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College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
ALB 125
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Phone: (208) 885-6453
Fax: (208) 885-6296
Amber Gray

Sharon Allen Feature Image

Sharon Allen

Alumna Sharon Allen Recognized with Beta Gamma Sigma International Honoree Award

Sharon Allen, a 1973 alumna of the College of Business and Economics, was awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honoree Award at the International Conference and Annual Meeting of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), where she also was a keynote speaker. Allen is chairman of the Board of Directors of Deloitte LLP.

Her address, “Business Education: More Than the Bottom Line,” focused on the important role business schools can plan in imparting knowledge to solve important problems facing society.

"Today, the business community is looking beyond the core technical skills that should be a 'given' in any business student’s portfolio," she said. "We’re counting on your efforts to help us meet three challenges of vast proportions – namely the changing talent landscape, the importance of diversity, and the value of ethics to long-term success."

She acknowledged her University of Idaho experience, and described how one professor in particular helped her navigate the "language of business."

"Thirty-six years ago, I was a student taking classes to learn business and accounting. But what I learned on the blackboard was not enough to fully prepare me for success in business. I needed to learn how to challenge conventional wisdom, think critically, and develop my skills in communication, team building, and ethical leadership," she said.

"These lessons did not come from books, but from observing people I respected for their knowledge and their values. And I took cues from my professors and others who took a personal interest in my success," Allen said. "In fact, by learning from Professor [Bob] Clark how to think for myself, I made a rather bold decision to enter the accounting profession at a time when few women did."

Allen went on to challenge business school deans from around the world to make business “cool” again — through values that are both professed and lived — in a workplace that takes a creative approach in helping people honor their commitments and priorities relative to their work and life.

She said that business educators have "an opportunity and an obligation to enhance not just the development of the people in our organizations, but their approach to business as well."

Dean Jack Morris attended the meeting and agreed with Chairman Allen’s prescription for business schools.

"The College of Business and Economics at the University of Idaho plays a pivotal role in preparing students to address the challenges in our new economy, and we are determined to advance the ideals of our market system by graduating talented students with a strong moral compass to guide their decisions," he said. "Sharon Allen is a wonderful role model for our students, and we are grateful for her leadership in this challenging economic environment."

A full text of Chairman Allen’s speech is available online.

AACSB International is the gold standard in business and accounting school accreditation, and the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics holds both business and accounting accreditation from AACSB.