Dr. Zhang teaches in the Finance department at the College of Business and is renowned for her teaching and research that she has contributed to the CoBPA. Dr. Zhang is highly respected by not only other faculty, but throughout the academic research industry.
After receiving a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Iowa, Dr. Zhang came directly to UND. For the last 4 years, she has made a positive impact on her students as well as in the research field. In Dr. Zhang’s finance classes her goal is to link what is taking place in the business world to the classroom. Students run finance models on real life companies that are in the industry which allows students to connect classroom learning to industry practices.
Dr. Zhang says, “The market is becoming more complex so it is crucial to continue to engage students in what is evolving in the finance field.”
Along with being a distinguished teacher, Dr. Zhang quickly has become an acclaimed researcher in the area of finance. Her emphasis has been on corporate finance and investments. More specifically Dr. Zhang has done extensive research on executive compensation design and efficiency.
According to colleagues, Dr. Zhang has been dubbed as one of the leaders in research in this particular field. Finding what executive compensation packages will prove to maximize shareholder value in the greatest manner has been one of the focuses of Dr. Zhang.
Research has also been done on how dependent a company’s stock performance is based on the CEO’s reputation, this is called the “big figure risk.” This is a very innovative area of research analyzing how the share holder is at risk if the CEO were to step out of the company. The CEO’s reputation is measured by counting how many times the CEO is cited in the media. Two great examples are Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet and how share holders will be affected when these titans step down from their positions.
Dr. Zhang believes that quality research advances the state of the institution and the education that the students receive. As a teacher Dr. Zhang wants students to receive a cutting edge education, and to do this, she needs to stay on top of new developments to prepare her students.
The finance environment is ever-changing and research assures that faculty stay on top of the curve. The reputation of the university is enhanced by valuable research which helps the university to attract and retain strong faculty.
“Currently the knowledge and content being taught in the classroom is 30% different from 10-20 years ago and research is what keeps instructors on top of this evolution as the knowledge accumulates,” said Dr. Zhang.
Dr. Zhang is proud to be a UND faculty member and is glad that she went with her number one pick when choosing a university to launch her academic career.