Dean of UVU’s Business School honored for serving as president of the American Accounting Association

Robert D. Allen, the new dean of UVU’s Woodbury School of Business, was honored by the American Accounting Association (AAA) on August 9th for his leadership service at the association’s national convention in Denver, Colorado. 

Allen officially concluded his three-year leadership commitment with the association at the convention where he was honored for serving as president-elect from 2020-2021, president from 2021-2022, and past president from 2022-2023. He joined the association over 30 years ago and has been a member ever since. 

“The AAA went through an incredible amount of change while Bob Allen was on the board and while he served as president,” said Yvonne Hinson, chief executive officer of the AAA. “Under Bob’s leadership, the AAA has flourished and greatly expanded its reach. We are so grateful for his steady and insightful leadership. 

The AAA is seen as the premier academic association for academic accountants in the U.S. and many foreign countries who teach and research at the university and college levels. The association has approximately 8,000 members. 

During Allen’s presidential term, he focused his leadership on growing the impact of professorial teaching and research.  Allen’s primary focus has always been teaching even though much of the association’s efforts are focused on research. “My passion has always been for teaching,” said Allen. “That is where my heart led me — toward really focusing on students and teaching.” 

His theme for the year was growth — helping faculty grow the impact they have on students through teaching excellence and growing the impact of their research by focusing on societal problems.  As president, he was instrumental in creating a new research award to recognize professors whose research makes an impact on solving societal problems.  

“Business education and research is expensive,” he said. “As faculty owe it to our students and society to make sure our instruction is cutting-edge, and when we do research, it should be focused on issues and topics that benefit society overall.”  The new research award is co-sponsored by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Its purpose is to create the next generation of great business and accounting leaders and to focus academic research on issues that will positively impact society the most.  

Over the years, Allen has received multiple academic awards for excellence in both research and teaching. In 2018, the AAA presented him with its most prestigious teaching honor, the J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook/Deloitte Foundation award in the graduate category and in 2008 he received the AAA/Deloitte Foundation Wildman Medal Award for research with the greatest impact on accounting practice. 

In an additional honor and demonstration of respect, J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook asked Allen to be their representative to coordinate with the Deloitte Foundation and the AAA committees that nominate and select the Cook Prize award winners each year — a complex process that ultimately selects the top accounting teacher in the country in each of three categories (2-year college, undergraduate, and graduate).   

When asked how his experience and service in the AAA will guide his leadership in UVU’s Woodbury School of Business, he said: “My UVU theme will be the same as it was at the AAA — helping students and faculty to grow and succeed in their chosen fields, and to grow the positive impact that they will have in their chosen fields and society at large. 

“As an educator, I feel it is my job to get better every semester, and to help our students and faculty get better.  Our work in the business school is very important and makes a difference in the lives of our students. I am privileged to work with dedicated people who are continually working to improve our school and focusing on student success. I am continually surprised at the cool things our faculty and staff are doing to help students succeed.  It is truly an honor to work with them.”