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Accountancy Department


Pamela A. Smith, Ph.D., CPA
KPMG Professor of Accountancy, Board of Trustees Professor, Presidential Teaching Professor
Department of Accountancy, Northern Illinois University

Pam Smith joined Northern Illinois University in January 1994 and is the KPMG Professor of Accountancy, NIU Board of Trustees Professor and NIU Presidential Teaching Professor. She earned her undergraduate degree in Accountancy from Ferris State University, her M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas, and her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. Her teaching and research interests focus on accounting and reporting related to business combinations, valuation, consolidation, derivatives and hedging, and business ethics.

Pam teaches Advanced Financial Accounting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and Introductory Financial Accounting Executive M.B.A. programs. In addition, she delivers professional training on various technical issues. Over the period 1996-2000, Pam traveled abroad several times to teach at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. In 1997-1998, she completed a teaching appointment in the MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pam has received over a dozen teaching awards. In 2013 she was named NIU's Presidential Teaching Professor and in 2010 received the NIU Board of Trustees Professorship, the highest recognition at NIU. The BOT Professorship is awarded to faculty with international prominence in research as well as excellence in all facets of teaching. In 2009 Pam received the American Accounting Association Innovation in Accounting Education Award and in 2008 she received the Illinois CPA Society's Outstanding Educator Award. Outside of the classroom Pam is passionate about the integration of ethics into the curriculum. She is one of the authors of the NIU College of Business Building Ethical Leaders Handbook and one of the developers of the college's BELIEF initiative (Building Ethical Leaders using an Integrated Ethics Framework). Both the handbook and BELIEF Initiative have been integrated across the college's curriculum. This initiative is praised by both academic and professional communities, as well as by national experts in the compliance field. She also served as faculty advisor to accountancy students who created an honor pledge and code of conduct for accountancy majors, both of which were developed and written by accountancy students with her guidance.

Pam maintains a practical perspective to teaching and research by drawing from her years in public accounting and training as an audit manager at Touche Ross (now Deloitte). She has published over 30 articles in academic and practitioner journals, and stays current on issues by utilizing sabbaticals. In 2007, she utilized a sabbatical to study fair value measurements, business valuations, and acquisitions. In 2000, her research in accounting for derivatives and hedging led to her being asked to serve as an expert witness in the Enron trial.

Active in the community, Pam and her husband are licensed handlers of their certified therapy dog, Lindy. Lindy provides emotional therapy to residents in nursing homes and children with special needs. Since 2003 she has served on the Executive Board of the DeKalb County Quilters' Guild, which provides service to the community. Pam and her husband are avid dancers, cutting the rug to everything from ballroom to polka, line dances to salsa, and swing to two-step.

To read more on Pam see the following: