Sustainability Auditing Expert to Speak at Duquesne MBA Graduation
McCutcheon, who previously headed PwC's global sustainability practice, will give the keynote at the diploma ceremony on Friday, July 26, at 2 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom on campus.
A partner in a Big Four accounting firm with expertise in sustainability issues, McCutcheon is a particularly apt speaker for these graduates, said Bill O'Rourke, executive director of Duquesne University's Beard Institute and former vice president for sustainability of Alcoa. Corporations increasingly have external auditors verify the accuracy of nonfinancial numbers related to emissions, water usage and discharge, safety, philanthropy and energy consumption appearing in sustainability and other public reports.
"Digging into the details can uncover errors, missing data and duplicate reporting, so corporations need to work with the audit experts for accuracy," O'Rourke said. "There have been proposals, but no regulations as yet, by the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) to require independent verification for some of these numbers in the not too distant future."
As PwC's U.S. industrial products leader, McCutcheon works with complex accounting and regulatory issues involving multinational organizations in diverse economic sectors, including aerospace and defense; chemicals; engineering and construction; forest products, paper and packaging; manufacturing; metals; and transportation and logistics.
This year's class, 21 students, is the sixth to graduate from the Donahue Graduate School of Business's internationally recognized, accelerated MBA Sustainability program. The program was designed to prepare future business leaders through a curriculum in which best practices for the ethical management of financial, human and financial resources is fundamental in the coursework.
The program also cultivates global perspectives. This year, a member of the class is a Fulbright Scholar from Palestine; students' coursework involved trips to Germany and India for closer looks at best practices in sustainability. In addition, four class membersformed a team that placed third, competing against a lineup of students from other nations, in the Aspen Institute's 2013 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.