Bill Walsh, professor of accounting practice and director of the graduate accounting programs, had a couple of chances to teach at the Whitman School but each time, he found a reason not to. Now, after 22 years, he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I never finished my MBA and realized I wasn’t confident in my knowledge so I decided to come back to Syracuse and enroll in the iMBA program,” Professor Walsh said. “During that time, Horace Landry encouraged me to take up teaching, but I didn’t.”
He added that a couple years later he had an opportunity to teach again, when Whitman’s accounting department needed someone to teach right away, and still, he said “no.” Finally, he said “yes,” covering for Accounting Professor Randy Elder’s sabbatical one semester.
“My first class was an undergraduate audit course and after two weeks I knew the names of all 50 of my students,” said Professor Walsh. “I really enjoy the students. One couple who met in my class years ago, later married. I get a Christmas card from them every year and sometimes they pop in for a visit during football season, too.”
If Professor Walsh likes the students, he appreciates his colleagues and mentors even more, including Don Harter, associate dean for masters programs, Joe Comprix, chair, Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting and associate professor of accounting, and Elder.
“The ability to cover for Randy’s sabbatical was fortuitous because he is a great teacher,” said Professor Walsh. “I learned how to approach teaching from a professional point of view and I followed his method from scratch. He’s well-organized!”
Back then, Professor Walsh was still practicing as managing partner at Davidson Fox. But he soon realized it was time to devote all his energy to teaching, and to a new role at Whitman as the director of the graduate accounting programs. Now, Professor Walsh teaches a full schedule, including three sections a semester in both the on-campus and online programs, MBA@Syracuse and Accounting@Syracuse.
“When I first began as director of the graduate accounting programs, there was no online offering, but now 2U is really changing the way people obtain an advanced degree,” he said. “I’ve had a magnificent experience with the whole thing and find it to be an interesting teaching model.”
In addition to developing and delivering coursework through Accounting@Syracuse, Professor Walsh also is involved in admissions for the program.
While Whitman keeps Professor Walsh very busy, he does find time to spend time with his grandchildren, attending CYO and hockey games, plus he enjoys a good golf game every once in a while! He is reflective as he looks back on his career.
“I’ve had this good fortune for my whole working life,” he said. “I’ve been able to do things I really loved doing. I loved practicing accounting and I love teaching.”
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