Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Joe King, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-4299

September 29, 2009

KPMG funds endowed professorship at NIU

DeKalb, Ill. — Northern Illinois University College of Business has announced the creation of the KPMG Endowed Professorship in Accountancy.

The first NIU faculty member to hold the title of KPMG Endowed Professor is Pam Smith, who joined the faculty of the NIU Department of Accountancy in 1994. She teaches advanced financial accounting at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, and in 2008 she received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Illinois CPA Society. 

Smith also was the catalyst behind the creation of the honor pledge and code of conduct for accountancy majors and was one of the primary authors of the college’s BELIEF initiative, which creates a framework to build ethics into all business classes. She has been the KPMG Professor (a term rather than endowed position) for the last five years. Previous holders of the KPMG Term Professorship at NIU were Donald Kieso and John Engstrom.
Steve Hajdukovic, John Kemnitz, Mike   Dimitriou, Don Coglianese, NIU President John Peters, Dean Stieber, Harry   Argires, Tom Merrit and Perry Plescia
A group of Northern Illinois University alumni, all of whom have gone on to become partners in the public accounting firm KPMG, were honored at a recent NIU football game for creating the KPMG Professorship in Accountancy. They are (from left) Steve Hajdukovic, John Kemnitz, Mike Dimitriou, Don Coglianese, NIU President John Peters, Dean Stieber, Harry Argires, Tom Merrit and Perry Plescia.

“The Department of Accountancy has long been one of the premier programs at NIU and we are honored that KPMG, one of the premier firms in the field of public accountancy, has chosen to support the program in such a significant and permanent manner,” said NIU President John Peters.

The gift, which will establish an ongoing source of funding to support the teaching and scholarship of Smith, exemplifies a bond between KPMG and NIU that has been cultivated for more than three decades.

“NIU offers the dynamic curricula students need to succeed in today’s global economy,” said John B. Veihmeyer, chief executive officer of KPMG LLP. “And Pam Smith provides a model for students as they prepare for and begin their careers. She is an academic leader in our profession, recognized for her excellent work, and a constant advocate for ethics in business. We are honored to be associated with Pam and with NIU.”

KPMG has long provided generous financial support for the NIU Department of Accountancy, including sponsorship of named professorships, creation of scholarships and the naming of the Department of Accountancy suite. The firm also is one of the charter members of the department’s Board of Advisors, offering advice and insight to ensure that NIU accounting graduates are up to date on the quickly evolving demands of the public accounting industry.

Executives from the firm also give generously of their time to lecture in classes, attend Meet the Firm nights and participate in other activities at NIU.

The firm also recruits a large number of NIU accountancy students each year to participate in their national internship program and currently employs 78 NIU graduates fulltime. Among those graduates, 10 are currently partners in the firm and each has pledged their support to the named professorship.

Peters noted that the creation of the KPMG Endowed Professorship fits nicely with the goals of the university’s first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is known as True North. That effort has raised more than $150 mllion for the university over the last nine years. The latest phase of that effort puts a particular emphasis on the creation of endowments.

“Gifts like the one by KPMG have a profound and long lasting impact on the university,” Peters said. “It will help to ensure that we continue to attract and retain the caliber of faculty that have made our accountancy program one of the most respected in the nation.”

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KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International. KPMG International’s member firms have 137,000 professionals, including more than 7,600 partners, in 144 countries.