November 20, 2007

Rivers reflects on rewarding teaching career

by Sun Min


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — When College of Business and Administration Accountancy Professor Richard Rivers arrived at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1978, the late Edward J. Schmidlein was retiring from his post as an accounting professor. "He said he and his wife had come to SIU in the 1950s to see what it was like for a year or two and the time just got by. My wife Marilyn and I came to SIU to see what it was like for a few years and now the time has just gotten by," Rivers said.

Nearly 30 years later, Rivers prepares for his own retirement and reflects on a rewarding teaching career that ends this fall.

"While SIU is located in a very picturesque area and blessed with four seasons, it is really the people that make any place wonderful or only fair. At SIU, it is particularly the students," said Rivers. "I have had the good fortune to teach many outstanding individuals. Some have gone out into the world – George McVicar and Betsy Kepuraitis come to mind, some have stayed at SIU – Elaine Hyden and Sharon Pinkerton for example, and still others have gone out and then come back – Terry Clark and Donna Margolis. All have made great contributions in one way or another and all have been inspirations to me."

Clark, now chair and professor of marketing at SIUC said, "I took my first accounting course with Dr. Rivers. He was engaging and funny and despite the dry subject matter, Dr. Rivers made classes interesting."

Margolis, now director of the business college's Career Services and Placement Center, remembers Rivers as "a professor who was very supportive of our dreams and our ambitions," she said.

Rivers' teaching talent did not go unnoticed. Over the years, he was honored with the Outstanding Graduate Teacher of the Year Award, Graduate Teaching Honor Roll Award and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Department of Accountancy, to name a few.

Rivers has also held leadership positions including associate dean, director of the college's international programs and acting director of the School of Accountancy.

"Dr. Rivers has been instrumental in guiding the college through several stages of development," said J. Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business and Administration. "Thanks to his efforts, SIUC College of Business is a top-notch research institution with strong international programs."

Rivers' teaching interests are management accounting and control systems (master's level), advanced cost accounting and introductory and intermediate financial accounting.

Every summer since 1997, Rivers has taught at the Harvard University Extension School in Cambridge, Mass. He has also been a visiting scholar at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Rivers earned a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and master's and doctoral degrees from Kent State University.