Review," "Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory," "Accounting & Finance," and other journals. In 2019, he received the High-Impact Research Article Award at UNF for co-authoring the most frequently cited article among all that were published by faculty in UNF’s Coggin College of Business over the five-year period 2014 through 2018. Also, student members of the accounting fraternity Alpha Sigma Pi voted Bell the 2018 Graduate Professor of the Year.
“The OSU Ph.D. program in Accounting opened up new worlds for me,” he said. “Without the guidance of Jim Boatsman, I would have floundered on a dissertation topic. He and I have remained friends through the years. My years in the program overlapped with prior recipients of the Don Herrmann Award, Kevin Stocks and Tom Wetzel, a testament to the quality of education provided to the 1981 Ph.D. Program cohort.
“The 1981 cohort was a close-knit group who shared insights on topics in our coursework and socialized with one another regularly. Jim McKee and I were joined at the hip through my full tenure in the program. We even defended our dissertations on the same day. We lost Jim to cancer on May 13, 2021. Tom Wetzel was another close office mate of mine. I miss them both dearly. I wish I had known Don Herrmann personally but feel a kinship with him because he was the source of inspiration for this special award I now receive.”
Dr. Audrey Gramling, head of the School of Accounting, is pleased to recognize Bell with this year’s award.
“When the selection committee advised me that it had selected Tim for this recognition, I was thrilled,” Gramling said. “Tim has been a unique individual in the accounting academy providing value to both the academy and the accounting profession. In the School of Accounting, our mission is to build the future of accounting. Tim has been adding that value for decades. I am proud that he is an alum of our Ph.D. program and I appreciate all he has done over years to benefit students, faculty and accounting professionals.”
Don Herrmann worked as an auditor for Deloitte in Colorado before moving to Stillwater where he earned his Ph.D. in accounting from OSU in 1995. He spent nine years teaching at Oregon State University before accepting a faculty position at OSU in 2005. In addition to his research, teaching and textbook authorship, Herrmann served in various roles at OSU, including head of the School of Accounting and Ph.D. coordinator.
The Herrmann family spent the past 15-plus years in Stillwater where he was active in the community, serving as an elder at Countryside Church, leading numerous Bible studies and coaching many youth sports teams.
Two of his four children followed in Herrmann’s footsteps, earning accounting degrees. Both daughter Rachel Cox, the OSU-Tulsa accounting program coordinator, and son Nathan Herrmann earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from OSU. Nathan is a student in the University of Texas accounting Ph.D. program. Another son, David, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from OSU before earning a medical degree from OSU’s Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, and is a family practice doctor in Tulsa. Youngest son, Micah, graduated from John Brown University (his dad’s alma mater) and is employed with Fidelity Investments.