Marion McHugh III

Marion McHugh

Associate Professor, Business and Accounting

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Marion McHugh is an Associate Professor in the Business and Accounting Department at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining the Furman faculty in the fall of 2010, he held a visiting appointment in the Department of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also been a member of the Accounting Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to academic posts, Professor McHugh has also as held positions at Deloitte and Touche (Costa Mesa, CA) and IBM (Atlanta, GA).

Marion resides in Greenville with his wife, Sunda, daughter Mae, and son Michael.


  • Ph.D., University of Arkansas
  • M.B.A., University of California, Irvine
  • B.A., California State University, San Bernardino


The act of learning increases knowledge about the world and develops the competencies needed to understand the nature of phenomena yet to be examined. When knowledge increases, the degree of correspondence between an individual?s beliefs about a state of nature and its true state also increases. When an individual develops skills for understanding ?out of sample? phenomena, they are better able to cope with the many contextual and structural changes that they will surely face in the future. Thus, learning is development of an understanding of ?what is? today and a capacity for coping with ?what will be? in the future.

Both dimensions of learning, knowledge and skills, are relevant to the accounting and assurance professionals. Accountants measure and communicate states of nature, given their knowledge of principles and standards. Assurance professionals must evaluate claims about states of nature, given their knowledge of accepted criteria and procedures for making such determinations. To prepare students for operating in these fields, it is essential for them to develop knowledge about ?what is? in terms of the current principles and standards of the profession as well as to develop aptitudes for applying these frameworks in specific states of nature. Because it is difficult to foresee future reporting and assurance environments, and due to the judgmental nature of accounting and assurance, students of these disciplines must also develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Ultimately, learning occurs when the individual seeks understanding. The primary objective of teaching, therefore, is to help students in their quest for comprehension. An important assumption embedded in the teacher-as-learning-facilitator role is that learning is a voluntary process and the teacher assists those interested in learning. Thus, the teacher provides seekers of learning with engaging opportunities that enable the learning process. These opportunities should address both the knowledge and skill development components of learning. While few individual contexts can maximize both knowledge and skills, the teacher must fully address these dimensions when developing and implementing student learning itineraries.


  • McHugh, Marion E., III, and Paul W. Polinski. "Audit firm changes post-Sarbanes Oxley: impact on the market for public company audits." The CPA Journal May 2012: 24+. Business Insights: Essentials. Aug. 2013