John Ahern is the embodiment of DePaul University. Not only did he earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy from DePaul, but he also has devoted more than four decades to teaching students auditing, financial accounting and managerial accounting at his alma mater. He previously served as an associate dean and director of the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems (MIS). When the role of director of the school became available in July, Ahern was willing to offer his leadership once more as the interim director.
“The School of Accountancy and MIS has a really great faculty, a terrific staff and excellent students,” says Ahern. “Knowing that the school was a well-managed organization and in great shape made it an easy decision for me to take on this role.”
Ahern is more than qualified for the role. He has been teaching accounting all over the world, but mainly on DePaul’s Loop Campus for the last 42 years. He is a Fulbright Teaching Scholar for Kazan Federal University and Kazan State University in Russia, and he also has experience teaching in Bahrain, Finland and the Czech Republic. In addition, Ahern previously served as executive director for the Institute for Business Professional Ethics at DePaul.
When Ahern served as the director of the School of Accountancy and MIS from 1986-1995, he worked on a capital campaign and raised a significant amount of money for the school. He also helped attract new and talented faculty members and created a strategic planning process for the school that they still use today.
Ahern’s priority as interim director is to further the school’s progress toward meeting its current strategic plan goals. These goals include developing and implementing a marketing plan for the online Master of Science in Accountancy program; increasing the marketing for the school’s programs internationally; supporting the goals of Ledger & Quill (L&Q), the school’s alumni and friends organization; and most importantly, to find a new long-term director for the school. He also wants to create ways for full-time and adjunct faculty members spend more time together to unite the entire school’s faculty.
“I want to build on what has been done previously and get advice from faculty, staff and L&Q,” says Ahern. “What we need to do is maintain our momentum in the next year.”