Deloitte & Touche Unveils Corporate Director Education Program

Responding to the increasing demands, responsibilities, and heightened scrutiny of corporate board members, Deloitte & Touche LLP today announced the creation of a unique alliance with the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and The Directors' Network Inc. to develop and deliver customized, consultative education programs for corporate directors.

This alliance with The Directors' Network and the University of Michigan aims to provide tailored corporate director education," said Greg Weaver, Deloitte & Touche U.S. national managing partner, Audit and Enterprise Risk Services. "Our offerings are highly customizable. We have a broad array of specialists to draw upon. And our programs can save directors time-a real plus as board members' responsibilities are time-consuming. It all adds up to a unique and valuable program."

While Deloitte & Touche and The Directors' Network have a longstanding relationship, the addition of the Executive Education program at the University of Michigan Ross School leverages the experience and knowledge of university faculty, research, and executive education programs to deliver uniquely designed programs to corporate boards.

"Our programs are highly interactive and enhance the ability of the entire board to concentrate on issues of major importance to the company," said Stephanie Joseph, president of The Directors' Network. "This builds teamwork and encourages all directors to participate."

Benefits of the alliance's programs may actually extend beyond the confines of corporate director education and into the realms of governance and compliance. For example, New York Stock Exchange standards require boards to adopt and disclose certain governance practices, including continuing education for directors. And some governance ratings organizations consider director education a factor when developing ratings of companies' corporate governance practices. One of them, Institutional Shareholder Services, will accredit alliance programs.

"In the wake of increased focus on the roles and responsibilities of corporate boards, directors must make the transition to becoming more knowledgeable and more proactive in fulfilling leadership duties," said Ray Reilly, the associate dean for executive education at Michigan. "This new program provides tools and insights to help directors fulfill their responsibilities to understand and comply with new regulations, ensure an appropriate level of internal control, monitor the quality of financial reporting, and deliver shareholder value."

The alliance's first offering will be an innovative program to enhance the financial literacy of directors through an intensive three-day classroom session to be held on the Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, April 25-27. Limited to 30 directors, the program will be delivered by faculty from the Business School and professionals from Deloitte & Touche, combining academia and the accounting profession, and using class discussion, case studies, and hands-on use of a sophisticated valuation tool. Register online at www.execed.bus.umich.edu

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