Spotlight on new faculty — an interview with David Caban

Interview by Kaidi Ilves

Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes David Caban as assistant professor of accounting in the Silberman College of Business. Caban holds a Ph.D. in accounting from Florida Atlantic University. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

david caban

FDU: Why did you choose Fairleigh Dickinson University?

David Caban: Having freshly finished my doctoral studies, I was faced with the decision of where to teach. Being a married man with three children, it had to be a mutual decision, and since my wife works in the pharmaceutical industry, the Northeast seemed to be the best location for both of us. This region also has a number of reputable universities, but FDU stood out for me the most because of its focus on teaching and small class sizes.

Moreover, Silberman College of Business is both AACSB-accredited, and held in high regard by professionals in my field.

FDU: How did you become interested in accounting?

DC: I was always interested in numbers and analytics. I started in finance — I hold both a B.S. and an MBA in the field — and as I moved up the private sector, I realized how large of a role accounting was playing in everything I was doing. Moreover, in Florida, there is actually a lot more demand for CPAs than CFAs, and there tend to be more opportunities in the field of accounting in general. Thus, I arrived at the decision to pursue an accounting education through a combination of both practicality and my passion for crunching numbers.

FDU: What is your research about?

DC: In class, we talk a lot about debits and credits. One would think my research was along the same lines, but in reality, accounting and finance theories hardly ever touch upon debits and credits. It’s much more complex, and of course, much more interesting. I’m currently analyzing the capital structures of companies. Essentially, I’m trying to understand the motivation behind choosing a fully equity-based capital structure. That is, why certain companies choose to give out equity (think company ownership, like stocks or a percentage of the company), rather than raise funds with debt which is considered a less expensive source of money.

FDU: What is something you would like to contribute to FDU?

DC: FDU has a teaching school reputation, and it’s often overlooked that a lot of great research comes out of here as well. I would like to help FDU with reinventing its image as a well-balanced school that focuses on both teaching and research, because that’s what it really is.

FDU: What is something you hope your students will take away from your classes?

DC: Accounting is not just for accountants — it is useful for everyone. It weaves through everything in business, and personal lives as well. You don’t have to be an accountant, but have at least enough understanding to know what your accountant is doing. That is, unless you want your money stolen from you.

FDU: What is one piece of advice you can give your new students?

DC: Follow your heart, but be practical.