Paul A. Shoemaker, professor and director of the School of Accountancy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration, has been awarded the first BKD, LLP Professorship in Accountancy.
"I am honored to be selected as the first recipient of this professorship," said Shoemaker, who joined UNL in 1989. "It signals that my work over an extended period of time is respected by my colleagues, and a professorship is one of the highest forms for recognition of achievement.
"Professorships show that the accounting and business communities believe in our academic programs and that they are pleased with the UNL accounting graduates they hire. Students also benefit by having high caliber faculty in the classroom, because professorships help attract nationally recognized faculty."
The professorship was established by BKD, a certified public accounting and advisory firm, with a $500,000 gift commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The permanently endowed fund enables the college to award an annual stipend for salary, research and program support. Recipients of the professorship are selected by the college based on teaching and research ability and accomplishments, as well as academic promise. They receive five-year appointments, renewable for an additional five-year term.
BKD is among the 10 largest CPA firms in the country with Nebraska offices in Lincoln and Omaha. Its donation was made through the BKD Foundation, the firm's charitable arm that has raised and distributed $5.3 million to qualifying nonprofit organizations over the past decade.
Norman Hedgecock, managing partner of BKD's Nebraska practice unit, said the company recognizes the need to have quality professors, as they foster the knowledge and skills necessary for the next generation of accountants.
"The Nebraska practice unit of BKD has always strived to hire the best and brightest accounting graduates," he said. "A reason we have supported the University of Nebraska is to help ensure that our industry and profession continues to have highly skilled and educated accounting graduates."
Donde Plowman, the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, said the gift from BKD provides support for the university's current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, and one of its top priorities of securing support for faculty.
"The gift of this professorship provides the kind of financial support that is essential in being able to retain and attract the highest quality faculty leaders," Plowman said. "It comes at an important time, as we move into the Big 10 Conference and develop a new set of relationships with some of the finest public business schools in the country. The gift also provides support for our Campaign for Nebraska goals, and we hope BKD's generosity is a model for others who love this university and this college and who want to help us move to the next level of academic excellence."
Shoemaker said: "Looking beyond me, this endowed professorship will live on for the next generation of faculty and benefit the School of Accountancy indefinitely."
Shoemaker teaches courses on topics including taxation, theory and finance, and his research has focused on tax, accounting history and accounting education. His works have been published by Contemporary Accounting Research, National Tax Journal, Journal of Applied Business Research, Southern Business Review and several others. He is recipient of the Nebraska Society of CPAs Outstanding Accounting Educator Award, the College of Business Administration Distinguished Teaching Award, and the University of Nebraska Distinguished Teaching Award, among other distinguished recognition. His formal education includes earning a doctorate at Pennsylvania State University, an MBA at Marywood College and a bachelor's degree at Bloomsburg University.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for the past 75 years. In 2010, donors designated more than $136 million in gifts to scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation's current $1.2 billion fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, concludes in 2014. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.