New York (June 10, 2004) - Fifty percent of current corporate directors said serving on a board now is more attractive than five years ago.

Board members who participated in a poll by Columbia Business School cited greater responsibilities and challenges, as well as an “enhanced sense of professionalism,” as reasons behind the heightened interest in board service.

Corporate board members were polled at the close of Columbia Executive Education's recent course, "Accounting Essentials for Corporate Directors: Enhancing Financial Integrity."

In the exit poll, directors also were asked what they believed the most critical issues in corporate governance will be over the next year. Some 75 percent of the responses revolved around the challenges of evaluating compensation, transparency and the internal audit function, and director independence.  Other issues mentioned were dealing with "dead wood" directors, improving effectiveness and discussions at the board level, and separating the chief executive and the chairman functions.

"We had thought that directors would find the current climate more difficult," said Ethan Hanabury, associate dean of executive education at Columbia Business School. "But, surprisingly, many felt that there is a great opportunity to re-insert integrity into corporate America."

- WebCPA staff

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