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Villanova School of Business Appoints Two New Endowed Positions in the Accounting & Information Systems Department

Lucy H. Chen, PhD and Denise Hanes Downey, PhD, ’05 VSB, ’08 MAC
From left to right: Lucy H. Chen, PhD and Denise Hanes Downey, PhD, ’05 VSB, ’08 MAC

Villanova, Pa., April 28, 2021 – The Villanova School of Business (VSB) has appointed two new endowed positions within the Accounting & Information Systems (A&IS) department. Starting Fall 2021, Lucy H. Chen, PhD, will be the new John M. Cooney Endowed Professor in Accounting and Denise Hanes Downey, PhD, ’05 VSB, ’08 MAC will be the new KPMG Endowed Professor in Accounting.

Drs. Chen and Downey will be joining Michael F. Peters, PhD, the Alvin A. Clay Endowed Professor of Accounting as the three endowed professors in Accounting and together with Stephen Andriole, PhD, the Thomas G. Labrecque Endowed Chair in Business, there are four endowed positions in the A&IS Department.

“The primary focus of an endowed professor at VSB is outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service,” said Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD, the Helen and William O’Toole Dean of the Villanova School of Business. “Both Drs. Chen and Downey embody these values and their strong research records have significantly increased the visibility and improved the reputation of VSB in the accounting field. I personally thank them for their research efforts, teaching innovations and service to our VSB community.”

About Lucy H. Chen, PhD

Dr. Chen joined VSB as an assistant professor in 2011 and earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2016. Recognized as an expert in the international and financial accounting field, she has published more than a dozen articles in leading academic journals such as The Accounting Review; Contemporary Accounting Research; Auditing: A journal of Practice and Theory; Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance; and Accounting Horizons.

Her research has been cited or inquired by organizations such as Financial Reporting Policy Committee and Financial Accounting Standards Board. She has served as an associate editor or on editorial boards for a total of five journals and served as senior faculty for the American Accounting Association (AAA) New Faculty Consortium and International Accounting Section (IAS) Doctoral/New Faculty Midyear Consortium as a co-chair of 2020 AAA annual meeting for IAS.

Dr. Chen has received numerous awards, such as the Center for Global Leadership Research Excellence Award, the 2017 McDonough Family Faculty Award and the 2020 Best Reviewer Award of Journal of International Accounting Research, and served on various committees such as the Publication Committee, the PhD Travel Grant Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Outstanding Service Award Committee,  and the Membership Committee of IAS of AAA, the Professionalism and Ethics Committee of AAA, and the Villanova University Budget committee and Research Policy Committee,.

As the coordinator for a VSB core course, Dr. Chen brings real-life experience to students, ensuring that courses are hands-on and invites guest speakers from accounting industry.

“I have great passion for teaching and mentoring fellow faculty to enhance their teaching effectiveness across VSB,” Dr. Chen said. I really care about my students inside and outside of the classrooms, coach them academically and share my career advice.” As a result, she was selected as one of the final nominees for the 2017 AAA/J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook/Deloitte Foundation Prize, the recipient of 2018 VSB Teaching Innovation grant, and a finalist of 2019 University Mid-Career Scholar Award.

Over the past ten years, she has also served on many committees at Villanova and AAA to promote an inclusive, diverse, and collaborating culture within the accounting community. Most recently, she taught in the VIEW Summer Business Academy and became the faculty advisor of the Villanova chapter of ASCEND, the largest Pan-Asian Organization for business professionals in the US.

Dr. Chen remarked, “I am very excited and truly humbled by this great opportunity to serve as the new John M. Cooney Endowed Professor in Accounting. I look forward many more years of making a positive contribution to VSB.”


About Denise Hanes Downey, PhD, ’05 VSB, ’08 MAC

Dr. Downey joined VSB in 2013 and has since published several papers in top-tier journals becoming the 151st ranked professor across accounting topics and methods as ranked by Brigham Young University for publications in the last six years. Her portfolio reflects VSB’s goal of higher research quality, and at the same time remains practically relevant and enables stakeholder engagement.

During her tenure at Villanova, she has taught auditing at the undergraduate level, as well as an advanced auditing course which she developed for undergraduate students and online master’s students. Her courses feature experiential learning modules; data, analytics, and technology; and activities requiring students to engage with real-world, publicly available financial information. Her pedagogical innovations have been recognized by Issues in Accounting Education as well as two national awards, the Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award by the AAA Auditing Section (2019) and the Teaching Innovation Award by the AAA Forensic Accounting Section (2016).

Dr. Downey said, “Teaching is an integral part of the Villanova identity, and being a true teacher-scholar is of great personal importance. I consider it my ethical responsibility to equip our students with cutting edge skills, and to work with them to ensure their education is sufficiently tailored to their needs and objectives.”

In addition to her professional service assignments with the AAA and various academic journals, she currently serves as one of two academics on the AICPA’s CPA Exam Team for Auditing & Attestation, and as a member of the Center for Audit Quality’s Accounting Academic Sound Board. On behalf of the University, she has served as a committee leader during the capital campaign, contributed to several Campus Ministry initiatives and serves on the Athletic Advisory Committee.

Within VSB, she is committed to focusing on advancing the MAC program, external relations, recruiting, facilitating faculty and student research, and mentoring Accounting majors and demonstrates a commitment to the school’s DEI initiatives.

“The upward trajectory of my research would not have been possible without the support of the A&IS department and VSB,” Dr. Downey continued. “It is an honor to serve my alma mater as the new KPMG Endowed Professor in Accounting and I look forward to advancing the scholarly reputation of Villanova.”


The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top-ranked among business schools in the nation. Its online graduate business programs are ranked #5, and its online MBA program is ranked #17 by U.S. News and World Report. VSB has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence – the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management – with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For mor