Lauren Cunningham

Lauren Cunningham

Department: Accounting & Information Management

Center: Neel Corporate Governance Center

Title: Keith Stanga Professor of Accounting and Cheryl Massingale Faculty Research Fellow

Audit & Risk Management, Corporate Governance, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Financial Reporting, Regulatory Oversight, Shareholder Activism, Shareholder Voting and Proxy Advisors

2005 Drury University, B.A., Accounting

2014 University of Arkansas, Ph.D., Business Administration

603 Stokely Management Center

Lauren (Dreher) Cunningham joined UT’s Department of Accounting and Information Management after receiving her Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arkansas. Lauren serves as the Director of Research for the C. Warren Neel Corporate Governance Center and the coordinator of the Neel CGC Distinguished Speaker Series, which hosts corporate executives, board members, regulators, and other industry leaders. She also serves on the editorial and review boards for Contemporary Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, and Accounting Horizons. Her research interests include audit, corporate governance, and the SEC filing review process (comment letters). Lauren’s research has been published in The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting ResearchReview of Accounting Studies, and Accounting Horizons and presented at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis as well as conferences internationally. Her research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CFO.comAccounting Today and in Agenda, the Financial Times’ corporate governance service.

Lauren serves as the audit curriculum coordinator and has taught auditing to both undergraduate and graduate students. She has also taught a PhD seminar on current topics in auditing and corporate governance. Her teaching cases are published in Issues in Accounting Education and Current Issues in Auditing. Her innovative data visualization audit case is the recipient of the Best Paper Award in Issues in Accounting Education and the AAA Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Lauren worked as an audit manager with Grant Thornton, LLP in Dallas, specializing in the real estate and technology industries. She earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Texas.


Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory Award for Outstanding Service as a Reviewer (2020)

AAA Auditing Section Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award (2020)

AIM Department Decosimo Faculty Leadership Award (2019, 2018)

Issues in Accounting Education Best Paper Award (2019)

AIM Department Keith Stanga Distinguished Scholar Faculty Award (2019)

AIM Department Rhea & Ivy Excellence in Teaching Award (2017)

Haslam College of Business Rising Star Research Award (2020)

Haslam College of Business Martin & Carol Robinson Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service Award (2021)