Department of Accountancy brings on first Executive-in-Residence

Marc Ross, Jenny Darroch, and Drew Reffett

Mark Ross, left, with FSB dean Jenny Darroch and Accountancy chair Drew Reffett

The Farmer School’s Department of Accountancy has a new resource for students and faculty to consult with and learn from. Mark Ross has joined as the department’s first Executive-in-Residence.

Ross, a 1987 accountancy graduate, spent more than 30 years at PwC, most recently as a managing partner in the firm’s Cleveland office, before retiring in 2020. He currently works with College Now Greater Cleveland.

“One of the things that I enjoyed most about my career at PwC was working with the best and the brightest and during the latter part of my tenure, a younger generation who brought new ways of thinking and applying knowledge to the table that helped me learn and grow while I trained and developed them,” Ross explained. “I see this as a natural next chapter for me and I look forward to the energy the students will bring that I hope to reinforce.”

The objective of the FSB Executive-in-Residence Program is to have an experienced professional on staff to share insights on a variety of topics with Farmer School of Business students, faculty and staff. Individual faculty, staff and/or students are not required to engage with the Executive-in-Residence and can seek his/her input as desired. Specific tasks expected of the Executive-in-Residence include the following:

  • Work with the external relations team to identify ways to integrate alumni more to increase engagement with the students and ultimately connection with the University;
  • Be an active resource to students to explore career opportunities of interest in accounting;
  • Collaborate with FSB professors to identify opportunities to speak as a guest lecturer in classes in which the Executive in Residence’s professional experiences are relevant to course concepts/topics.
  • Be available to FSB faculty to discuss current and prospective research projects at faculty members’ discretion;
  • Engage as requested in departmental and divisional projects/efforts suggested by the Department of Accountancy Chair and/or Office of the Dean.

"We are thrilled that Mark has joined our team and very much appreciate his generosity. Adding someone of Mark's caliber, who has such extensive professional experience and expertise, is a tremendous help in multiple regards,” department chair Drew Reffett said. “Perhaps most exciting to me is that Mark will be able to draw on his experiences to persuasively convey to our students the very broad range of exciting and rewarding career paths available to accountancy majors and minors.”

“Education is incredibly important to me and I am excited to share my insights from a lengthy and interesting career with students at Miami to enhance their learning experience and business acumen,” Ross said. “I have led and taught training programs throughout my career at PwC so I hope to be able to hit the ground running with our students in my new mergers and acquisitions course in the spring.”

The program is similar to the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program that the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship has had for the last few years.

“I think at times accounting as a profession is underappreciated due to stereotypes which simply aren't true.  My career involved so many different areas and opportunities beyond those stereotypes that were incredibly rewarding,” Ross noted. “Success to me in this role will be helping at least a few FSB students who may have overlooked accounting see the wide range of options available and consider selecting (or reinforcing) it as a major or part of a double major.”