LINDA MYERS IS AN ACADEMIC on the go. As one of the top five accounting researchers worldwide, her work takes her to universities around the globe to present and share insights. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Asia and am always eager to experience new places,” Myers says. “The research questions I ask, such as what are the determinants of high quality financial reporting, are fairly fundamental so they’re applicable to accounting audiences in other countries.”
She deftly juggles the many trips with her responsibilities on campus, collaborative research, writing, and serving as an editor or on editorial boards for several academic journals. Lauren Cunningham, assistant professor of accounting at Haslam, describes Myers as persistent, organized, and well read. “She works like crazy,” says Cunningham. “But she’s also a caring person who makes time for the people around her.”
Myers directs the PhD program in accounting and works extensively with doctoral students. “Although she’s one of the top researchers in the world, she reserves quite a bit of time for us,” says Andrew Doucet, a doctoral candidate in accounting at Haslam. “She teaches our classes, reads our research, and gives us detailed feedback. That level of involvement is extremely rare for someone in her position.”
Myers’ research examines a wide range of issues in accounting, including factors that encourage companies to provide better quality financial information to investors, auditor independence, and the quality of audits that are delivered to companies. “Recently, I’ve been presenting a paper coauthored with Lauren Cunningham and Justin Short, a former PhD student, that asks, ‘What happens to the financial reporting quality at the home firm when the CFO of a company serves on the board of directors of an outside company?’” she says. “Serving on the board of another company could be a distraction, but could also present opportunities to improve financial reporting practices.”
When she’s not traveling for work, Myers enjoys spending time with her family at home and abroad. In 2016, she joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as the college’s first Haslam Chair of Busi-ness, and her husband, James, joined as the Hendrix Distinguished Professor of Accounting.
The Myers family cruises at least twice a year, and Linda has begun introducing their children to global travel. “My son, Justin, likes cities so last year we did Barcelona and Madrid, and this year we’ll go to Rome,” she says. “My daughter, Payton, loves wilderness, so we did Iceland last year, and this year she chose Ireland.”