The University Record, November 21, 1995


Victor L. Bernard
From the School of Business Administration

Victor L. Bernard, whose work as a scholar broke new ground in the field of financial reporting, financial statement analysis and financial economics, died Nov. 14 at age 42 of cardiac arrest following an afternoon jog with a colleague.

He was the Price Waterhouse Professor of Accounting and directed the School of Business Administration's Paton Accounting Center. He also was research director and a member of the executive committee of the American Accounting Association.

In addition to earning national acclaim for his influential research, Bernard was among the most highly regarded faculty members at the Business School and was the first winner of the Leadership in Teaching Award. The award was established last year to recognize the highest achievement across a wide range of criteria, including superior capability in classroom teaching and in research, and in contributions to colleagues' development.

He also was listed among the Business School's six most outstanding faculty in Business Week magazine's guidebook, The Best Business Schools.

Bernard's recent research in the area of financial statement analysis was beginning to have an important impact on both research and practice. His work broke new ground in fundamental analysis, a method of determining the worth of companies, and focused on practical applications of this accounting based on company valuation framework.

Bernard's research consistently represented a balanced mix of academic rigor and practical import. Another research area, conducted primarily with Prof. Jacob Thomas of Columbia University, documented a strong challenge to the notion of stock market efficiency.

The academic community regarded Bernard as a leading scholar in market-based economic research. He was one of only 10 people in the past 20 years to more than once receive the American Accounting Association's award for Notable Contributions to Accounting Literature. He also was invited to be a nominator for the Nobel Prize in Economics.

He was the author of more than 30 articles in top academic journals and recently completed Business Analysis and Valuation, a text outlining the new approach to financial statement analysis. The text was co-authored with Krishna Palepu of Harvard University and Paul Healy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also was the co-author, with Roger Kormendi of the U-M, of Crisis Resolution in the Thrift Industry.

Bernard held a B.A. from Ohio State University and a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He came to the U-M in 1982 and rose from assistant professor to professor in six years.

He is survived by two children, Marie and Lewis; his former wife, Maureen Bernard; his companion, Dara Faris; two sisters, Brenda Curtis and Connie Bishop; and his parents, Erma S. and Glenn Lewis Bernard.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Bernard Children Education Trust Fund, c/o Nancy E. Hooper, NBD Bank, P.O. Box 8601, Ann Arbor, MI 48107.