The financial planning program has a long history at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where Deena Katz plies her trade these days. It was one of the 20 schools, she says, to which the then International Board of Standards and Practices gave its blessing to prepare students for the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1986. To help commemorate that history of preparing so many students make their contributions to the profession, the university’s Division of Personal Financial Planning, part of the School of Applied and Professional Studies, is sponsoring a weeklong celebration February 27-March 3 on the campus. Many alumni are scheduled to attend, Katz says, and Morningstar’s Don Phillips is the keynote speaker for the celebration, which will also attract many advisors to replace the regular Tech faculty in teaching classes that week.
That temporary swap is central to what Katz hopes to achieve at the university. “I think my job at this point is to help bridge the gap between academics and practitioners. There’s an awful lot of good work and research being done in the academic world that can apply directly to what we do [as practitioners], we just haven’t talked to each other. By the same token, the practitioners are the ones that have to put the practical application to what we teach academically. So we should be listening to them about our curriculum and about preparing these people for their next responsibilities.”