Henry R. Hatfield—Humanist, Scholar, and Accounting Educator—Is Named the First Dean
Hatfield is generally regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of academic accounting in the United States. Born in 1866 in Chicago, he earned a doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in 1897, having previously been affiliated with the municipal bond business. In 1902, he accepted an assistant professorship at the newly created College of Commerce and Administration and became the business school’s first dean, a position he held until 1904. He left to join the University of California at Berkeley, where he held many leadership positions, including dean of Berkeley’s College of Commerce. He was long regarded as “the dean of accounting teachers everywhere,” according to biographer Stephen A. Zeff, and his two books, Modern Accounting and Accounting, were among the most revered reference works in the first half of the 20th century.