Collegial Environment Fosters Research and Collaboration
Associate Professor of Finance
“I like the fact that we have a large group where people conduct research in various areas.”
When Xiaoyun Yu wants to discuss her research ideas, she knows she can just knock on another faculty member’s door to get immediate input. It’s one of the things she particularly likes about the Kelley finance department—the collegial environment with strong support for junior faculty members. “I like the fact that we have a large group where people conduct research in various areas,” she says.
The collegial attitude combined with numerous areas of research specialization provides plenty of opportunities for collaboration. Yu worked with Associate Professor Utpal Bhattacharya and two former doctoral students on the research paper, “The Role of the Media in the Internet IPO Bubble,” which will be published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis later this year.
She’s currently working on two papers that deal with corporate fraud scandals— “a really hot area,” she says. "Corporate Lobbying and Fraud Detection” finds that firms’ lobbying activities make a significant difference in fraud detection. Firms that lobby have a significantly lower rate of fraud detection and evade fraud for a longer period, Yu explains. The second paper, “Corporate Fraud and Business Conditions: Evidence from IPOs,” examines firms’ incentives to commit fraud.
Because the doctoral program is highly selective, with an average of three to five students per year, Yu explains that there is constant interaction between faculty and students. “This environment fosters research collaborations,” she says. “It’s time-demanding, but it’s very rewarding.”
Teaching undergraduates can be equally rewarding, says Yu. In her F305 Intermediate Corporate Finance, students are challenged to think critically—“You can’t just punch the formula in the calculator,” she tells them—and this approach has proven to leave them well prepared for the job market. She remembers several years ago when a company interviewed 40 candidates from Ivy League schools as well as Kelley in an effort to make 10 placements—and six of the 10 chosen were from Kelley. This is exactly why Yu believes that students who are motivated to work hard in class succeed. “Kelley education adds another dimension,” she says. “As a result, our students are extremely competitive during job interviews and later, with career advances.”
The tools to succeed: “Many finance courses emphasize both critical thinking and team work. These courses cover the most recent developments in finance as well as advanced analytical tools.”
Why she loves being a professor: “An academic career is particularly attractive to me because I can work with a lot of smart faculty members on advanced and interesting research projects that have potentially great social and economic impact. And at the same time, I can pass on the knowledge of finance to students.”
Best thing about Bloomington: “I enjoy Bloomington for its small-town peace and charm, but at the same time it offers a big-city lifestyle with its music and the arts.”