Connie Weaver is a KPMG Professor in accounting and a Mays Fellow. She is also a recipient of the 2010 David and Denise Baggett Teaching Award and the 2006 American Taxation Association/Deloitte Teaching Innovations Award.
I am reading… The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Congress passed new legislation that affects both individuals and businesses. The Act is 154 pages long and I’m gaining a better understanding of how these changes in the tax law will affect investment and business decisions. On a more personal level, I am reading A Memory of Light, the 14th and final book in a series written by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. My son got me started on the series years ago when the first book was released (2002), and after all this time I am committed to finishing it.
I recommend… expanding one’s horizon. In being a tax accounting professor, I spend so much time thinking about the tax law and numbers that I often remind myself that there is much more to learn than this narrow perspective allows. So, I try to read in broader areas. For example, I listened to one of “The Great Courses” on philosophy and found it to be very valuable in framing the way I teach and research.
To keep up with business trends, I do a lot of reading primarily the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. In terms of my specific discipline, I also teach tax professionals at some of the national accounting firms. My interactions with these professionals help me stay current with the transactions and events that the professionals are tackling.
I think research and teaching are… synergistic. I often bring in research studies to my classroom to help students see where we are in our understanding of a particular topic. Similarly, my research benefits from the insights students provide in class discussion on current tax topics.
My teaching philosophy is… centered on helping students develop skills that will enable them to understand the material taught in class and to extend that understanding to problems they face later in their careers even if they have never seen that particular issue before. With that in mind, I focus on the process necessary to understand the tax law and to find solutions to complex tax and accounting issues.
My current research is… focused on how firms’ business models influence their reporting choices for both financial and tax purposes. Policymakers are concerned about earnings management and aggressive tax strategies and have ascribed this behavior to poor accounting quality and the downward trend in firms’ effective tax rates. This research, coauthored with a doctoral student and a colleague, shows that these concerns may be misplaced. That these trends are associated with the business model a firm uses to operate.
During my time off, you will find me running the streets of College Station and Austin. I am an avid runner and have completed three marathons so far. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
I’m interested in… experiencing different cultures. I love to travel and at the top of my list would be a trip to Macchu Picchu or New Zealand.
If I were not a professor, I would be… a winemaker. I’d enjoy being outdoors among the grapes and trying to understand how different grapes produce different wine types.
My one piece of advice for my students when they graduate from A&M is… to try new things, enjoy the journey as well as the destination. Those paths we think of as diversions may just be the path to happiness.
About Mays Business School
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.