In Memoriam: Mark Trombley

Feb. 3, 2015

Old Main

Mark Trombley, Beach Fleischman Professor of Accounting in the UA's Eller College of Management, died unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 20. 

Trombley had served as a member of the Eller faculty since 1990, when he completed his doctoral degree at the University of Washington. Prior to that, he worked for Deloitte, one of the Big Four CPA firms, from 1976 to 1986. 

"Mark was a uniquely exemplary faculty member and had been the heart and soul of our department for the last two decades," said Dan Dhaliwal, Frances McClelland Endowed Chair and head of the accounting department.

Trombley was known as a selfless colleague who was generous with his time and talents. He published over 20 articles in high quality accounting and finance journals. His research focused on financial accounting issues of contemporary debate in the academic as well as the professional community. In particular, Trombley examined stock market efficiency in using accounting data to value a firm, factors affecting accounting method choices by firms, and the relevance of accounting data for firm valuation.

Trombley was active nationally through his service to the accounting research community, serving on the editorial board of The Accounting Review from 2005-2008 and then as an editor from 2008-2011. He was an ad hoc reviewer for many different accounting and finance journals and was a member of several American Accounting Association research-oriented committees, such as the Wildman Award Committee and the best dissertation award for the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section.

Trombley was also an award-winning teacher who won recognition from Eller and the Arizona State CPA Society. 

He taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate, MBA and PhD levels. Students appreciated his teaching style and respected his knowledge of the subject matter. He wrote a textbook on accounting for derivatives and hedging. In addition, accounting doctoral students benefited greatly from Trombley's time and attention. He was a committee member for over 30 doctoral students and provided research assistance and guidance over time to nearly every doctoral student in the accounting program during his tenure as a faculty member.

Trombley also provided untold hours of service to the department, college and University. He served on every department committee, often chairing them in recent years. He also served on every college-wide governance committee over time, serving as chair for several. His service at the University level included a number of committees, such as the Undergraduate Council, General Education Committee and the Small Grant Program Selection and Funding Committee, among others.

Trombley is survived by his wife, Sue, and his younger brother, Glenn. He grew up in a Navy family that eventually landed in the San Jose, California, area, where he and his wife met. Trombley had many hobbies and interests, including trying to teach his wife to cook, cycling, working out, chess, poker and reading, especially mystery novels.

The accounting department will host a daylong research workshop event in Trombley's honor later this semester. Those who would like to celebrate his life through donations may give to the accounting department, and those funds will be earmarked to help defray travel and research expenses for doctoral students. Donations can be made through the UA Foundation website, where donors can specify that the gift is a tribute to Trombley. Alternatively, donations can be made to the Hermitage Cat Shelter in his name.