September 05, 2006

Elsaid retires after 39 years in business college

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- When Hussein H. Elsaid first arrived at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Lyndon B. Johnson was in the Oval Office. During Elsaid's 39 years in the College of Business and Administration, he saw the fall of communism, the rise of capitalism and the growth of a leading business school.

Elsaid began teaching at SIUC in 1967. Over the years, he moved up the ranks in the finance department until he became chair in 1995. James J. Musumeci recently took over after Elsaid stepped into retirement.

"I honestly felt it was exactly the right time," Elsaid said. "I'll miss the interaction with faculty and students and that's why I keep coming back to see friends and colleagues."

During Elsaid's 11-year tenure as chair of the finance department, the department achieved a worldwide ranking in the top six percent of 923 research finance departments. In addition, the department inaugurated the Saluki Students Investment Fund, the Financial Services Study Center, Education to Business Partnership, and brought together executives in the financial world to create an External Advisory Board.

"When I think of Hussein, I think of his insistence on maintaining high standards, and his belief that if you consistently do that, then everything will take care of itself in the long run," Musumeci said. "His classes were generally regarded as among the hardest in the department, yet students always had good things to say about his teaching, and how much they learned in his class."

A native of Egypt, Elsaid received a bachelor's degree in business from Cairo University, a master's in business administration from Northwestern University and a doctorate in finance from the University of Illinois.

"When I came to SIUC, I had lived in big cities most of my life and I thought I would be here just one year," said Elsaid. "Look what happened. Southern Illinois just grows on you."

His affinity for all things Southern Illinois made for an easy decision for Elsaid and his wife to stay in Carbondale, although they will "travel quite a bit," he said.

In September, Elsaid will teach a course in the college's Executive MBA Program in Taipei, Taiwan. The program provides executives in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore with extensive business coursework in finance, marketing, accounting, management, production operations and management information systems leading to the MBA degree.

When he returns from Asia, Elsaid will settle back into his life in Carbondale, which will include "a lot of tennis with SIUC friends and colleagues," he said.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.


Hussein H. Elsaid

Hussein H. Elsaid
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