In June the Management School held a day of events to remember the contribution of the late Professor Anthony Lowe, the first professor of Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Sheffield.
Organised by members of the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) Division and the Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance in Context (CRAFiC), over 70 guests attended during the course of the day.
Head of the AFM Division at Sheffield, Professor Bill Lee, said: “We were delighted to welcome guests from academic and practitioner backgrounds, as well as individuals who knew Tony personally. I was very honoured to welcome many of Tony’s family who helped us during the ceremony to rename the Lowe Lecture Theatre in the Management School.”
“Tony Lowe was the University of Sheffield’s first Professor of Accounting and Financial Management and led The Sheffield School of accounting research, so to see him honoured in the building was very important to us.”
The day began with the Early Career Researcher and PhD workshop and an introductory lecture discussing social theory and accounting research. This was followed by group work to analyse how social theory can be applied to help understand current events, and further discussions. The workshop was co-organised with the BAFA Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives SIG and was supported by the Management Control Association.
In the afternoon, attendees then filled the newly dedicated Lowe Memorial Lecture Theatre ahead of a panel session discussing the relevance of The Sheffield School today.
Dean of the Management School, Professor David Oglethorpe, and Professor Bill Lee opened proceedings and introduced the panel which was facilitated by Professor John Cullen and comprised Emeritus Professor Richard Laughlin (Kings College, London), Professor Prem Sikka (Essex), Professor Christine Cooper (Strathclyde) and Professor Jane Broadbent (Royal Holloway).
The discussion was broad, but also introduced fascinating insights into Tony’s life and career. Subjects included; The Sheffield School’s basic principles, how accounting academics can engage the political arena, the effect of neoliberalism on society and higher education, the history of the Management Control Association (MCA), which Tony had helped to found, and the need to revisit The Sheffield School’s original debates.
As attendees retired for supper, Dr Stewart Smyth (co-director of CRAFiC) read tributes to Tony which were received from those who couldn’t attend.
Dr Smyth concluded: “The day was a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to the School, and to accounting and financial management as a whole. It was an honour to celebrate Tony’s legacy at Sheffield University Management School.”