Backdating, Cooking the Books, and Misbehaving Managers: Experts in Corporate Governance to Speak at USF

TAMPA, Fla. (March 12, 2008) – Business misconduct and how to handle it get much-needed attention at the University of South Florida April 10 when two world-renowned researchers, an expert auditor, and an attorney will talk about backdating, corporate compensation, misbehaving managers and the legal system. USF will host this installment of the Corporate Governance Series, a program aimed at helping top-level executives and corporate board members serve with greater effectiveness.

Jonathan M. Karpoff, whose research related to corporate financial scandals is often cited in The New York Times, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio, will discuss managerial misconduct and how to discipline misbehaving leaders.  Ralph A. Walking, an expert in corporate governance from the Drexel University, will share information about the importance of “Say on Pay” rules.

Additional keynote speakers include former Ernst & Young managing director Richard J. Dobkin and Fowler White attorney George Guerra.  Dobkin, who chairs the audit committee and serves on the compensation and stock option committees for Cracker Barrel, will discuss implementation of new SEC regulations and disclosures.  Guerra will discuss options backdating, what it means, and when it is illegal. He represents clients in a range of commercial disputes as well as in arbitrations before (among others) the New York Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission, and is well-versed in this so-called “hot topic.”

Bringing together the latest financial research in valuation and governance with pragmatic guidance, the Corporate Governance Series is designed for board directors, officers, executives, and investment managers and analysts. The first session, held in February, focused on the relationship of value to governance, and featured experts such as Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, who discussed structuring boards of directors to maximize shareholder value. Laura Starks, director of the AIM Investment Center at the University of Texas, Austin, discussed institutional investors and firm value.  Michael C. Jensen, professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School, discussed increasing integrity within firms and the impact of integrity on increasing a firm’s value.

Online registrationis now open for April’s session, which focuses on how governance, compensation, and proxy voting impact firm value. Registration, $149, includes all workshop materials as well as food and beverages. Presented by the USF College of Business, Fowler White Boggs Banker PA, CFA Tampa Bay, and KPMG, the series is also sponsored by the National Association of Corporate Directors and RiskMetrics Group.  Participants qualify for credit from the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and are also eligible to receive credit in their Corporate Governance Ratings mode (CGQ). Discount rates are available for CFA Tampa Bay members and students.

For more information or to register, call 813-974-2081 or visit

The University of South Florida’s College of Business is accredited by the AACSB and offers six master’s degree programs, including a part-time, full-time, and weekend Executive MBA program.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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