More than 70 CPA firms and several state CPA societies are aiming to reverse the shortage of accounting professors at U.S. colleges and universities by providing $15 million to finance the educations of Ph.D candidates.

The Accounting Doctoral Scholars program will be administered by the American Institute of CPAs Foundation and will provide funding for up to 30 new Ph.D candidates in audit and tax each year for four years. Applicants must have recent and proven performance in audit and tax in a public accounting firm. The firms will recruit top employees for the program and encourage them to become accounting professors.

"There has been a significant decline over the past 10 years in the number of accounting doctorates," said Doyle Williams, executive director of the program, in a statement. "The average age of current accounting professors is around 55, which indicates that a real crisis is coming in the next decade. By contrast, the demand for professionals with undergraduate and masters accounting degrees is at an all-time high."

Applicants for the program must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents committed to a career as an accounting faculty member at a U.S. university accredited in business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 9. For further information, e-mail adsprogram@aicpa.org, call (919) 402-4524 or visit www.adsphd.org.

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