The Broad College’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems has garnered a reputation for excellence, with passionate faculty members making incredible contributions to accounting education, research and practice.
“MSU is internationally recognized, particularly in the area of managerial accounting, because of the research and service of faculty members such as Joan Luft,” said Chris Hogan, chairperson of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.
On Jan. 9, Luft, Eli Broad Professor emeritus, received the Lifetime Contribution to Management Accounting Award from the American Accounting Association, recognizing her significant impact and research in the accounting field. With this honor, Luft becomes the third former Broad faculty member to receive this award, joining professors emeritus Sue Haka and Mike Shields, continuing MSU’s legacy as the sole winner for this category.
“I was very grateful to the sponsors for two experiences that I certainly never expected to have: one was getting this award, which has gone to some very distinguished people in the past, and the other was making a major conference presentation while wearing pink fuzzy slippers,” Luft shared light-heartedly about attending the awards event virtually. “But seriously, the best thing about it was that it was an occasion for a lot of former students and colleagues to say hello — and it was good to see how well they were doing.”
During her 21 years as a Broad faculty member, Luft taught a variety of accounting courses at the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. levels and worked on research projects with colleagues within and beyond MSU. She has produced 30 academic publications, with nearly 39,000 reads of her academic work at Research Gate and almost 2,700 citations. Additionally, she has received three other notable contribution awards, a Journal of Management Accounting best paper award and multiple teaching and research awards.
“The MSU accounting department, during my time there, managed to hold together a diverse array of people who found different questions interesting, believed in different methods of addressing these questions and had different degrees of scholarly versus accounting-practice orientation,” Luft explained. “This enabled the department to give students a broad and solid foundation in the field, in contrast to an absurdly narrow type of department.”
Luft also discussed her appreciation for MSU’s diverse, global perspectives, which fostered a more insightful atmosphere at Broad. She often was able to interact with international students and help guide them through the challenges of coursework and career concerns in a foreign country while also getting to connect with students personally and learning about their lives.
“MSU is a school with a strong tradition of international orientation, and I think one of the best things about my years there was the opportunity to build international connections,” she said. “I also had plenty of opportunities to meet and work with colleagues in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and it was wonderfully refreshing and energizing to be part of so large a world.”
Today, Broad’s accounting and information systems department continues to consist of faculty members like Luft, who embody an immense amount of dedication to serving their profession and staying connected.
“Many of our current and former faculty members have served as officers of the American Accounting Association, or as part of regulatory bodies within the accounting profession, and they’ve always worked hard to stay informed about developments in the accounting profession,” Hogan said.
Luft’s dedication and encouraging mindset touched the lives of those she worked with while creating valuable research and teaching students.
“Joan has always been an incredibly thoughtful and dedicated colleague,” Hogan continued. “She sets the standard for quality, integrity and mentoring, and I consider it a privilege to have served as a faculty member with her.”
This award serves as a testament to Broad’s strengths in accounting and how our faculty strive for the absolute best and help shape the future of business.