EY Awards $500,000 to BYU School of Accountancy

Global mindset grant will promote international experiences

PROVO, Utah – Dec 10, 2014 – In an ever-expanding world of global business, the Brigham Young University School of Accountancy is taking steps to become more globally-minded with help from a $500,000 donation from EY.

“It represents the confidence EY has in our faculty and students,” says Jeff Wilks, director of the School of Accountancy. “EY has hired thousands of our students over the past few decades. This grant acknowledges how much our alumni have contributed to their success and how eager EY is to invest in BYU’s future.”

Accounting professors Greg Burton and Steve Albrecht, both of whom have extensive international experience, were tasked with writing the proposal. The goal of the proposal is to ensure all faculty and students from BYU’s accounting program gain a global mindset.

“Having a global focus will help us distinguish our program even more from others,” Burton says. “Students with these skills signal to the market that they have international understanding and can work in a world that has different ways of doing business.”

The School of Accountancy will implement the grant in various ways throughout the next five years. To help students stay more in touch with the pulse of current events in international business, money from the grant will fund subscriptions of The Economist, a weekly magazine from which professors will test students’ knowledge of business news and practices.

To increase participation in foreign and culturally diverse, immersive experiences, the grant will help expand international opportunities for both students and faculty. Faculty will be encouraged to participate in experiences that range from teaching exchanges at other universities to in-country service experiences in underdeveloped regions. Students will be able to participate in study abroad programs as well as international business trips and conferences with faculty advisers.

“It’s so rewarding to see students’ eyes opened up to opportunities that are not only accounting-focused but also business-focused,” says Burton, who has led study abroad programs for eight years. “When they understand global supply chain, joint ventures and how to develop relationships with banks, our students enter the workforce with skills that are valuable to the world.”

The grant will also fund various types of inclusiveness experiences and training to assist faculty and students in gaining a better understanding of and sensitivity towards issues they may encounter in the workplace.

“Thanks to this grant, our teaching cases and projects will be more representative of the cultures and diversity our students will encounter in their careers,” Wilks says. “They will become more culturally rich and more appreciative of the differences that can make a better world.”

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

EY Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger presented a check to BYU President Kevin J Worthen to promote global initiatives within the School of Accountancy.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Madison Nield