The American Institute of CPAs has given its Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award to Dale Flesher, a professor at the University of Mississippi.

The award recognizes full-time college accounting professors who excel as educators and who have achieved national prominence in the accounting profession. Flesher is a highly regarded professor known for successfully moving the AICPA library, a voluminous history of the accounting profession containing thousands of books, pamphlets and periodicals, from New York to the J. D. Williams Library at Ole Miss.

“Throughout his career as a professor, Dale has made lasting contributions to the accounting profession,” said AICPA chairman Paul Stahlin, who presented the award at the spring meeting of the Institute’s Governing Council. “But his work with the library stands out. His efforts have ensured that this large collection of resources will be preserved for future generations of accounting students and academics.”

Flesher became a CPA in l969 and worked as a staff accountant in public practice and in industry during the l960s. He began his teaching career at Appalachian State University in North Carolina before becoming a faculty member at Ole Miss in 1977. Throughout his tenure, Flesher has played a key role in curriculum development at Ole Miss and serves as coordinator of both masters and doctoral programs.

Flesher served as a member of the AICPA’s Governing Council from 2005-2008 and as a member of the AICPA Foundation Board from 2002 to 2005. He has served on numerous AICPA committees, including his present role as part of the AICPA 125th Anniversary Advisory Committee. He served a two-year term as president of the Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Section of the American Accounting Association.

Flesher acknowledged some of the previous recipients, including Gary Previts, who was in the audience.

“I think that not only I’m being honored, but the whole accountancy school at Ole Miss,” Flesher said in accepting the award. “Beyond the school of accountancy, I’m also thankful for the school’s National Library of the Accountancy Profession, whose resources make research easier. Having the greatest accountancy library in the world straight across the street from my offices, it receives a constant stream of visitors seeking the use of these rare holdings.” He added that the digitization of the library would provide all AICPA members with the same full rights and privileges as Ole Miss students in accessing the library.

Next year, the AICPA will celebrate its 125th anniversary, Flesher added. A task force has decided to hold celebrations at both the national and local levels, possibly including a special black tie celebration.

Among his many honors and accolades, Flesher received the Outstanding Educator award from the Mississippi Society of CPAs in l998, The Academy of Accounting Historians First Annual Thomas J. Burns Biographical Research in Accounting Award in 2005 and the University of Mississippi Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award in 1987. He has authored over 300 articles for more than 100 different professional journals throughout the world.

Flesher received a Business Education and an M.A. in Accounting from Ball State University in Indiana and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati.

He and his wife Tonya, who is also an Ole Miss accountancy professor who has helped with developing the CPA Exam, have two children.

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