200 Courses and Counting
Edward Taylor has been teaching at Boston College for 31 years. His 200 courses have covered topics such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, cost accounting, and auditing as well as his specialty, federal taxation.
Along the way he has won numerous awards for teaching such as the Massachusetts Society of CPAs’ Outstanding Educator of the Year (2012), the Carroll School of Management Distinguished Teaching Award (2012), and the Mary Kaye Waldron Award (2004). The latter is awarded by the UGBC, honoring a faculty member who has demonstrated a lasting commitment to Boston College’s Jesuit-inspired ideals.
This semester, Taylor is teaching two sections of Advanced Federal Taxation, an elective that brings together both undergraduates and Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.) students; Federal Taxation, an undergraduate requirement; and a new online course for M.S.A. students. Altogether he normally teaches 10 courses a year including summer offerings.
In all of his tax classes, Taylor sets aside time for discussions of tax-related news from the Wall Street Journal. But the highlight of Federal Taxation is the research paper he assigns to the undergraduates six weeks into the semester. The assignment is based on a continually updated case study that Taylor has crafted, centering on a congressional tax bill. In papers running between 20 and 30 single-spaced pages, students examine a wide breadth of issues ranging from the Alternative Minimum Tax to the tax consequences of home foreclosure.
The paper becomes a major focus of the semester and helps prepare students for the CPA exam. “It teaches them how to research too,” says Taylor. “And it gives them an idea of what they have to expect—the real-life problems they’ll be having to deal with in their first jobs as professionals.”