- Haas Home
- Haas Newsroom
- Spring/Summer 2010 CalBusiness
- Cover Story
- Featured Stories
- In Brief
- Innovation Wizards
- Power of Ideas
- Alumni News
- Personal View
- About CalBusiness
- Past Issues
The Campaign for Haas
Your Investments at Work
Scholarship Promotes Studies in International Security
Tarek Ghani, PhD 14, hopes eventually to teach at a school of business or public policy on the issues of crime, corruption, and ethics in international business. It’s a field in which he’s already fairly knowledgeable: His undergraduate thesis at Stanford focused on Afghanistan’s post-Taliban state-building efforts after 9/11, and how warlords, drug traffickers, and corrupt officials are undermining that country’s prospects for peace.
What’s more, the U.S.-raised Ghani is the son of Ashraf Ghani, former finance minister of Afghanistan. Ghani took a year off of school to serve as special assistant to his father, an experience that informed his senior thesis project. The senior Ghani later ran against Hamid Karzai in the recent presidential election, while Tarek went on to oversee a $15 million grant budget to promote transparency and accountability in Liberia’s government program for the philanthropic organization Humanity United.
Ghani is the recipient of a scholarship from the William Leonard Crum Fund, which has enabled him to focus more time on his course work and research. “Because of resources like the Crum Fund, I can spend the first few years concentrating on my core disciplinary training,” Ghani explains. “Such funding allows Haas to attract the best students with packages competitive with other top business schools.” And Ghani is pleased to be one of those students. “Haas is responding in a very thoughtful way to the broader business environment,” he says, “by educating leaders who are prepared to navigate ambiguous waters.”
Professorship Advances Research on Financial Statement Manipulation
Accounting Professor Patricia Dechow is the Donald H. and Ruth F. Seiler Professor in Public Accounting, a position made possible by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Donald Seiler 49, MBA 50. Dechow’s research has spanned financial statement analysis, earnings management, understanding how investors interpret financial information, and the use of financial statement information to detect mispriced stocks. She is currently looking at various measures of earnings quality, trying to determine which are best for detecting firms that are manipulating their financial statements. “Targeting firms identified by the Securities and Exchange Commission for bad accounting, we can look at their characteristics, decide if they have unusual ratios, and see if we can we pick them out of a sample,“ she explains.
A native Australian who joined the Haas School in 2006, Dechow is chair of the Haas Accounting Group and received the 2006-2007 Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching. The Seiler Professorship affords her the necessary funding to collect data, attend conferences, and hire research assistants. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and she appreciates the culture that is so unique to Haas. “The faculty here are experts in their fields but are still always friendly and open to new ideas,“ she says. “It’s a great place for new thinking, innovation, and creativity.“