Accounting prof emeritus Jerry Searfoss still serving students

Dr. Jerry Searfoss, professor emeritus of Accounting, was recently recognized with the Lifetime Member Award by the Utah Association of CPAs (UACPA) for his extensive involvement for over 35 years in the premier professional membership organization. Searfoss was pleased to see two former students also receiving honors from UACPA for their work in the accounting profession. He’s proud to have been part of their education and proud of their accomplishments.

One might not be surprised by this achievement when you look back on Searfoss’ career and community involvement. While at the David Eccles School of Business, Searfoss founded the Epsilon Xi Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, received the Masters of Teaching Excellence Award for a course he developed and taught (the first professor from the Accounting department to receive this honor), and was a much loved professor at the college for many years.

What made Searfoss unique for his time was the extensive real-world experience he brought to the classroom. He began his teaching career in 1976 and was a full-time professor for six years before heading to Deloitte & Touche to work with national clients such as Chrysler, Boeing, and UPS.  His role working with complex issues helped him when he came back to the classroom–now he was able to translate to students that accounting isn’t black and white, but varies based on industry economics and risk factors. His invaluable insight has helped him develop curriculum that would challenge the students’ way of thinking.

Searfoss is technically retired—just check out that photo to get an idea of what he’s been up to–although you’d never know it from his involvement in the community and with mentoring young lives. Searfoss is serving as a board member and chairs the Audit Committee of UBS Bank USA, serves on non-profit boards such as the Spokane Symphony and the United Way, and continues actively working in young people’s lives. Recently he connected with a young lady looking to change careers. After talking with her about her long-term goals, he contacted a former student working in Pennsylvania to connect the two.  Now the woman is working on the east coast and has great potential for job growth.

Dr. Searfoss loves to hear from former students. If you’d like to get in touch, feel free to email him at

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