University of Southern California

A New Horizon
September 21, 2011 • by William Holder

Growing up in Elk City, Oklahoma, I thought that little town was the center of the universe. My mother and father owned a small hotel that catered to working people: oil field workers, traveling salesmen and the like. The oil field played out when I was ten, and we faced some pretty hard times. When the porters and janitor were laid off Mom and Dad ran the hotel, cleaned the rooms, and changed the beds.

After high school, I knew I wanted to go to college and said good-bye to Elk City's familiar vistas. As I left, I felt a certain melancholy but also knew that I was excited about moving on to a new challenge. I've felt that same excitement at various points in my life as I embark toward a new horizon. It is how I've felt this summer in my first months as the Dean of the Leventhal School of Accounting.

I am deeply honored to have been selected to lead the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. In my first few months I have seen even more clearly the enormous responsibility, and the privilege, of providing our students an excellent education and the skills to become thought leaders within the industry.

In terms of physical resources, however, we're bursting at the seams – we need technology centers and ultimately, a new building. These facilities will prepare us to support a significant change coming to accounting education in California. A new state law expands the educational requirements to become a CPA. As a result, we want to put in place a progressive degree program, one that results in receipt of bachelor's and master's degree that is a coordinated, integrated learning experience.

The Leventhal School of Accounting has a long tradition of accounting education excellence. We aspire to maintain our status as one of America's top accounting schools and I hope you will support us in this effort. Share in my excitement as we take on this new challenge. We can all walk toward a new horizon together.

Fight On!
William Holder
Dean, Leventhal School of Accounting