The Outstanding Teacher Award is among the highest honors The University of Tulsa bestows. It can only be won once. Previous winners have set a high standard that has made this honor coveted and respected. Award winners are assured that a consensus exists among students and colleagues that their teaching is meritorious in the highest tradition of the university.
Karen Cravens has a well-earned reputation for excellence in TU’s Collins College of Business. Her faculty colleagues noted that “. . . her teaching has remained at the highest level over her 23 years at TU, as has her leadership in so many other areas within our college. Her willingness to carry a higher teaching load than she had to, and do so at such a high level of excellence, is an example that the university should recognize.”
Cravens teaches cost and managerial accounting at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and management control systems at the graduate level. Her student nominators note that, “She did an excellent job of using examples in class that required critical thinking and that really helped the class understand the material.” Another wrote: “ The professor is great in teaching her own method of solving problems. They are great! I like the diversity of class structure, too. Practice problems are really helpful.”
Rending challenging material and research accessible is the hallmark of great teaching. One student remarked that Cravens provided “activity-based learning and supplementary materials” to illuminate accounting principles. “I learned enough to carry me through any future situation in general business, and if I didn’t learn it from Dr. Cravens, I know enough now about where to look.”
Cravens’s research interests include management accounting issues such as transfer pricing, brand valuation, intangibles, positive organizational scholarship and performance measurement. She is particularly interested in the international environment and is on the editorial board of the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation. She is widely published in U.S. and international professional journals. Previously, Cravens received the Collins College of Business Excellence in Teaching Award for 2006-2007 and the Research Excellence Award for 2000-2001 — testament to her remarkable classroom skills.
Cravens, who is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, holds a doctorate in accounting from Texas A&M University, an MBA from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, honorary business fraternity; Beta Alpha Psi, honorary accounting fraternity; and the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.