Cindy Durtschi, associate professor of Accounting, has been named the first Epstein Fellow, a position made possible through the gift of Barry Jay Epstein, Ph.D (BUS ’67), long-time L&Q member and DePaul benefactor.
The purpose of the Dr. Barry Jay Epstein Endowed Faculty Fellowship, which will rotate across faculty and areas, is to support an existing faculty member’s engagement in academic, field or other forms of research on best practices in accounting education and teaching methodologies. Innovation and measurable outcomes are key to the program, which will serve as a catalyst to enhanced accounting education. According to Director Kevin Stevens, “These efforts will assure our continued pre-eminence as a professional school, and as an ‘educator of choice’ to the profession. We will continue as a top-tier program.”
Durtschi’s efforts will develop curriculum and courses, as well as create new materials for forensic accounting education. The effort will complement the School’s growing Internal Audit program.
“I’m really looking forward to expanding our forensic accounting offerings to three courses at the master’s level,” adds Durtschi. “Fraud-specific forensic accounting courses can increase skepticism and sensitivity to risk factors.”
In an ever-changing, ever-more sophisticated environment for financial crime, those courses will need new, high-level and very contemporary materials—cases in particular—and she and a few colleagues are working hard at it.
“I also have a new forensic accounting case with Carol Dee from the University of Colorado at Denver and my DePaul colleague Mary Mindak that is being test run in nine universities across the country this fall. I’m also working on another case that should be ready for other schools to test run soon.”
Durtschi received the 2006 American Accounting Association Innovation in Audit Education Award for her published case in forensic accounting, “The Tallahassee Bean Counters: A Problem-Based Learning Case in Forensic Auditing.” She and Dee also collaborated on a second version of the widely-used case, “Return of the Tallahassee Bean Counters.”
Durstschi, a recognized authority and researcher on forensic accounting and financial fraud, has not only published widely in the field, but serves in a number of professional organizations. She will serve as 2012-13 president of the Forensic and Investigative Accounting section of the American Accounting Association.