Faculty Feature: Dr. Regina Anctil

If you have ever considered owning a horse, and you have compared the cost of caring for it versus the monetary benefits, you’re likely to find yourself at a loss for how to financially justify the purchase of the animal. This was the quandary that first led Regina Anctil to use math and accounting when she was a child growing up in Oregon.

Dr. Anctil joined the University of St. Thomas Accounting Department faculty in 2005 after gaining “real world” business experience in her career at Arthur Anderson and Co. Her bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. are from the University of Oregon, and her PhD is from the University of Minnesota, where she focused on information economics. Her current research is applicable across all industries, focusing on how decentralized information is organized and used in contracting and performance measurement to support sound decision making. To illustrate, Dr. Anctil shared this example:

What happens when a company tries to take on a broad new initiative? Suppose the initiative needs strong and costly commitment from every level of the organization to succeed? In this case, a good initiative might fail simply because participants do not know how committed others are. No manager wants to make a unilateral sacrifice if it is likely the project will fail for lack of resources from others. The company needs a way to encourage and verify resource commitments.

The importance and relevance of Dr. Anctil’s research has led her to be widely published. She recently published a business school case and has another one on the way.

When asked why she chose to join the faculty at St. Thomas, Dr. Anctil cited the university’s commitment to holistic, lifelong education and the flexibility she enjoys in creating new classroom tools for her students while continuing her research.

Describing her students, she said this:

One of my favorite courses to teach at St. Thomas is Intermediate Financial Accounting. Students from the business community in the Twin Cities bring a lot of experience to the class and expect more that a textbook treatment of the topics. They are well read on the issues in financial reporting and knowledgeable about financial instruments. I try to stay on top of the developments at the FASB on leasing, fair value accounting and IFRS convergence because these students want to talk about it. We don’t just learn the current accounting standards but also where things are going.

This past spring, Dr. Anctil was awarded tenure as an associate professor. Congratulations Dr. Anctil!