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New Chair in Business Brings Depth of Experience

Mary Teal

A professor with a wide breadth of experience beyond accounting is the new chair of the Accounting, Information Systems, and Finance Department in the School of Business at Emporia State University. Dr. Mary Teal assumes the role Monday, July 20.

With four college degrees and a post-doctoral bridge certificate, Teal is an attorney, a certified public accountant and a licensed marriage and family therapist. In 2005, she joined the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Her move to higher education 15 years ago was both unexpected and rewarding.

“Honestly, I chose it because it chose me,” Teal said of her position as professor at UCO. “It is acknowledged as a profession that keeps on giving. For me, this is a position that proves to be priceless, selfless and timeless.”

She enjoys working with students and watching them succeed.

“My objective has always been to teach in a way that allows students to learn. When students engage in this process, they can embrace their potential to comprehend. Then naturally, they are enabled and empowered to evolve from learners to thinkers and doers.”

At Emporia State, Teal is the first to be honored with the Dr. John C. Rich Distinguished Accounting Professorship. This million-dollar endowed professorship honors Rich, who retired at the end of the 2019-20 academic year after 50 years at Emporia State.

Teal recalls meeting Rich.

“We had a remarkable and significant conversation. In fact, I happily anticipate more. I left that day with insightful and encouraging words imprinted in my mind. He is leaving with a profound legacy that has been etched in stone. I am honored and humbled to be stepping into this distinguished role.”

For more about Teal, her experiences and her philosophy, read a Q&A interview here.

An event to mark Rich’s retirement, scheduled in April, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual event will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, July 24, in which Beth Ginter, director of student services and marketing in the School of Business, will interview the professor. Those interested in attending or submitting questions or comments can register at Scroll down to “Live With Dr. John Rich: An Interview With a Legend.”