Published 03/20/13

Getting students 'ready for anything'

Michael F. Lynch, J.D., CPA, Professor of Accounting

Professor Mike Lynch, who joined Bryant in 1977, created the Master of Science in Taxation (MST) program and served as the coordinator of the MBA program for nearly 20 years. Today, as director of the MST program, he helps shape the University’s evolving curriculum. He has trained some of the nation’s leading taxation experts, many of whom remain in contact with their esteemed mentor and return to campus to share their expertise with students.

"What we strive to teach is: How will you lead your organization to profitability and success?”

As a published author of research in his field and a peer reviewer, Lynch knows what’s groundbreaking and what organizations will require. “Research and publication are how faculty members keep up with trends and even help set them,” he says. “A former mentor likened it to the difference between students drinking from a polluted pond or a moving stream. They’re more likely to thrive when they’re taught by someone active in the field.”

In 1977, the goal of a Bryant professor was to prepare students for a job after graduation, he says. Today, it’s to educate students for careers beyond graduation. “Once upon a time, we taught processes that every person in business should know. Now, tools such as software applications can do those tasks. What we strive to teach instead is: How will you lead your organization to profitability and success?”

Lynch’s undergraduate course on corporate tax – combining individual and corporate tax as well as personal financial planning – is one of the most difficult at the school, but, “Bryant students are not afraid of hard work,” he says. “Recruiters say that our students don’t mind getting their hands dirty and that they’re ready for anything.

“At Bryant, when faculty combine liberal arts and business, it’s like being Socrates in the morning, and Steve Jobs in the afternoon,” says Lynch. “Using a baseball metaphor, graduates must be adept at working both sides of the plate, so they can be prepared for whatever is thrown at them.”

Lynch received a Distinguished Faculty Award in 1993. He is the adviser to Bryant’s xTAX team.