Reisch reflects on new role

John Reisch

Dr. John Reisch came to ECU and the College of Business (COB) in 1999 as an assistant professor in the College’s accounting department. North Carolina welcomed him in a way that he would never forget.

“I moved here from Fort Lauderdale. I always was concerned about hurricanes down there, but I never felt the effect of any storm,” said Reisch. “A month after I got to Greenville, we were hit by Hurricane Floyd.”

Since coming to Greenville, Reisch has picked up where he left off in Florida and continued his focus on student success and research. He has received several teaching awards at ECU and was named Scholar-Teacher in 2007. Reisch is quick to tell you that those acknowledgments reflect his dedication to accounting students succeeding academically and professionally.

“My favorite accomplishment is helping students pass the CPA exam,” said Reisch. “I love receiving messages from students who share the good news of having completed the exam. They pass because of their hard work, but if I can help them understand the material, then I have succeeded in my job.”

John Reisch with the inaugural ARRG students and COB accounting faculty (photo taken pre-COVID).

Another accomplishment Reisch likes to talk about is establishing the accounting department’s annual Accounting Research Roundtable Gathering (ARRG!). For the past three years, ARRG has hosted a diverse field of doctoral students from around the country. They present their research to COB accounting students and faculty, and a question-and-answer session then ensues.

“It’s a win-win for the visiting students who gain insight into improving their research methodology,” said Reisch. “For our faculty, they get to keep current with the latest research trends while simultaneously getting a chance to recruit for future faculty positions.”

With his commitment to student success, nationally recognized research and expanding COB’s brand, Reisch became a tenured associate professor in 2005 and a full professor in 2015.

From full professor to chief operating officer

In 2020, the College welcomed Reisch to a new role: associate dean. It’s a leadership role that Dean Paul Schwager refers to as the COO for the College of Business. According to Schwager, Reisch’s extensive experience as a faculty member and department chair prepared him for his new leadership role. Schwager plans to lean on Reisch’s accounting acumen, as well.

Dean Paul Schwager (photo taken preCOVID)

“His experience as an accountant enables us to better manage our budget and continue to be good stewards of our resources,” said Schwager. “However, perhaps his best attribute is his level-headed leadership style. He addresses issues as they arise and always keeps the needs of students, faculty and staff at the forefront.”

 When you ask Reisch about his daily activities, those activities seem to line up with oversight of day-to-day operations.

“Some days it is working on curricula changes, such as adding certificates or changing degree requirements,” said Reisch. “Many days, I work with faculty on a variety of items such as handling issues with students, finding resources for the classroom or research project, or answering HR questions.”

“I also work to ensure the COB follows university requirements, some of which seem to change frequently. I am on many COB committees and provide insight to those committees from an administrator’s view.  I also am tasked with overseeing our budget process. In lean times like this, we are constantly monitoring spending and hoping for good news from the state legislature.”

We all know the lean times that Reisch refers to: COVID-19. Reisch is currently overseeing how the COB supports university-wide mandates regarding COVID response. In supporting that response, Reisch leans on the COB team to help make the changes palatable for students, parents, faculty and staff.

“2020 has been interesting, to say the least, but thankfully, our COB team is second to none,” said Reisch. “Once university-wide mandates came out, I worked with Len Rhodes, the department chairs, and administrative assistants to get faculty schedules changed. Len and his team worked closely with the university to secure PPE for the College and spent many hours helping faculty prepare for classroom changes created by the COVID response.”

“Also, I worked with Karen Kus and her team (especially Kevin Williams and Paul Russell) to ensure the academic advisors were available to students. The advisors not only had to communicate changes that were being made to student schedules but also worked to alleviate student concerns and answer questions from both students and parents.”

“I have been awed by the response and dedication of our staff,” said Reisch.

Though Reisch has less time to allocate to research, he still brainstorms with the accounting department on issues facing accounting and academia.

“I’m always generating ideas,” said Reisch. “I like working with my colleagues too much to stop.”

Reisch, right, moderates ARRG question and answer session (photo taken preCOVID)

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