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Business scandals push more students into accounting careers <br>

October 30, 2002

Gerald Smith, head, Department of Accounting, (319) 273-6345
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

When Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story in the early '70s, journalism schools nationwide saw huge increases in enrollment. As the Enrons and Worldcoms continue to fall because of shoddy accounting practices, business schools are seeing the same phenomenon.

Gerald Smith, head of the Department of Accounting at UNI, said the university has seen a 20 percent increase in accounting majors since last year. 'For decades, accountants have been saying that we'd never start to see the numbers of students we needed to see until we got a television program about CPAs,' Smith said. 'And now it is hard to turn on the news without seeing a report about a financial reporting or auditing issue. Our students have seen this and said that going into this field offers them an opportunity to make change.'