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Best 40-Under-40 Professor Kenneth Merkley

Kenneth Merkley cornell

Kenneth Merkley of Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is among the 40 best business school profs under 40

Kenneth Merkley

Assistant Professor of Accounting and Barry and Ann Ridings Sesquicentennial Fellow

Age: 33

Institution: Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

 Since: 2011

Before current institution: PhD student at the University of Michigan

 Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Marital status: Married to Andrea Merkley

Children: 4 children (Joseph, Elizabeth, Madeline, and Katherine)


PhD in Business Administration, University of Michigan

MAcc in Accounting, Brigham Young University

B.S. in Accounting, Brigham Young University

Courses currently teaching: Financial Statement Analysis, Advanced Financial Statement Analysis, PhD Seminar: Financial Reporting and Disclosure

Fun fact: I am my family’s designated wedding singer and guitarist.  My wife and I have performed duets at several family weddings over the years.  We hope that our lower-than-market price (i.e. free) is not our greatest attraction.

Professor you most admire: William Beaver (Stanford University).

Most memorable moment as a professor: One day in class, we were discussing the impacts of international accounting standards on financial reporting using an example from an Australian mining company. It turned out that one of my students had been involved with a proposed M&A transaction for the company, leading to a very enlightening discussion for everyone, myself included. I find that the best moments of my profession are when everyone brings something to the table in ways that make us all learn new things together. 

“If I weren’t a b-school professor…” I would probably be a naturalist of sorts, studying anything from ornithology to biology to geology to paleontology.  My kids and I enjoy exploring the outdoors to find different kinds of plants, animals, and rocks.

Professor Merkley studies the role of information in capital markets. He currently examines corporate financial communication decisions and the influence of corporate disclosures on capital market participants (investors and financial analysts, for example). An Eagle Scout, Merkley is the Barry and Ann Ridings Sesquicentennial Fellow at Johnson, as well as a recipient of the Spivey/Hall Fellowship at the Ross School of Business. His work has been mentioned in media outlets like CNBC and Reuters.

Kenneth Merkley is among “The World’s 40 Best B-School Profs Under the Age of 40