Author: Jim Kvicala


ATHENS, Ga. — Benjamin C. Ayers has been appointed the new director of the J.M. Tull School of Accounting at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

Ayers is the sixth person to hold the position of director since the Tull School was founded in 1977. He succeeds Silvia Madeo, who served as director for five years before retiring June 30.

"Ben has been a rising star on the faculty from the time he arrived here," said Terry College Dean P. George Benson. "We're excited and pleased to give him the opportunity to apply the leadership he's shown in research, teaching and public service as the new director of the Tull School of Accounting."

Ayers joined the faculty of the Tull School in 1996, after completing his doctoral degree at the University of Texas. A certified public accountant in Alabama, Ayers worked as a tax consultant for KPMG in Atlanta and Tampa before returning to graduate school to pursue his PhD. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from the University of Alabama.

An expert in taxation, Ayers is one of only two professors nationally to have been awarded both the American Accounting Association's Competitive Manuscript Award and American Taxation Association's Outstanding Manuscript Award. He was recently ranked as the second-most prolific accounting researcher worldwide from the PhD class of 1996. Ayers has had 20 papers published in such leading refereed journals as The Accounting Review, Journal of Finance, Journal of Accounting and Economics and Contemporary Accounting Research. He currently serves as a member of the American Taxation Association's Board of Trustees.

As an instructor, Ayers has taught introductory tax classes to undergraduate students, as well as a highly regarded tax research class for students in the Master of Accountancy program. He is the recipient of 11 teaching awards, including the university's Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award.

UGA's School of Accounting was one of the first in the nation to be established as a separate professional school within a college of business. In 1982, it was renamed the J.M. Tull School of Accounting after receiving an endowment from the J.M. Tull Charitable Foundation of Atlanta. The school's undergraduate and master's programs have been rated among the top 20 public accounting programs by U S. News and World Report and the Public Accounting Report for many years, and its faculty is well known for its teaching, research and service to the accounting profession.