Susan Hamill - 2009

Nationally recognized law professor Susan Hamill will be the featured speaker at Oklahoma Christian University’s third annual J.J. Millican Ethics Symposium on Feb. 6. Hamill will discuss the topic of Taxes and Ethics: What Does God Really Say? The event is free to the public.

Hamill teaches at the University of Alabama and holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Samford University. She has gained national attention for evaluating state and federal tax policies under the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

In 2002, Hamill’s writings helped convince Governor Bob Riley to change his position on Alabama’s tax system and to put the issue up for a statewide vote. During this time, she was both praised and criticized by faith-based groups in the state for her views.

Hamill’s visit is part of Oklahoma Christian’s strong emphasis on ethics in its accounting program, according to Elaine Kelly, professor and J.J. Millican chair in accounting.

“We are committed to our students learning ethics in and outside of the classroom,” Kelly said. “Ethics need to be at the forefront of their minds, and we see a lot of value in having discussions from different perspectives.”

According to Hamill, since Judeo-Christian ethics are used as the moral compass by most Americans, it is vital that tax policies are compared with the moral texts on which they are based.

Hamill will speak in the Gaylord Activity Center on the Oklahoma Christian campus at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6. She will also address accounting students that afternoon. The Oklahoma Christian Accounting Club is co-sponsoring this event, which is worth one credit hour of continuing professional education in the area of ethics for certified public accountants.

The ethics symposium is made possible by the J.J. Millican Ethics Endowment at Oklahoma Christian. Don Millican, chairman of the Oklahoma Christian board of trustees, created the J.J. Millican Ethics Endowment to honor his father. J.J. Millican was a respected Christian businessman, faithful husband and father, and a certified public accountant. He was also a national partner with Ernst & Young. The endowment provides academic opportunities to Oklahoma Christian students, faculty and the community through scholarships, programs and guest speakers.