University of Southern California

Professor Holder Selected as Next Leventhal Dean
Begins Term July 1
April 27, 2011 • by News at Marshall

The USC Marshall School of Business announces the appointment of Professor William W. Holder as dean of the USC Leventhal School of Accounting, effective July 1. He will replace Dean Randolph Beatty, who will step down at the end of June.

An expert financial reporting and auditing, Holder has had a distinguished career in academia and has earned numerous awards along the way. He came to USC from Texas Tech University in 1979 and was named to the Accounting Circle Professorship in Accounting in 1988. Since 1990, he has held the Ernst and Young Professorship in Accounting, and he has directed the USC SEC and Financial Reporting Institute since 1994.

Holder called it "a terrific honor" to be selected as the next dean. "I view this position as one that involves being a steward of a great school. My job is to preserve and to protect and to advance," he said.

The Leventhal School of Accounting, a unit of the Marshall School of Business, offers accounting undergraduate and master’s programs widely recognized in the top tier of accounting education worldwide. The Leventhal undergraduate program is ranked No. 6 by U.S. News & World Report and No. 7 by Public Accounting Report, while the Master of Business Taxation program is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Public Accounting Report. Leventhal also ranks No. 7 in accounting research production worldwide, according to the latest University of Texas-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings.

James G. Ellis, Dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, predicts the appointment will position Leventhal to attain even greater academic heights. "Bill Holder exemplifies the traits of an ideal USC dean," said Ellis. "He has attained the highest levels of distinction in teaching, in research, in leadership within his academic discipline and his university and in service to his community. I am particularly impressed with his level of energy and dedication to and passion for the USC Leventhal School of Accounting."

Acknowledging there are opportunities and challenges ahead, Holder said he looks forward to tackling some specific ones immediately: curriculum changes and faculty recruitment.

The educational requirements for being licensed as a certified public accountant are changing and increasing due to new laws and regulations. Holder, a CPA in both California and Oklahoma, foresees the need for curriculum changes to ensure that Leventhal’s educational programs will continue to give each graduate the potential for career advancement into the highest levels of professional accounting and management.

While taking on new responsibilities as dean, Holder also plans to continue teaching and maintain his professional work in service and publications. "I love teaching. It’s filled with tremendous rewards," he said.

The Holder family represents three generations of strong ties to USC. His spouse, Carolyn, holds two business degrees from USC and her father was a graduate and varsity athlete who lettered in track and field. Two of the Holders’ three children also hold degrees from USC; their daughter, Katie, is a 2009 graduate employed by Cisco Systems, and son, Marc, is an attorney with the firm of Jones Day.

The USC Leventhal Dean Search Committee included professors Mark DeFond and Kenneth Merchant, who co-chaired the committee, Mingyi Hung, Shirley Maxey, Patricia Mills and Kendall Simmonds. Kenneth Leventhal, USC Life Trustee and chairman emeritus of E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group, served as a special adviser to the provost during the search.

Upon assuming his appointment, Holder will find a vibrant School of Accounting thanks in no small measure to its current leader. "During Dean Beatty’s 10 years of leadership, the Leventhal School has continued its ascent to become a top-ranked, elite school of accounting," said Ellis. "We applaud Dean Beatty’s exceptional accomplishments as dean and look forward to his continued contributions as a valued member of the school’s faculty." Beatty holds the Alan Casden Dean’s Chair at the Leventhal School.

More About Professor William W. Holder
Professor William W. Holder is an expert on financial reporting and auditing. He has authored numerous books and journal articles. His research has been published in The Journal of Accountancy, The Accounting Review, the Financial Executive and The CPA Journal.

Among his awards are two from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service, the highest honor given by the AICPA, and the Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the California Society of CPAs, as well as numerous teaching awards from that organization and from USC. In addition, he was selected by Accounting Today as one of the 100 most influential people in the accounting profession in 2001 and 2002.

Holder is a certified public accountant in both California and Oklahoma with numerous individual consulting engagements with various public accounting firms, municipalities, industries and in litigation support. He also is a former member of the boards of directors of the AICPA and the Los Angeles Society of CPAs. He was a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board from July 2000-June 2010.

He earned a doctorate in business administration and a master of accountancy, both from the University of Oklahoma.


About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.