New Professorship Honors Director's Impact at Mizzou

President Choi addresses a crowd during the gift celebration in Cornell Hall

By Ryan Owens 

A donor’s investment in education will pay dividends for Mizzou and the Trulaske College of Business for years to come. 

The donor, who chose to remain anonymous, made a $1.1 million gift to create the Vairam Arunachalam Distinguished Professor of Accountancy, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced at an event Friday. The position holder must demonstrate commitment to teaching, service, citizenship and outreach to students with a preference to a non-tenure track professor. The inaugural position holder will be named in fall 2022. 

“Our non-tenure track faculty are invaluable, and this new professor will uphold the renowned quality expected from Accountancy program,” Choi said. “We’re investing in our future as part of our MizzouForward initiative, and that includes giving our students every opportunity and resource they need to succeed. A centerpiece of those efforts is the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty.” 

The professorship honors Arunachalam, the longtime director of the School of Accountancy in the Trulaske College of Business. His leadership has seen the program reach remarkable heights.  

“Vairam made accountancy education his life’s work, and in his decades at Mizzou, he’s worked tirelessly as director of the Mizzou Accountancy program to ensure its status as one of the top programs in the country,” Choi said. 

Trulaske College of Business interim dean Chris Robert explained that this new professorship meshes perfectly with the vision for the future of the School of Accountancy and the college as a whole.  

“This gift marks the continuation of a very special partnership between our college and this donor, ensuring that Trulaske continues to offer an outstanding, well-rounded, global business education – and that we can attract and retain the most talented faculty members to provide it,” he said.  

The School of Accountancy has touched the lives of so many students, and with this gift, it will continue to do so for generations to come. Accountancy graduate student Jillian Rosenkranz explained just how much her time at Mizzou was enriched by her encounters with faculty and hopes for the same for future students. 

“My accountancy professors were the reason for my success,” she said. “The passion for teaching they exuded was evident. They didn’t shy away from challenging us with rigorous material, but through it all, they provided us every resource we needed to succeed. This is when I realized that joining the accountancy program here at Mizzou is what would make the difference for my education.” 

Story courtesy of Mizzou Alumni and Donor Communication and Marketing