William Volz

William Volz


Distinguished Service Professor of Business Law and Ethics






Mike Ilitch School of Business
2771 Woodward Avenue
Room 315
Detroit, MI 48201

William Volz

Academic Programs

  • Accounting


Commercial law and regulation, Business ethics, Constitutional law, Taxation policy 

Research and teaching interests


  • Tax Policy
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Constitutional Law; Product Liability; Punitive Damages
  • Bankruptcy
  • Great Teachers


  • Commercial Law and Regulation
  • Business Ethics, Business and Society
  • Project Management
  • Tax Policy, Tax Research


  • MBA, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, 1978
  • JD, Wayne State University, 1975
  • Ph.D. Program, Political Science, MA, University of Michigan, 1972
  • BA, Michigan State University, Honors College, Economics,1968


  • Mathematics instruction, Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi, 1968
  • United States Army. Field Artillery Officer’s Candidate School. 25th Infantry Division, 1969-1972
  • State Bar of Michigan, 1975
  • Federal Bar, 1975
  • Free Legal Aid Clinic, Inc., Staff and Supervising Attorney,1975-1976
  • U.S. Social Security Administration Office of General Counsel, 1977
  • Hired at WSU, 1978; Assistant, Associate, Professor, Distinguished Service Professor of Business Law and Ethics to present
  • Dean, School of Business, 1985-1995
  • Director, Center for Legal Studies, Law School, 1996-1997
  • Chair, Department of Accounting, 1997-1999
  • Associate Vice President for Academic Personnel, Office of the Provost
  • Executive Director, University Student Entrepreneurship, Blackstone LaunchPad, 2010-2014
  • University Council/Academic Senate, 1984-1985, 2000-present
  • Policy Committee, 2004-present, Vice-Chair, 2006-2007
  • Budget Committee, 1984-1985, 2000-present, Chair, 2009-2011
  • Elections Committee, Chair, 2000-2005
  • University Faculty Hearing Panel, 2004-2006
  • Pennsylvania State University, Instructor, Project Management Masters Program, 2004-present
  • General Education Reform/Oversight (Implementation) Committee, 2000-2019
  • President's Commission on General Education, 1984
  • Art and Art History Department Internal Review, Chair, 1999-2000, Co-chair, 2006-2007
  • Interdisciplinary Studies Director Search Committee, Chair, 1999
  • Center for Academic Ethics, Board of Directors, 1989-1995
  • Merrill-Palmer Institute, Committee on Employer-Sponsored Child-Care, 1990-1992
  • College of Liberal Arts/Science Restructuring Committee, 2003
  • School of Business Administration Restructuring Committee, 2004
  • Accounting Department and Chair Review Committee, Chair, 2004 and 2009
  • Review of George R. Husband and T. Norris Hitchman Endowed Chairs, Chair, 2009 and 2012. 
  • School of Business Faculty Senate, 1979-1985, Chair, 1983-1985
  • JD/MBA Review Committee, 2004-2005
  • President, Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, 1995-1996, 1998-2000
  • Budget Planning Council, various University budget committees 1995-present
  • University Honorary Degree Advisory Committee, 2013-2019
  • Board of Directors, several organizations--community mental health, amateur theater, and legal aid societies
  • Board of Trustees, Olde Custodian Fund ($3.8 billion family of money market funds); Detroit Historical Society; Henry Ford Health Systems Behavioral Health Services
  • Consultant: Comcast, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Michigan Supreme Court, State of Michigan Office of the Governor, Merrill Lynch, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Managed Asset Portfolio, Chrysler Corporation, United Automobile Workers 


  • Academy of Legal Studies in Business
  • American Bar Association
  • American Political Science Association
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Beta Sigma Phi
  • Common Ground/Sanctuary
  • Detroit Athletic Club
  • Economic Club of Detroit
  • Harvard Business School Club of Detroit
  • Harvard Club of Eastern Michigan
  • Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters
  • Oakland Audubon Society
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Association of University Professors-AFT



  • Billings, Huston, and Volz (2017), "Navigating Municipal Bankruptcy," The CPA Journal, Vol.87.
  • Billings, Volz, and Kim (2017), "New Developments in Outbound Transfers of Intangible Property," The Tax Advisor, Vol. 48.
  • Billings, Volz, and Walsh (2015), “Tax Evasion through Offshore Bank Deposits in Swiss Banks: A High Priority for the Obama Administration, The CPA Journal. Vol. 85.
  • Billings, Volz, and Hatch (2014), “The Impact of Unitary Tax Principles on Multistate Corporations, The CPA Journal. Vol. 84.
  • Billings and Volz (2013), “A Primer on Bankruptcy for Accountants, The CPA Journal. Vol. 83.
  • Volz, Walsh and Billings (2011), “Reporting the Governance, Management, and Disclosure Policies of Tax-Exempt Organizations in the Redesigned IRS Form 990, The CPA Journal. Vol. 81.
  • Volz and Ellis (2009), “An Attorney-Client Privilege for Embattled Tax Practitioners: A Legislative Response to Uncertain Legal Counsel,Hofstra Law Review. Vol. 38.
  • Tazian and Volz (2007), “More Scrutiny of Directors: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act at Five, National Law Journal. Vol. 29.
  • Volz and Tazian (2006), “The Role of Attorneys under Sarbanes-Oxley: The Qualified Legal Compliance Committee as Facilitator of Corporate Integrity, American Business Law Journal. Vol. 43. Cited in 12 law reviews.
  • Volz (2005), “Will Private Savings Accounts Create Worker Philanthropists?, Tax Notes.
  • Volz and Tazian (2004), “The Tax Treatment of Sexual Harassment Awards: Clarifying the Threshold for Exclusion, Journal of Legislation," Vol.30.
  • Volz (2004), “An Anatomy of the Legal Writing of Justice John D. Voelker, Michigan Academician. Vol. 36. Won the 2003 Cohn Prize for Legal Scholarship. Michigan Supreme Court Historical Library selection.
  • Volz and Spalding (2002), “Charitable Checkoffs on State Income Tax Returns: A Modest Success Story, State Tax Notes. Vol. 25. Reprinted with the same title in The Exempt Organization Tax Review. Vol. 37.
  • Volz, Jones, and Wisley (2000), “Practitioner Reliance on Private Letter Rulings as Legal Authority, Tax Notes. Vol. 88.
  • Volz (1998), “The Classroom Gifts of Great University Teachers, Michigan Academician. Vol.30.
  • Spalding, Jones, and Volz (1998), “Teaching ‘Kidzlaw’ on The Internet, Michigan Bar Journal. Vol.77.
  • Volz (1997), “Toward the Definition of a Great Teacher, Journal of Legal Studies Education. Vol. 15.
  • Volz and Fayz (1994), "Punitive Damages: TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp. and the Quest for Constitutional Standards," Commercial Damages Reporter. Vol. 9.
  • Volz and Fayz (1993), "Michigan Just Cause Employment Contracts: The Enduring Experiment," University of Detroit/Mercy Law Review. Vol. 70. Cited in 5 law reviews.
  • Volz and Fayz (1992), "Punitive Damages and the Due Process Clause: The Search for Constitutional Standards," University of Detroit/Mercy Law Review, Vol. 69. [Cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources Corp., 509 U.S. 443, 500 (1993) Justice O'Connor dissenting with whom Justices White and Souter joined. Also, cited by the Alabama Supreme Court and over 30 law reviews.]
  • Volz and Fayz (1991), "McBride v. General Motors: Judicial Response to Constitutional Challenges in a Products Liability Punitive Damage Limitation Statute," American Business Law Journal, Vol. 29. Cited in 5 law reviews.
  • Volz and Costa (1984), "A Public Employee's 'Fair Share' of Union Dues," Labor Law Journal, Vol. 40.
  • Volz and Breitenbeck (1984), "Comparable Worth and the Union's Duty of Fair Representation," Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 10. Cited in 6 law reviews.
  • Volz and Brouwer (1983), "Contracts" for the Annual Survey of Michigan Law, Wayne Law Review, Vol. 29.
  • Volz and Morgan (1983), "The Product Liability Crisis," The Michigan Economy, Vol. 2.
  • Volz (1983), "Discovering an Accountant's Tax Accrual Workpapers: Should Auditors Join the Privileged Few?" Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Vol. 2.
  • Volz (1982), "Accountant's Liability to Third Persons: Resistance in Negligence," American Bar Association - Barrister, Vol. 9. Cited in 4 law reviews. 


Research accomplishments

Published one book and forty articles in law reviews, academic and professional journals. My work in business and commercial law have been cited in more than seventy journals, law reviews, by the United States Supreme Court, and by a state supreme court. Published over one hundred other essays, papers and book reviews. Served on the editorial boards of five journals. Proceedings editor for papers in several national and regional conferences.

Teaching awards

  • Mike Ilitch School of Business Alumni Association, Inspirational Teacher Award [2018]
  • President's Council, State of Michigan, Distinguished Professor of the Year (WSU Nom.) [2009]
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching [2007]
  • School of Business Administration Distinguished Teaching Award [2001]
  • Professional Development Division Executive Education Leadership Award [1995]
  • School of Business Administration Distinguished Faculty Award [1982]

Professional service awards

  • Wayne State Student Entrepreneurship, Blackstone LaunchPad, $1.7 million external funding [2010-2014]
  • Wayne State University Alumni Association Faculty Service Award [2006]
  • Lviv (Ukraine) Institute of Management Distinguished Leadership Award [1993]
  • Wayne State University Club Leadership Award [1992]
  • Michigan Department of Social Services/Detroit Self-Employment Project Distinguished Service Award [1992]
  • Association of Black Business Students Wayne State University Chapter – Distinguished Service Award [1990]
  • Wayne State University Chapter Beta Alpha Psi (national accounting honorary fraternity) [1982]