KU News: KU launches online Master of Social Work through Jayhawk Global

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From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu

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Depositors often blame audit firms for bank failure, study finds
LAWRENCE — The word “audit” has a different meaning depending on whether you’re an individual or a bank. But a perceived audit failure can have equally damaging consequences. “We found that depositors — people who have money at banks — lose faith in an auditor when that auditor is associated with another bank that fails,” said Matthew Beck, assistant professor of business at the University of Kansas. His new article in The Accounting Review argues that depositors perceive bank failure as an audit failure, which reduces their assessment of auditor credibility.

KU launches online Master of Social Work through Jayhawk Global education innovation center
LAWRENCE — As social services across the country adapt to address changing health policies, an aging workforce and shifting social justice theories, the need for well-qualified social work professionals has never been higher. To help meet growing demand nationwide, the University of Kansas is now delivering its highly ranked Master of Social Work (MSW) program in a convenient, online format.

KU Libraries to host an open access event, discuss journal deals
LAWRENCE — KU Libraries will host a virtual talk on open access at the University of Kansas at noon Oct. 26 in celebration of International Open Access Week. During the event, Josh Bolick, head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, will provide an update on KU Libraries’ open access efforts, and he will discuss the national context of open access and recent open access deals with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and other publishers.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Jon Niccum, KU News Service, 785-864-7633, [email protected]
Depositors often blame audit firms for bank failure, study finds
LAWRENCE — The word “audit” has a different meaning depending on whether you’re an individual or a bank. But a perceived audit failure can have equally damaging consequences.
“We found that depositors — people who have money at banks — lose faith in an auditor when that auditor is associated with another bank that fails,” said Matthew Beck, assistant professor of business at the University of Kansas.
His new article, “The Role of Audit Firms in Spreading Depositor Contagion,” argues that depositors perceive bank failure as an audit failure, which reduces their assessment of auditor credibility. This leads to lower deposit growth at banks with the same auditor. It’s published in The Accounting Review.
“Most deposits, like what you and I have in our bank account, are covered by insurance from the FDIC. That insurance right now covers up to $250,000. Our deposits are safe if the bank fails. However, there are depositors who may have larger amounts not covered by insurance and may lose their money if the bank fails. So they have a very strong interest in making sure their money is going to be safe,” Beck said.
Depositors assess bank performance by examining their financial reports. And the way depositors become confident such reporting is accurate is to have an auditor come in and audit those financial statements.
“People often want liquid assets, and there might not be a better way than having money in a bank,” he said. “Uninsured depositors also may get a higher rate of return on their money than you and I do with our savings accounts, as the bank is paying them a little bit more than it pays us to compensate them for that risk.”
Beck, who co-wrote the article with Allison Nicoletti of the University of Pennsylvania and Sarah Stuber of Texas A&M University, said there’s an expectation gap between what a financial statement audit really is versus what the public assumes it is.
He said, “A lot of times people think, ‘Oh, this company got a clean or unqualified audit opinion and that means it’s a good company, with good management, a good CEO.’ But when you look at the actual opinion, all it says is, ‘We’re giving you reasonable assurance there are no material misstatements in the financial statements. That’s it.’”
The impetus for this project came from the authors wondering aloud if an auditor would get blamed when a bank fails. When an institution fails, customers might need “a scapegoat to point their fingers at,” he said.
His team took data sets from various banks, running multivariate regressions and using statistical analysis to find relationships between these two factors. This determined exposure to failure through the audit firm is associated with lower uninsured deposit growth, consistent with depositors perceiving this as a negative signal of auditor credibility. It also showed the results are stronger when awareness regarding the failure is greater, including when a larger bank is involved or when significant news coverage occurs.
Beck was surprised to learn while doing this research that not all banks get audited.
“You need to have over $500 million in assets at a bank in order for an audit to be required. Smaller banks – such as a single branch bank in a small town — may not be audited,” he said.
Before going into academia, Beck worked as an auditor for KPMG (one of the “Big Four” firms) in Richmond, Virginia, and Prague, Czech Republic. The Chicago native is now in his fourth year at KU.
“Having an unstable banking system is a bad thing for the economy,” Beck said. “Understanding that this sort of thing can happen is beneficial to know. It gives banks a chance to be proactive and tell depositors, ‘Hey, a client of our auditors failed … but it had nothing to do with the audit.’”
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Contact: Valerie Hawley, School of Social Welfare, 785-864-3804, [email protected], @KUSocialWelfare
KU launches online Master of Social Work through Jayhawk Global education innovation center

LAWRENCE — As social services across the country adapt to address changing health policies, an aging workforce and shifting social justice theories, the need for well-qualified social work professionals has never been higher. Overall employment of social workers nationwide is projected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To help meet growing demand nationwide, the University of Kansas is now delivering its highly ranked Master of Social Work (MSW) program in a convenient, online format. Offered through KU’s School of Social Welfare, the MSW program has consistently ranked in the top 12% of public institution social work graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report, making it the top-ranked program in Kansas. As the longest-running program in the state, its history includes more than 75% of MSW graduates exceeding national licensure first-time pass rates and 85% gaining full-time employment immediately after graduation.

“Our online MSW courses will be taught by the same team of faculty and instructors as our on-campus programs,” said Michelle Mohr Carney, dean of KU’s School of Social Welfare. “Graduates who earn their MSW online are equipped with the knowledge to provide counseling and direct services to individuals, families and groups; make changes in organizations and communities; and help shape policies that affect large populations in our society.”
A master’s degree in social work prepares graduates for advanced social work practice in one of two broad specializations — either clinical social work practice with individuals, families and groups; or social work macro practice aimed at social service administration, social policy development and social advocacy. The MSW curriculum was designed with community and student input to ensure a dynamic, educational experience that incorporates real-world learning experiences and prepares graduates to practice with competency and integrity.
“The School of Social Welfare strives to be a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion within the university and in our community,” Carney said. “We want to ensure that all students, faculty and staff feel safe, heard and valued. In turn, they will promote these values in their careers.”
Through Jayhawk Global, the university’s new education innovation center, KU plans to offer many more online degree opportunities giving students the chance to earn a globally recognized degree from anywhere in the world.

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Contact: Alicia Marksberry, KU Libraries, [email protected], @kulibraries
KU Libraries to host an open access event, discuss journal deals

LAWRENCE — KU Libraries will host a virtual talk on open access at KU on Oct. 26 in celebration of International Open Access Week.
Open access refers to scholarly literature that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and reuse restrictions. KU has a long record of commitment to open access and is the first public institution to establish an open access policy.
During the virtual event, Josh Bolick, head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, will provide an update on KU Libraries’ open access efforts, discuss the national context of open access and recent open access deals with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and other publishers. Bolick will also talk about the new guidance from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that will require public access to all federally funded research publications and data.
Some of KU Libraries’ open access efforts have led to agreements with publishers that waive author-side fees for KU researchers. Those fees, called article processing charges, or APCs, can cost thousands of dollars depending on the journal.
“I’m always excited to share information about open access with researchers and with colleagues at KU,” Bolick said. “This is a place that has a long-standing history of advocacy for and embrace of open access.”
The event, which will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 26 via Zoom, is free and open to the public. It will include a Q&A and time for discussion. Register online. For more information, email Bolick at [email protected]

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