Spotlight on new faculty — an interview with Scott McGregor

Interview by Kaidi Ilves

Fairleigh Dickinson University welcomes Scott McGregor as assistant professor of accounting in the Silberman College of Business. McGregor holds a doctorate of professional studies with dual concentrations in accounting and finance from Pace University. He is a certified public accountant.

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FDU: Why did you choose FDU?

Scott McGregor: FDU is a well-respected university and Silberman College is AACSB accredited, both of which make it quite attractive. I also like the diverse student body and the mix of urban and suburban college campuses the school has in New Jersey. Meeting Dean Rosman was the tipping point that swayed me to pick FDU — I really like the direction he is taking with the school.

FDU: Tell us about your new position…

SM: I was brought in as an assistant professor for the Accounting, Taxation and Law department. I will be teaching intermediate and managerial accounting courses at the undergraduate level on both FDU’s Metropolitan and Florham Campuses.

FDU: How did you become interested in this field?

SM: When I was an undergraduate student, I had a professor who had been a controller at Eastman Kodak and had started teaching as a second career. He definitely served as my inspiration — as a young and impressionable 21-year-old, I thought that would be an interesting career path to take. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years now, and served as senior vice president for a Fortune 50 company, as the chief financial officer of a small insurance company, and also as a controller for a number of different companies. I also attended Pace University at night to earn my doctorate, because I knew I would eventually like to take up teaching.

FDU: Could you tell us a little more about your research?

SM: My research is in accounting. Since the bulk of my career was in the insurance industry, one of my research paths is on the financial reporting in insurance. I have published parts of my dissertation, and I recently had a case published in the “IMA Educational Case Journal” that was based on experience from my career. These case write-ups serve as my second research path.

FDU: What is something you would like to contribute to FDU?

SM: I really love teaching and I’m hoping I can provide students with a different experience, since I have so much practice from the field and can help them understand the applicability of accounting.

Of course, I would like to see continued enrollment growth. We also have a very strong department overall that attracts great talent in terms of both the lecturers and students, and I would love to see the accounting program become the strongest in the state. It’s a little ambitious, but I think we can do it. Move over, Rutgers…

FDU: What is something you hope your students will take away from your classes?

SM: Appreciation for accounting and its practicality, and especially applying all the material we learn to real life situations and corporations. Reading a textbook is one thing, but true understanding of it comes from applying it. Accounting is such a useful skill to have, which I hope my students will end up realizing.

FDU: What is one piece of advice you would like to give your new students?

SM: Start preparing for your career early. The more internships and practical experience you can obtain, the easier it will be for you to find a position upon graduation. Even in your sophomore year, you have to start thinking about what is going to happen when you actually graduate.