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Baylor University Professor Wins Grant from ConocoPhillips

Nov. 20, 2009

By Ryan Pierce

Dr. Carie Ford was taken completely by surprise Friday, Nov. 6, when Bill Baker, a finance manager with ConocoPhillips, showed up at the Business School and gave her $25,000.

Baker, a Baylor graduate, was joined by the dean of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, Dr. Terry Maness, and the Chair of the Accounting and Law Department, Dr. Charles Davis. Together they presented Ford with a grant from the ConocoPhillips Faculty Sponsorship Program.

The program, in its second year, awards grants to outstanding professors at the 143 universities worldwide from which ConocoPhillips recruits. Ford was one of only ten professors chosen to receive this year's award.

"Dr. Ford was selected because of her involvement with growing the accounting department and her rapport with the students she teaches," Baker announced. "We are proud of the work Dr. Ford is doing and we are excited about her being one of this year's recipients."

Davis explained the grant money is intended to enhance the educational programs at Baylor and is completely at the discretion of Ford. In June, the ten award winners will gather in Houston to meet and exchange ideas.

Ford is not yet certain how she will spend the money but said, "I am exploring options both in research and the teaching arena. Regardless, this money shows ConocoPhillips' commitment to Baylor; and in turn, we're continuing to honor our commitment to produce excellent graduates."

Ford teaches accounting research and communication at the Business School and studies the impact of psychological constructs on accounting decision making. She returned to Baylor in 2006 after receiving a PhD from Texas Tech University. "Baylor means a lot to me," she said, happy to be back at the school where she earned her BBA and MBA.

"We have an amazing accounting program at Baylor," Ford emphasized. She is excited about the opportunities available to accounting majors and is determined to ensure her students realize them. "We want our graduates to have opportunities in both public accounting and industry" and "to be aware of the amazing career paths of going to work with a company like ConocoPhillips."

Ford is not the first Baylor professor to win the ConocoPhillips grant. Last year, Dr. Gia Chevis of Accounting and Dr. Hope Koch of Information Systems each received the distinction. Both spent the money to benefit their programs and students.

Chevis wrote, "The award was a great opportunity for faculty development, both for me and my department." She used the money for a number of projects, including a trip to London to meet with accounting professionals and standard setters at the International Financial Accounting Standards Board. From that experience she developed a new class at Baylor comparing U.S. and international financial reporting standards.

Koch also put her grant to good use: "I created a recruiting and retention account and used all the money to fund activities to help build our MIS program." One of the highlights included a field trip with students to Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., to learn about technology.

Ford will undoubtedly use her money in similarly constructive ways and appreciates ConocoPhillips' help and support. "ConocoPhillips is really committing to us," she said, "and we want to reciprocate that commitment."

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