Accounting Professor Began Career During China’s Economic Rebirth

Dr. Ningzhong Li

Dr. Ningzhong Li

China’s economic transformation was just beginning when Dr. Ningzhong Li studied finance at Beijing University in the late 1990s.

The Shanghai stock market had reopened in 1990 for the first time in 40 years, he said.

“We witnessed the development of the capital market in China,” said Li, assistant professor of accounting in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. “Things changed every year, so what you learned in the classroom changed, too. It was an exciting period.”

China’s economic change fueled Li’s interest in finance, and later accounting.

After graduating with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Beijing University, Li came to the United States to earn an MBA and PhD at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He switched gears to focus on accounting.

“Although I was trained in finance in college, I decided to pursue an academic life in accounting when I realized the important role of accounting information in the modern economy,” Li said. “Accounting is much more than bookkeeping. It is a profession of information production and distribution. I cannot imagine what the economy would look like without financial information.”

Dr. Ningzhong Li

TITLE: Assistant professor of accounting

RESEARCH INTERESTS: The use of accounting information in financial contracting, including debt contracts and compensation contracts

PREVIOUSLY: Assistant professor of accounting, London Business School

Li’s research is focused on debt contracts and his work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research. He began his academic career at the London Business School in 2009 before joining UT Dallas’ faculty last year. Li said he was drawn to UT Dallas for its strong research environment and growing accounting program.

“The accounting group at UT Dallas is among the best in the world and is maintaining a strong momentum to improve even further,” Li said. “I am thrilled to be working with the future accountants at UT Dallas, as well as being part of the faculty here.”

The assistant professor, who enjoys badminton, swimming and travel, will teach Accounting for Managers this fall. Li said his main aim is to teach students how to think, given the changing nature of the industry.

“Accounting rules and industry practices change over time, but the principles and conceptual frameworks I teach in class will benefit students throughout their careers,” Li said.

Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Jindal School dean and Caruth Chair of Management, said that he is pleased that Li has joined the faculty.

“We are excited about the addition of Dr. Li to our growing accounting faculty,” Pirkul said. “Dr. Li has an impressive background, and we look forward to his contributions to accounting research at UT Dallas.”

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

Tagged: SOM