University of Southern Indiana

Professor Leads International Honor Society into Next 100 Years

by John Michael O'Leary


Editor: Dr. McGuire, how did you get involved with Beta Alpha Psi?

McGuire: Dr. Mehmet Kocakulah, professor emeritus of accounting, and I agreed to serve as co-advisors for a chapter at the Romain College of Business, and we started the petitioning in 2004. We formally chartered two years later with 48 members. At the same time, we secured AACSB accreditation, which is a requirement. I have been an advisor to the chapter here ever since, except for the three-year term I served as director of administrative development for the society at the global level. I’ve also served on a half dozen global committees, including the anniversary committee for our centennial. However, most of my involvement has been working with students in the chapter here.

Editor: Can you tell a little more about that? How does BAP help students?

McGuire: Beta Alpha Psi is highly respected among professionals in accounting, finance and information systems. Members enjoy a credibility that is easily recognizable. Employers immediately know you attended an AACSB-accredited institution and were at the top of your class. Membership also provides a chance for students to network with other members and professionals. They develop leadership skills and professional awareness through regional and annual meetings. To the credit of students on this campus, they continually operate the chapter at the highest level, earning the society’s “superior” mark year after year.

The society also encourages personal development. Attendees at the annual international meeting take part in the BAP international day of literacy. They reach out to young students in under-served neighborhoods, and distribute books and explain the importance of literacy in life.

Beta Alpha Psi at a Glance

The premier, global honor society for students in accounting, finance and information systems.
• 325+ chapters worldwide serve 320,000 members
• 400+ members affiliated through the Romain College of Business

Editor: What do you plan to accomplish in your role as global president?

McGuire: I intend to see us expand our reach globally with new chapters, as we’ve done recently in Saudi Arabia with our first chapter in the Middle East. We have created a new director position for global activities to support this kind of growth. Since accreditation in AACSB or EQUIS is a requirement, our growth tends to follow those accreditations. At the same time, we intend to bring more students into our existing chapters. We have created two new directorships on the board for finance and information systems, which supports our ability to serve students in these areas.

Editor: You mentioned the credibility that BAP has with employers. Have you seen that making a difference in RCOB graduates getting hired?

McGuire: I’ve seen several students, especially officers, go on to enter careers with good positions. Before we started our chapter, we had no graduates at any of the “big four” accounting firms; we now have alums at each of them. These bigger opportunities are outside our local region, but BAP provides connections that support opportunities outside the tri-state area. I’ll add that the meetings and case competitions our students participate in go a long way to developing the confidence and communication skills that employers seek.

BAP logo

The emblem of BAY: The rising sun signifies the growing importance and opportunities in accounting, finance, and information systems. The crossed keys represent knowledge for opening doors in the world of finance. The letters themselves denote scholarship (B), social responsibility (A) and practicality (Y).

Editor: What led you into education as a life path?

McGuire: Teaching wasn’t on my radar at first. I was a CPA, working in administration for a medical center, when my employer offered to underwrite my expense for an MBA. Along the way, my professors and the dean encouraged me to get a PhD. By continuing my education I eventually found my professional calling in academia.

Editor: How would you describe the impact you hope to make on students?

McGuire: I want to provide them with relevancy. I want our graduates to be on the leading edge of thinking in business. Nationally, people are starting to question the value of a college degree, the cost versus benefit. I have no doubt a college degree is worth it. More than a piece of paper in a frame on the wall, it’s an investment in the student’s future and in the good they bring to society. Education should equip students to be not just professionals but citizens as well.

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