2022 Best Undergraduate Professors: Stephen Lusch, Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business

Stephen Lusch
Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business

“Stephen Lusch has one goal in mind when he enters a classroom filled with undergraduate students: To give his students confidence. He seeks to turn his students’ fears into fortitude, arming them with knowledge, tools and guidance that will lead them into a career they’ll love. He is also dedicated to building relationships with his students beyond the classroom, and mentors struggling first-year students working to develop skills for success in a college environment.” – Hettie Richardson, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Stephen Lusch, 36, is Associate Professor of Accounting at Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University.

Prior to joining the faculty at TCU, he was an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Kansas. Lusch teaches tax courses in TCU’s undergraduate and graduate programs. His research program focuses on accounting for income taxes, the effects of tax policy, and nonprofits. His research has appeared in high-profile journals, including Journal of Accounting and Economics, The Accounting Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of the American Taxation Association, and Journal of Management Accounting Research.

He participates in campus activities such as Frog Camp – the university’s extended orientation program and is also a member of TCU’s Professional Leadership Rotation. He represents the Neeley Office of Inclusive Excellence, a program for students of all backgrounds to work toward academic and professional success.


At current institution since what year? 2017


  • PhD in Management with an accounting emphasis from the University of Arizona
  • Master of Science in Accountancy with tax emphasis from the University of Notre Dame
  • Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Christian University

List of Undergraduate courses you teach: Principles of Taxation


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to teach; however, I figured that would likely be in a high school. It wasn’t until my senior year of undergrad that I started seriously considering a career in business academia. As a college senior, I was looking at potentially applying for a teaching job with a program such as Teach for America. My dad, who was a marketing professor, suggested that if I really felt called to teaching, then I should seriously consider pursuing a PhD and teaching at the collegiate level. As they say, the rest is history.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My research interests are quite varied, spanning both tax and non-tax issues. My current working papers investigate topics such as the Luxembourg tax leaks, the role of the IRS as an external monitor of company behavior, tax-related critical audit matters, peer effects of financial restatements, and long-run trends in the persistence of earnings.

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… A ranger with the National Park Service

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My desire to connect with students outside of the classroom. One way that I am able to do this is through my work with TCU Frog Camp, which is an extended orientation program for incoming TCU students. As a faculty partner with Frog Camp, I am paired with two student facilitators to lead a group of about fifteen incoming TCU students through the Frog Camp experience. This is such an amazing opportunity because it allows me to get to know these students on a much more personal level than I would get to in the classroom.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Nervous

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Research is a grueling process that consists of many more negative outcomes than positive outcomes. Thus, it is important to work on questions that excite and interest you. The intrinsic motivation to answer an interesting question is what will ultimately get a project across the finish line.

Professor I most admire and why: That is a tough question because I was lucky to have had many great professors throughout my undergraduate and graduate education. If I had to pick just one, I would say my doctoral advisor, Dan Dhaliwal. Dan was an amazing scholar and educator, but more importantly, Dan was an amazing person. Unfortunately, Dan passed away a few years ago, but his legacy is carried on by the large cadre of doctoral students he mentored over the years.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? When it comes to teaching Principles of Taxation, one of the things I enjoy most is showing students the ways that tax will influence their lives. Even though a small minority of my students will actually go on to be tax accountants, every student in my class will make decisions in their career and their personal life that have important tax consequences that must be considered.

What is most challenging? Finding new ways to continue to keep students engaged.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Apathetic

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as…Fair


What are your hobbies? Outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and fly fishing. Attending sporting events, particularly TCU. Cooking and reading.

How will you spend your summer? A large portion of the summer will be spent working on research and continuing to improve my courses. As with every summer, I also look forward to helping with TCU Frog Camp. Hopefully my family can find some time for a nice vacation as well.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: This is a really hard choice! I have loved so many places that I have traveled to for different reasons. If I had to pick one, I would probably say Northern New Mexico (e.g., Santa Fe or Taos). The combination of the natural beauty, culture, and food, make it such a fun place to visit.

Favorite book(s): Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? My two favorite movies are Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society. I have never reflected on why I enjoy these two movies so much; however, I think it has something to do with the bonds that Robin Williams’s character is able to build with other characters in each movie (i.e., the relationship Sean Maguire builds with Will Hunting and the relationship John Keating builds with his students).

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Lately I have been listening to quite a bit of bluegrass and folk, one of my favorite groups lately has been Balsam Range. Overall though, I listen to pretty much all types of music, just depends on what I am in the mood for.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Room in the curriculum for exploration. I feel like the curriculum at a lot of schools has become so rigid with so many required courses. However, college should be a time to explore new topics and new ideas and I am afraid that not enough college students have room in their schedule to do so.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Providing work-life balance, which is much easier said than done. I feel that technology has really tethered employees to their employer in a way that did not exist in the pre-email era. It is becoming harder and harder for employees to switch away from “work mode,” because even if they are at home with family or on vacation, it is far too easy to just check your work email one more time.

I’m grateful for… my family, friends, and colleagues.


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