Published: Feb. 10, 2022

Heightened visibility and important insights offer invaluable guidance for Leeds’ research-active professors.​

Yonca Ertimur poses for a portrait in the new Rustandy Building at CU Boulder.

Anyone looking for tips on how to improve productivity needs to get on Yonca Ertimur’s calendar.

As senior associate dean for faculty and research and Tandean Rustandy esteemed professor, Ertimur has a full portfolio of responsibilities that include her own ambitious publication goals. On top of that, she recently accepted an editor role at Review of Accounting Studies, while she’s already an associate editor at both the Journal of Accounting Research and Management Science—each among the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals in business. 

For Ertimur, visibility at top journals is a way to continue to influence the culture of research excellence she enjoys at the Leeds School of Business.

A 'dynamic mix' of young and experienced faculty

“We have this really dynamic mix of younger faculty who are out to establish themselves and some senior faculty who have accomplished a lot,” she said. “There’s a lot of collaboration within divisions and a lot of people willing to help junior faculty get published.” 

As a mentor, Ertimur said her editorial roles with journals gives her another avenue to help faculty and PhD students be better prepared for the rigors of publication. 

“You get a sense for other reviewers, what their tastes are and how they approach the revision process,” she said. “It’s also a way to teach our faculty to have some backbone about their work—to know when to push back and advocate for what they’ve done, instead of blowing off comments.” 

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“There’s a lot of collaboration within divisions and a lot of people willing to help junior faculty get published.”

Yonca Ertimur, senior associate dean for faculty and research

For example, Ertimur said, she recently resubmitted a paper for publication consideration, “and I asked two of my junior colleagues to read the paper and skim through our responses,” she said. “That’s the kind of thing anybody can do to help people who haven’t gone through the process, and it really gives you a better sense for how to handle your own revisions.”

Ertimur’s own research interests lie in disclosures—traditional for an accounting expert—and corporate governance, which she said she got into “by accident” after completing her PhD at New York University. While teaching at Stanford, she reconnected with Fabrizio Ferri, a fellow NYU alumnus, who was looking at the role of shareholder voting in monitoring public firms. Today, they have five papers on the topic, including in top journals like Review of Accounting Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics. 

“The thing that I like about governance topics is that they’re very interdisciplinary—so you have people in accounting, but there are elements of finance, law and so on,” she said.

It’s something she’d like to encourage with her role at Leeds—Ertimur pointed to a joint publication by Jeffrey York, an entrepreneurship expert, and David Drake, whose focus is operations—“but it has to happen organically, you can’t force those kinds of synergies,” she said. 

'An opportunity to shape the school'

In fact, one thing she appreciates about her role as associate dean, which she’s held since July 2020, is how it’s helped her get a broader view of the organization and the work her fellow faculty are engaged in, through regular interactions and the school’s brown-bag lunch series for sharing research among professors. If anything, that perspective has helped confirm for her that she made the right decision to join Leeds after leaving her post at Duke in 2012.

“I saw Leeds as this younger group with a lot of upside, where I would have a voice,” she said. “I wanted to have an opportunity to shape the school alongside my colleagues.” 

Between her leadership at the school and her work on academic journals, Ertimur certainly has the responsibility she sought when joining Leeds. She’s hoping to find more time for her own research, as well—a tall order, given her responsibilities, but one she’s equipped to handle. 

“I protect my calendar,” she said. “I’ve learned to stop trying to solve every problem immediately and to limit my time on email.” 

When the going gets really tough, she turns to Boulder-approved methods to destress, including going for a run or a bike ride, “which gets you into this state where you’re able to think about things a little differently,” she said. “It’s a good outlet for me, personally and professionally.” 

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