Decision to Deep-Six Accounting Journals Causes Quite a Stir

Accounting faculty around the country are taking to the Internet in a grassroots campaign to fight for two educational resources they hold dear - Accounting Horizons and Issues in Accounting Education - educational journals published by the American Accounting Association, whose future is in the crosshairs of the associations' Executive Committee.

A letter by American Accounting Association President G. Peter Wilson to the AAA Council on March 23 explained that the Executive Committee had voted to discontinue the two popular journals and outlines the decision to create a new journal to replace them both. The letter further indicates that the Executive Committee considered polling the membership on this issue, but concluded that the AAA Council is diverse enough that member concerns should have been raised appropriately in discussions with the Executive Committee. Mr. Wilson continues that although the Executive Committee has continually "met great initial resistance when we have recommended to a new audience that Horizons and Issues should be replaced with the new journal," they concluded that the issue was too complex to clearly communicate to the membership in writing and moved forward with their decision based on representative feedback from the Council and Publications Task Force.

Following on the heels of that letter, accounting professors began posting concerns over the controversial decision of the AAA on several discussion group web sites. At the nucleus of these discussion groups is Bob Jensen, a professor at Trinity University, well-known in academic circles for his online contributions to "all things accounting" on his Web site located at www.trinity.edu/rjensen.

In the two weeks since the AAA decision has been made public, accounting scholars from Canada to Connecticut have weighed in with their pleas to the Executive Committee to keep alive the two journals that are marked for the slaughterhouse. Among the concerns of the educators is not only the desire to continue with the two journals, but also a deep concern about the way in which the decision was made. With key constituencies allegedly being ignored, and reports of the editors of the journals not being consulted prior to the final vote of the Executive Committee, AAA members have expressed displeasure with both the decision as well as the decisionmaking process.

AAA indicates that it will host a "Town Hall" forum at its annual meeting of the association in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 3-6, 2003, and will discuss their decision at various regional meetings to be held prior to that time.

Jim Hasselback, a professor at Florida State University, has been appointed as Chairperson of a committee to follow up on the journal decision. He can be reached at jhassel@cob.fsu.edu.

A complete posting of the various discussion threads related to the AAA decision may be found at www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AAAjournals.htm.

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