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April 27, 2012

Accounting senior lecturer Jim Rundall to retire from “academic home”

Jim RundallJim Rundall, senior lecturer in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance will be retiring at the end of the spring 2012 semester. Rundall, who joined the department in 1982, will officially retire June 8th, the last day of the Interim class he is teaching.

Rundall and his wife, Dr. Sheila Smith, will be moving to Elizabethton, TN. Smith has accepted a position as associate dean of the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City. Rundall will be teaching accounting classes at ETSU. The couple also plans to do some skiing at Sugar Mountain in North Carolina which is about 40 miles from where they will be living. They hope to continue to work with the National Ski Patrol and the Outdoor Emergency Care instructional program.

Rundall originally moved to Wisconsin in 1982 to run a family resort with his parents. A meeting at an accounting conference in Chicago with Dr. Larry Ozzello, Dr. Don Etnier and Dr. Roger Selin led to Rundall coming to UW-Eau Claire to teach. Rundall explains:

“We owned what was then known as Fireside Lodge on Fireside Lake in Rusk County. Jim Hallam, my former department chair at Illinois State University, recommended me to Larry Ozzello who was chair of the UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting. I met Larry, along with Roger Selin and Don Etnier at the American Accounting Association convention in Chicago. Larry invited me to interview at UW-Eau Claire and I started in the fall of ‘82. I taught during the school year and was in the resort business during the summer. After about five years, we sold the business.” 

While at UW-Eau Claire, Rundall taught nearly every accounting course the department offers, and sat on almost every department and college committee. He did some consulting for the university’s Small Business Development Center. Rundall also advised hundreds of accounting majors, and served as the faculty advisor for the Student Accounting Society (SAS) and Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the accounting and finance honor society.

“Students have come to rely on Jim's guidance and advice, his calm reasoning and authentic interest in their lives and their issues,” according to Dr. D’Arcy Becker, chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance. “Alumni, especially the long list of former officers of SAS and BAP, always ask about Jim.”

For Rundall, UW-Eau Claire feels like his “academic home”. He has enjoyed working with his friends and colleagues in the Department of Accounting and Finance and he “will miss the good people in Schneider Hall”. He also has fond memories of the many, many fantastic students he has taught. He explains:

“It has amazed me to see students grow up, progress in good careers, have families, and then see their children, nephews, nieces, etc. come to UW-Eau Claire and become business majors. I guess that’s an advantage of getting older. You get to see the entire cycle and realize that it’s not about one academic year—it’s about keeping things going for the long haul. I’m glad to have been part of this process at UW-Eau Claire.”

UW-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance students, alumni, and faculty and staff are glad, too.

“Jim has had a long and everlasting impact on our program and our students” said Becker. “For all his many, many contributions over the years, we are forever grateful.”

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.