Gerald Feltham: In Memoriam
Gerald Albert Feltham (Jerry) Professor Emeritus (Accounting), Accounting and Information Systems Division at UBC Sauder passed away peacefully on December 21, 2019 at age 81.
Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Jerry Feltham obtained his Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan, Nielson Gold Medal from the Institute of Charter Accountants of Saskatchewan, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967. Upon completing his Ph.D., he joined the accounting faculty at Stanford University. He remained at Stanford until 1971 when he returned to Canada to join the accounting faculty at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
Professor Feltham, one of accounting’s most distinguished scholars, is considered a pioneer in information economic theory, in the analysis of accounting as a source of information to facilitate and influence decision making in organizations and markets. In addition, he has authored or co-authored 28 major papers, four books and has a long history of professional service which includes editorships and co-editorships of Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies and editorial board memberships of the Journal of Accounting Research, the Journal of Accounting and Economics, The Accounting Review, Management Science, and numerous other journals. Jerry’s contribution to accounting thought continues on in the work of the PhD students he helped to graduate. Jerry served on 23 PhD committees, serving as PhD supervisor for 18 of those students.
Jerry’s development of 500 pages of lecture notes led to a collaborative two-volume book: The Economics of Accounting Volume I: Information in Markets and the The Economics of Accounting Volume II: Performance Evaluation with Professor Peter Christensen. These books have become classic readings for Ph.D. students and researchers alike. They are a testimony of Jerry’s everlasting contributions to accounting thought “that is matched, so to speak, to the importance of accounting institutions” says Joel Demski. The books contains 250 rigorously proved theorems, involving algebra, calculus, stochastic processes, differential equations. It is “the Mount Everest of analytical thinking in our discipline,” as described by Jerry’s former Berkeley Professor and fellow UBC Professor Ricco Mattessich.
Over his long and illustrious career Professor Feltham received almost every major award available to accounting researchers. His many honours and awards include:
Student Award and Honours
1959 Harris-Fingarson Accounting Award, University of Saskatchewan (Top marks in Accounting)
1960 Neilson Medal, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan (Top marks in Saskatchewan on CA Uniform Final Examination)
1966-67 Arthur Andersen & Co. Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
1996 Elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of British Columbia (now the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia)
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Chartered Accounts of British Columbia (now Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia)
2004 American Accounting Association, Accounting Hall of Fame (75th inductee)
2005 American Accounting Association, Management Accounting Lifetime Contribution Award
Teaching/Educator Awards and Honours
1987 Certified General Accountants’ (now the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada) Graduate Teaching Excellence Award (UBC Sauder School of Business)
1997 American Accounting Association’s Outstanding Educator Award
1998 The Chartered Accountants’ Education Foundation of British Columbia Distinguished Educator Award
Awards for Specific Research Papers
1967 McKinsey Foundation Post-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award (Top Dissertation in Management in North America)
1968 American Accounting Association (AAA) Competitive Manuscript Award (Top paper by a junior faculty member in North America)
1970 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Award for Outstanding Contribution to Accounting Literature (Top paper published in the Accounting Journals in the preceding five years)
1994 American Accounting Association Seminal Contribution to Accounting Literature Award (Award for Paper published at least fifteen years earlier that has had a significant impact on the field of Accounting Research)
1998 American Accounting Association Wildman Medal (Contribution to Research that Impacts Accounting Practice)
1999 American Accounting Association, Management Accounting Section, Notable Contribution to Management Accounting Research (Top paper in Management Accounting in preceding five years
General Research Awards and Honours
Distinguished Visiting Professor, AAA Doctoral Consortium: 1972, 1979, 1993, and 1999 (Lectures to Ph.D. students from each of the Accounting Ph.D. programs in North America)
1994 Canadian Academic Accounting Association 1994 Haim Falk Award for Distinguished Contribution to Accounting Thought
1994 UBC Faculty of Commerce Academic Research Award
1997 American Accounting Association Distinguished Visiting International Lecturer
(Gave 17 lectures to 10 universities in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and China)
2000 University of British Columbia Killam Research Prize
2002 Presidential Scholars Address to the American Accounting Association Annual Meeting
2003 Elected a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada (first accountant in Canada as well as the first from UBC Sauder School of Business)
Jerry is missed by family and friends, UBC faculty past and present and past students. Donations in Jerry’s name may be made to The Canadian Bible Society 10 Carnforth Rd, Toronto, ON M4A or Headway Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Center #2 1640 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1B2.