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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


BKD Gift Creates First Distinguished Accounting Professorship

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 23, 2008) – A major gift from BKD LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting firms, will establish the first distinguished professorship within the UCM School of Accountancy.

The BKD Distinguished Accounting Professorship Established

Central Missouri alumni with BKD LLP, including several partners, have pledged a six-year, $250,000 contribution to create the BKD Distinguished Accounting Professorship.

Alumni Continue to Expand Opportunities for Future Graduates

“Once again, Central Missouri alumni have demonstrated their belief in providing expanded opportunities for those who follow them,” said UCM President Aaron Podolefsky. “This named professorship, the first for our School of Accountancy and the second within the university, allows us to continue to provide the quality instruction and faculty leadership that students have come to expect in our nationally renowned Harmon College of Business.”

One of 10 Largest CPA Firms in the U.S.

One of the 10 largest certified public accounting and advisory firms in the United States, BKD LLP has 27 offices in 11 states and employs more than 1,900 people and 230 partners. The company has a long history as a major employer of UCM accounting graduates, including these partners who have made gifts toward the professorship: Ed Crumm, Joe Roos, Stephen Mock, Barry Davis, Sue Brammer and Lyle Alexander, from the Kansas City office;  Doug Bennett, Springfield; and Jerry Isaacs, Tulsa.

Firsthand Knowledge of What UCM Can Offer

Davis knows first-hand the quality of Central Missouri’s accounting program. As a 1983 graduate, he’s had an opportunity to employ many of UCM’s accounting alumni.

“BKD believes in investing in its communities, as well as a program in which the firm has found many of its best employees,” he said. “I knew when I graduated from high school that I wanted to be an accountant and that I wanted to study at UCM. The program was outstanding two decades ago, and that same high quality is still present today.

“The BKD Distinguished Accounting Professorship was established to provide the BKD partners with an opportunity to thank the School of Accountancy for the outstanding education that we received,” Davis added. “We hope, and truly believe, that this gift will assist the School of Accountancy in attracting and retaining professors who will be instrumental in teaching and mentoring the next generation of accountants.”

A History of Support for UCM Accounting Programs

BKD’s partnership with UCM goes back more than 20 years. The firm’s gifts have equipped an accounting computer lab in the Ward Edwards building, funded annual scholarships and provided travel assistance to help faculty and students attend professional conferences.

Appointment Announced Later This Year

The BKD Distinguished Accounting Professorship marks another step in the company’s long-standing partnership with the university. Distinguished professorships honor significant scholarly, creative achievement and academic excellence. The holder of the professorship, who will be appointed later this year by a department and college committee, will initiate innovative and progressive curriculum; strengthen teaching, research and service components of the program; and further establish the school’s regional and national reputation. For accounting students, the professorship will lead to expanded internships and job opportunities.

One of Only 169 AACSB-Accredited Programs

Central Missouri’s accounting program is one of only 169 worldwide accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-AACSB International with more than 10,000 business programs in 31 countries. AACSB is recognized globally as the symbol of excellence for business schools and accounting programs, according to James Hopson, Ph.D., chair of the School of Accountancy.

“Many companies recruit only at AACSB-accredited universities,” he said. “Our 94-percent graduate placement rate reflects the educational excellence and career preparation we provide our students.”

Providing Assistance in Competition for Quality Faculty

Hopson noted, “We appreciate the generosity of our alumni at BKD for establishing this professorship. We believe their leadership example will encourage more such gifts to our school. Maintaining our AACSB accreditation requires faculty with doctorate degrees who actively research and publish in professional journals. As accounting faculty salaries continue to increase, the BKD professorship will help us compete for quality accounting faculty, which in turn, will benefit more students."

BKD Partners and UCM Officials
Partners with BKD LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting firms, recently joined UCM officials at the firm’s Kansas City, Mo., office to announce a six-year, $250,000 commitment to establish the BDK Distinguished Accounting Professorship in UCM’s School of Accountancy. Those present were, front row, left to right, UCM President Aaron Podolefsky; BKD partners Sue Brammer and Joe Roos; and Joan Mansfield, dean of UCM’s Harmon College of Business Administration; back row, left to right, James Hopson, chair of UCM’s School of Accountancy; BKD partners Stephen Mock, Ed Crumm and Barry Davis; and Joy Mistele, development officer for the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. Not pictured are BKD partners Lyle Alexander, Kansas City; Doug Bennett, Springfield; and Jerry Isaacs, Tulsa.