School of Accounting and Finance prof Ken Klassen awarded L.S. Rosen Outstanding Educator Award

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ken Klassen
For School of Accounting and Finance Professor Ken Klassen, his role as a graduate supervisor doesn’t end at graduation. He continues to mentor his students well into their careers and has watched many go on to become successful tax researchers and teachers.

Klassen was recently awarded the L.S. Rosen Outstanding Educator award from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA). The award recognizes excellence in guidance for graduate students, teaching, publications, educational innovation and involvement in professional and academic societies and activities.

“I am very honoured to receive this recognition,” said Klassen. “It is wonderful to be recognized by my peers across Canada.”

In his 21 years teaching at Waterloo, Klassen has supervised six graduate students, three of whom have received international dissertation awards. He has also developed several tax courses for master’s programs on campus, including the Master of Taxation program.

Betty Xing, one of three PhD students Klassen is currently supervising, is studying international tax and its implications on firms’ tax planning activities. Klassen shows a lot of care for his students’ learning, she says, giving every one of their questions, whether basic or advanced, his close attention.

Xing also appreciates her professor’s open-door policy and compassionate approach. “He has been a great teacher and mentor to me. There were occasions when I was facing a difficult problem and needed guidance. When I came to Professor Klassen, he would discuss them with me right away, even when he was in the middle of his own work.”

Klassen’s research examines how taxes affect corporate decision making, especially the role of taxes in international operations. For his many publications, he was ranked 10th among tax scholars in the world for the last six years, and ninth in terms of lifetime productivity, according to the Brigham Young University’s 2016 rankings. The next highest Canadian scholar ranked 25th.

Klassen is a member of the CPA Canada Tax Advisory Committee, which addresses tax policy and administrative issues with the government’s Department of Finance and Canada Revenue Agency. He is also a member of the American Taxation Association, part of the larger American Accounting Association. He is the senior editor of the Journal of the American Taxation Association.

He will be presented with the L.S. Rosen Outstanding Educator Award at the CAAA Annual Conference in Montreal on June 2.