Associate Professor of Accountancy Lucile Faurel is one P&Q’s Best 40 Under 40 Professors of 2019

There’s just no way around it. Some business subjects are more boring than others. Generally speaking, accounting is probably less exciting to most than, say, marketing or entrepreneurship. So it takes a special person and professor to make a somewhat dry subject exciting. And that’s exactly what former and current students of Lucile Faurel say she does. After earning her BA in Paris, Faurel hopped continents to earn her PhD from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Since then, Faurel has spent time teaching in the American Southwest, first at the University of California-Irvine and now at W. P. Carey.

“Lucile is a fixture in our MBA programs, and for good reason,” says Andy Call, director of the School of Accountancy. “She teaches her financial reporting course in a rigorous manner but also in a way that connects with students, many of whom enter a course in accounting with skepticism. She’s also an accomplished researcher, which helps her bring new and current insights into the classroom. Aside from being Lucile’s department chair, I also have a personal friend who recently took her class, and he had very good things to say about Lucile and her course.”

When Faurel isn’t teaching, she’s juggling time spent with her three children as well as exploring the hiking and skiing of the Southwest. Get to know more about her:

Current age: 39 

At current institution since what year? 2015 

Education: PhD in accounting, New York University 

List of current MBA courses you currently teach: Financial Accounting 

Tell us about your life as a professor:

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was working in consulting and the learning curve started to flatten. So, I decided to pursue a PhD The world of academia looked very appealing to me!

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I study financial capital markets with a broad set of research interests, including reactions to, and (mis)pricing of, accounting and financial information, voluntary disclosure choices, the role of social media in capital markets, and the determinants and consequences of corporate investment strategies. I recently published a paper documenting that the opinions of individual investors on Twitter help predict a firm’s earnings news and earnings announcement stock returns.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I would be a ski instructor! And, I would compliment my income by working for a consulting firm specialized in economic valuation. Sounds like a great combination to me!

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My passion and my jokes! I show my students how critical it is for them to be more comfortable with financial information and better understand financial statements. I show them all of the important and “cool” information they can learn from financial statements. However, it is accounting, so I make sure I keep it lively and fun!

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Enjoyable

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: It is extremely hard to manage the workload and, therefore, time. There are many facets to our jobs, between research, teaching, and service. Research is tremendously time-consuming.

Professor you most admire and why: It is hard to name one. In my field of research, I would say Charles M. C. Lee (Stanford), for his insights into capital markets and market efficiency, as well as his overall personality. Relatedly, I will always be very grateful to my academic advisor and dissertation chair (Eli Bartov, New York University) who taught me (almost!) everything.

Students:

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? The class discussions. The students are very talkative and curious. They bring into the classroom their mix of nationalities, cultures, and work experiences.

What is most challenging? I teach evening MBA students from 6:15 to 10:15 p.m. The most challenging is to keep them interested and engaged until 10:15 at night after their long day of work.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Inquisitive

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Arrogant

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair and consistent

Life outside the classroom:

What are your hobbies? Hiking, skiing, and spending time with my three kids.

How will you spend your summer? Primarily, working on research! And also a few short (but fun!) trips with my kids.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Colorado

Favorite book(s): From reading to my kids: Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Showtime's series "Billions," for the inside look into the world of hedge funds.

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist: It’s hard to name only one type of music. My playlist has a lot of alternative rock, pure rock, and pop rock.

Thoughts of reflections:

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Specialized concentrations, but I understand that it is hard to make it fit into an MBA curriculum. So, at least, more specialized electives.

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what? In my line of teaching and research, I would say more transparency in their financial disclosures. More generally, I would like to see companies investing in and rewarding good managers and a positive culture for employees.

What others say:

I am the faculty director for our Evening MBA program. Lucile is basically a rock star amongst the students for her ability to teach tired, somewhat disinterested but highly demanding students the key concepts of financial accounting. Frankly, it’s a nearly impossible task we have assigned her, but she does it not just well, but with students raving about her performance and how much they learned. Lucile is a gem in my program.
Lucile Faurel was my Financial Performance Reporting professor during my first year of the Evening MBA program. I had no prior accounting experience, but Lucile taught the course in such a straight-forward way that the concepts really stuck with me. Without my notes and book from her class, I would have been lost in my subsequent finance and accounting classes. Her research on how forthcoming earnings reports are predictable based on the tweets from day traders is fascinating – it makes something I would normally not care about (earnings reports) interesting by combining something I AM interested in (data analysis) with something so seemingly unrelated but relevant to many people (social media).


This article was originally published on 2019 Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professors.