|Message from the Department Chair|
Greetings from the Accounting Department at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I am happy to report that, despite a very challenging environment in higher education, our Accounting Department is thriving.
As many of you know, UMSL’s College of Business Administration and our Accounting Department are separately accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) – the gold-standard of accreditation for collegiate programs in business. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the AACSB conducted its five-year comprehensive review of our programs. We are pleased to report that in April 2015, both the College programs and the Accounting Department programs received reaccreditation for another five years.
We remain committed to the highest standard in accounting education through a focus on quality and continuous improvement as called for by AACSB accreditation. This commitment to excellence is evidenced by our place in the recently announced Public Accounting Report rankings of accounting programs. Both our Bachelor of Science in Accounting and our Master of Accounting programs were ranked #17 in the country in the “less than 15 full-time faculty members” category. This ranking puts us in the company of other prestigious programs including the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University.
On the faculty front, we wished some old friends well as they moved on to new pursuits. Our long time Chair, Mary Beth Mohrman accepted an appointment as a part-time Founders Professor. A celebration was held for her at Glen Echo Country Club and she was lauded by scores of guests as a great Chairperson, Professor, and friend. Mary Beth’s Founders Professorship will conclude in 2016. Also moving on in recent years were Professors Young Her, Natalia Mintchik, Leslie Vaughan, Jim Tiburzi, and Traci Hodges. Young, Natalia, and Leslie accepted positions at other Universities, Jim retired, and Traci decided to pursue her doctoral studies full-time in the UMSL College of Education. Each of these colleagues made important contributions to the UMSL Accounting mission and each is missed.
In recent years, we have been privileged to add a number of excellent faculty members to our ranks, including Debbie McBride, Michele Meckfessel, and Jen Wen as tenure-track Assistant Professors and Marcia Countryman and Paul Van Wert as full-time lecturers. Please take a moment to learn more about each of these talented professors in this newsletter. With them on board, the UMSL Accounting faculty will be strong for years to come.
Our Accounting programs are among the largest majors on campus and our students continue to accomplish great things. Our graduates pursue exciting careers at the many outstanding CPA firms, companies, government agencies, and not-for-profit corporations in the area and beyond. They also successfully complete the CPA Exam at rates well above the national average. Our top students even achieve the ultimate accomplishment – earning the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells award for excellence on the CPA Exam. Our Gamma Psi Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi continues to earn superior status and win national awards and our students, via the VITA program, continue to provide valuable tax services to the citizens of St. Louis free of charge. I invite you to read more about these students and activities in this Newsletter.
In 2015, Sandra Van Trease of BJC became the latest inductee into the UMSL Accounting Hall of Fame. She joins our two past inductees Steve Swyers and Dave Ganz in this prestigious circle. With so many worthy alumni, we look forward to growing the Hall of Fame annually.
In other good news, October 29, 2015 marks the groundbreaking for Anheuser-Busch Hall, the new home of UMSL Business, slated for completion in fall 2017. The groundbreaking ceremonies will take place on UMSL’s north campus and you are invited to attend.
As you can see, there are a lot of exciting things happening in the UMSL Accounting family. We invite you to join us as we continue to enhance the value of your world-class degree. I hope you will take the following actions to this end.
With your help, we will remain a world-class program and continue to enhance the value of the UMSL Accounting degree. UMSL Accounting is very strong. Together, we will get even stronger! I hope that you enjoy the information in this Newsletter. I look forward to hearing updates about your career and life.