• Prof. Zabihollah Rezaee
  • Prof. Zabihollah Rezaee
  • The University of Memphis, USA
  • Abstract:

    In today’s business environment, corporations worldwide are under profound pressure of high competition to improve their long-term and enduring performance. Business sustainability in all dimensions of economic, governance, social, ethical and environmental (EGSEE) performance is gaining acceptance by regulators, investors, and corporations as many global stock exchanges (e.g., Toronto, Singapore) and regulators (EU parliaments) either encourage or require their listed companies to issue sustainability reports. More than 5,000 companies worldwide are disclosing financial economic sustainability and non-financial environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sustainability performance. I discuss the importance, relevance, and delivery of all five EGSEE dimensions of sustainability education. Business schools play an important part and ever lasting role in preparing the next generation of business leaders who must understand the importance of business sustainability in our society and new accountability and integrated sustainability reporting and assurance. 

    The primary purposes of this talk are to: (1) discuss the importance of business sustainability education (BSE); (2) examine the relevance, delivery and curriculum content of BSE; and (3) determine how business colleges and accounting programs are integrating or planning to integrate business sustainability education into their curricula. Global regulators and standard-setters and other organizations, including the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), are now promoting and suggesting guidelines for Integrated/Sustainability Reporting and Assurance. Despite the importance of business sustainability and sustainability disclosures to corporations and investors, there is limited research on the status of business sustainability education (BSE). Business sustainability education (BSE) courses can be structured in many ways including a combination of lecture, presentation, discussion, analysis, reading assignments and case method. The coverage of BSE topics in a separate course, or the integration of them into business courses, requires the classification of related topics into teaching modules. The use of the module approach to BSE enables instructors to customize their syllabus by promoting critical thinking and the flexibility to cover all or selected modules in their courses. The author’s teaching and research experience in business sustainability suggests that universities either offering or planning to offer a stand-alone sustainability course or infusing sustainability-related topics into the business curriculum consider a module approach in designing their BSE coverage. Business sustainability education consists of all ten modules that can be integrated into a variety of business and accounting courses.

  • Biography:

    Zabihollah Rezaee is the Thompson-Hill Chair of Excellence, PhD coordinator and Professor of Accountancy at the University of Memphis and has served a two-year term on the Standing Advisory Group (SAG) of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). He received his BS degree from the Iranian Institute of Advanced Accounting, his MBA from Tarleton State University in Texas, and his PhD from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Rezaee holds ten certifications, including Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Sarbanes-Oxley Professional (CSOXP), Certified Corporate Governance Professional (CGOVP), Certified Governance Risk Compliance Professional (CGRCP), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and Certified Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). He is currently serving as the 2012-2014 secretary of the Forensic & Investigative Accounting (FIA) Section of the AAA.

    Professor Rezaee has published over 200 articles in accounting and business journals and made more than 210 presentations. He has also published eight books: Financial Institutions, Valuations, Mergers, and Acquisitions: The Fair Value Approach; Financial Statement Fraud: Prevention and Detection; U.S. Master Auditing Guide 3rd edition; Audit Committee Oversight Effectiveness Post-Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Corporate Governance Post-Sarbanes-Oxley: Regulations, Requirements, and Integrated Processes; Corporate Governance and Business Ethics and Financial Services Firms: Governance, regulations, Valuations, Mergers and Acquisitions, and contributed to several other books. Three of these books are translated into other languages including Chinese, South Korean, Spanish and Iranian. His new book on Corporate Sustainability: Integrating Performance and Reporting, published in November 2012, won the 2013 Axiom Gold Award in the category of Business Ethics.

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Important Dates
July 17-19, 2015
Paper or Abstract Submission Due:
April 8, 2015  >> June 10, 2015
Early Bird Registration due for Accepted Paper or Abstract: 10 days after acceptance notification

Early Bird Registration due for Audience: May 16, 2015
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