At Commencement, President Bill Chace described the recipient of
the 2002 Scholar/Teacher Award, Al Hartgraves, as an academic
He lauded Hartgraves contributions to the Goizueta School
of Business as an administrator, a teacher and a researcher. In
conclusion, Chace said as the two stood on stage at Commencement,
that Hartgraves was most deserving because of a remarkable
dedication to your school, this University and your colleagues.
It was a surreal experience, said Hartgraves, professor
of accounting. I never expected to be chosen for an award
of this magnitude. There are so many great faculty throughout this
University, and you always assume someone else is going to get the
award. I was extremely honored.
With 22 years on the business school faculty, Hartgraves is second
in seniority, as well as one of the most highly regarded professors
in the school. Five times he has been selected for Goizuetas
Distinguished Educator Awardmost recently by this years
Its clear to see the respect the students have for him. When
his name was announced at Commencement, the entire business school
graduating class stood and cheered. Hartgraves said that was his
favorite part of the ceremony.
A self-described throwback, Hartgraves has never shied away from
multiple responsibilities. He has held a variety administrative
positions, including several deanships and director of graduate
He has written or co-written more than 50 publications, his latest
being the third edition of Management Accounting: A Strategic
Management Approach, a textbook that helped redefine accounting
Hartgraves most recent research is on the Enron scandal,
and he is venturing into areas where few academics have gone. He
and George Benston, John H. Harland Professor of Finance, have co-written
two journal articles that investigate a previously unexamined area
of the Enron case: the companys use of Special Purpose Entities
SPEs are created by corporations but are independent of them. They
exist, however, to perform a certain service for the original corporation.
The original corporations often do business with them, and any funds
they create are left off the parents balance sheet. While
most every company creates SPEs, very little is known about them
anduntil recentlyeven less had been written.
Hartgraves searched every index and table of contents of every
financial accounting book on his shelf. Not a single one mentioned
SPEs. The academic community was out of touch with this area
of accounting, he said.
Now, Hartgraves said, there is talk of SPE money being accounted
for as part of the parent corporation, rather the current system
of off-balance sheet accounting.
This has the potential of bringing hundreds of billions of
dollars of assets and liabilities onto corporate balance sheets
that previously have been off them, Hartgraves said.