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Assistant Professors of Accounting Shyam (left) and Jayanthi Sunder with Robert Magee, the Keith I. DeLashmutt Distinguished Professor of Accounting Information

Jayanthi and Shyam Sunder named Revsine Research Professors

Inaugural award, made possible by gift from alumnus, supports liquidity research

By Adrienne Murrill

11/9/2007 - The Kellogg School of Management is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Lawrence Revsine Research Professorship for the 2007-2008 academic year.

Assistant Professors of Accounting and Information Management Jayanthi Sunder and Shyam Sunder have earned the distinction, which is named after their late mentor Revsine, the John and Norma Darling Distinguished Professor of Financial Accounting.

Professor Revsine, who died in May after a long tenure at Kellogg, was known for the expertise he brought to accounting through his teaching and texts such as Financial Reporting and Analysis.

The Sunders said they were honored by the recognition. After joining Kellogg in 2002 and 2003, respectively, Shyam and Jayanthi immediately formed a relationship with Revsine. Soon after the young faculty members began teaching Financial Reporting and Analysis (ACCT 451), which Revsine had taught for more than 30 years. Shyam recalled the discussions they would have with their senior colleague.

“We would sit at lunch together after class and chat with Larry. We would ask him, ‘Students have all these questions, but what is the right way to approach this, or what are the research implications?’ You could talk about anything, and he knew something about it,” Shyam said.

“He had that intellectual curiosity, so whether it was teaching or research, we could always get honest and valuable feedback,” Jayanthi added.

The Revsine Professorship is supporting their research (co-authored with University of Michigan Professor Sreedhar Bharath) that will explore the effect of liquidity on lenders' monitoring incentives in the bank loan market. According to their proposal, "the primary question of the paper would be to examine the 'dark side' of liquidity, if any, or make the case for liquidity as an important catalyst for effective monitoring."

This research builds on their earlier paper, also co-authored with Bharath, "Accounting Quality and Debt Contracting," which will be published in the January 2008 issue of The Accounting Review. There, the professors explore differences in information use in private versus public debt markets. Jayanthi explained: "There have been significant changes in the structure of the bank debt market such that these markets are beginning to resemble public debt markets. The interesting question therefore is whether this has affected the degree to which banks are willing to do fundamental analysis of their borrowers."

The professorship was made possible by a $1 million gift from Michael Shannon ’83 and his family. It allows the Kellogg Accounting Research Center to provide research support beyond the typical amount, giving faculty members access to resources like data and analysis tools that would not otherwise be available, said Robert Magee, the center’s director.

“Larry Revsine cared deeply about the practice of financial reporting, and he believed that research could help to identify the beneficial — and sometimes not so beneficial — effects of that practice,” said Magee, the Keith I. DeLashmutt Distinguished Professor of Accounting Information. “The Revsine Research Professorship allows our faculty to carry on Larry’s tradition of scholarly research into the world of financial reporting.”