Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has pledged a $1 million donation to the University of Alabama to support accounting education at its Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.
The donation is intended to help the university improve its staff, offer more services to accounting majors, and decrease the shortage within specialty accounting practices, including auditing, tax, and teaching professions.
Out of 187 students nationwide expected to receive doctoral degrees in accounting this year, only 22 expressed interest in teaching in those two areas, according to the press release.
The university plans to establish three funds in honor of the donations, which will each be named after PricewaterhouseCoopers' CEO Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr., who earned a dual degree at the University of Alabama in accounting and economics.
The Accounting Endowed Faculty Support Fund will be used to attract and hire new faculty to the Culverhouse School of Accountancy and the two other funds will help fund doctoral research and publication on the subject and support full-time doctoral students studying accountancy.
"The shortage of doctoral students and faculty in accounting is one of the greatest challenges facing accounting education and the accounting profession," said UA President Robert E. Witt, in a written statement. "This generous contribution will greatly enhance our efforts to attract qualified doctoral candidates and faculty."