Sedatole is one of the nation’s leading management accounting experts, with the research awards to back it up. She joined the faculty at MSU in 2006 and mostly teaches MBA students in her core courses on management accounting and management control systems. She helms the Broad Integrative Fellows program, which supports interdisciplinary teaching across the college. She also is the faculty advisor for the Broad Women MBA Association.
Professor Karen Sedatole got her start as a systems design consultant in her native Texas, using her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and MBA to help her clients.
It was while earning her MBA that she began taking accounting classes, which she discovered she really enjoyed. Ultimately, she decided to pursue a Ph.D., and in 2006 she joined the faculty at MSU.
“I came to MSU because it so well known for its management accounting group; it’s one of the strongest in the country,” Sedatole says. She mostly teaches MBA students, in her courses on core management accounting and management control systems.
“Accounting information is the information they’ll be using to make decisions,” Sedatole says of her commitment to teaching students. “They’re going to be getting information on costs regardless of what they’re going to be doing. I stress the shortcomings of the information in making those decisions. Accounting information is geared toward financial statements, it’s not generated for the purpose of making decisions internally. Students need to know what the accountants in their companies are giving them. My goal is that they know which questions to ask.”
Sedatole has won national awards for her research, and she helms the Broad Integrative Fellows program, which supports interdisciplinary teaching. She also is the faculty advisor for the Broad Women MBA Association. In her free time she enjoys traveling, especially to Napa Valley.
Broad says teaching at Broad is rewarding, both because of the students’ caliber and the program’s atmosphere.
“I enjoy the engagement with the MBA students at Broad because of the profile of the students – many come from supply chain or corporate finance,” she says. “We emphasize teamwork and a collegial atmosphere. It’s a really strong atmosphere in that regard. We try to carry that through all the classes, and I think we do a good job of it.”