Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

This site is archival. Please visit the current MIZZOU magazine site for up-to-date content.

Around the Columns

Six heads are better than one


Accounting students primarily attend classes, such as the team-taught Acct 8401: Contemporary Issues in Professional Accounting, Audit & Tax Practice, in Cornell Hall on Carnahan Quadrangle.

Masters-level college students have ample experience learning from one professor at the head of a class … but seven? The School of Accountancy has implemented a new model in Acct 8401: Contemporary Issues in Professional Accounting, Audit & Tax Practice by having seven alumni team-teach the course with a MU professor.

“You pick up the newspapers now and read about a variety of issues — fraud, impaired assets, tax issues, budget crises in higher education, and auditing and accounting firms who have clients facing challenges,” says Vairam Arunachalam, director of the School of Accountancy. “This type of course taught by successful alumni dealing with these issues provides students with a practical perspective that complements their studies very well.”

Each instructor teaches two Thursday night classes and delivers information relevant to their experience, including:

  • Ethics by Jim Morris, BS BA ’76, Mike Ensz and Kyri Gorges of KPMG in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Impairment and goodwill by Brett Lewis, BS Acc ’84, Matt Heimsoth and Nate Vander Hamm of Grant Thornton LLP in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Budgeting and reporting issues in higher education by Nikki Krawitz, MS ’82, of the University of Missouri System
  • Forensic accounting by Arunachalam
  • Mergers and acquisitions by Scott Picker, BS BA ’82, and Danielle Dodge of Deloitte in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Estate tax and family wealth planning by Dave Myers, BS Acc ’84, of The Whitlock Co. in Springfield, Mo.
  • Accounting for uncertainty in income taxes by Dan Powers and Vicky Whitney of Grant Thornton

The new teaching model saves the school money, as all of the instructors are volunteers.

“This is a win-win situation for the school, the students and the alumni,” Arunachalam says. “It provides us with a richer set of course offerings for our students, and gives alumni the opportunity to give back and interact with students.”