Dr. Herschel Mann Retires after 43 Wonderful Years
By: Trevor Bell
Last semester, Dr. Herschel Mann announced his retirement from the Rawls College and was honored at the Fall 2015 Accounting Recognition Banquet with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout his 43-year career with Texas Tech University and the College of Business, Dr. Mann positively impacted those he interacted with. Whether it was one of his 8,300 students, four chancellors, nine presidents, five deans, eight accounting coordinators/directors, or countless faculty members, he will be remembered for his guidance, determination, and passion for the university.
A member of the accounting faculty since 1972, Herschel has served as the KPMG Professor of Accounting at Texas Tech University since 1985. Dr. Mann came to Lubbock shortly after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.
"When I flew out for my interview, I immediately fell in love with the people, faculty, and students, and walked away with a good feeling," he said. "The very first class I taught, which was Intermediate Accounting II, met at 7:20 in the morning in summer school, and I had some great kids. After that class, I knew I found my home at Texas Tech."
During his tenure at the college, he experienced many changes in academia, but he held steadfast to his belief that the program should give the students the skills necessary for success in the accounting profession. He ensured the accounting program maintained close ties with the profession and that the curriculum prepared graduates for a successful career.
"I started out teaching accounting and it happened to involve students, but it didn't take long for that to change. It quickly became where I was teaching students and it happened to involve accounting," he said. "My focus, from a very early stage, shifted toward the students. I believe my professional love and why I enjoyed my time at the Rawls College was because of the young people."
Dr. Mann's influence also spans far beyond his students and peers. Alumni have repeatedly named him as being the most influential professor who impacted both their professional and personal life. His impact was most felt by one student, Brenda Peters, a 1974 accounting graduate and one of Dr. Mann's first students.
"Over the years since my graduation, I've often wondered what I could do to even begin to repay Dr. Herschel Mann for the lasting impact he's had on my life," Peters said. "As I recall, during my years at Texas Tech, the percentage of women majoring in accounting was small and those of us African-American accounting majors could be counted on one hand. Dr. Mann's excellence in teaching and related student expectations appeared to be gender and race blind. He had an open door policy and made me, as well as countless others, feel special. Largely due to him, I never doubted that I would work for one of the, then Big Eight, accounting firms and become a CPA. Even to this day, my Texas Tech education, especially Dr. Mann's instruction and guidance, continues to serve me well in a profession I love."
To honor his commitment to students, peers, alumni, the program, and the profession, the School of Accounting recently established the Herschel Mann Scholarship Endowment, which is funded by contributions from those whose lives he impacted. The funds will be used to help support future generations of accounting students in their efforts to become leaders in the profession while also ensuring that Dr. Mann's dedication to the students and the profession be remembered.
"Dr. Mann always put the students first, and his dedication to both them and the accounting profession was apparent throughout his time at the Rawls College," Dr. Robert Ricketts, director of the School of Accounting, said. "People like Dr. Mann are rare; he is going to be greatly missed. By establishing this endowment, we have the unique opportunity to honor his legacy of excellence."
When looking back upon his career, Dr. Mann had no regrets. Forty-three years may seem like an eternity for some; however, he cherished every moment and is excited for what's to come.
"I've been allowed to enjoy my life. How many people can say that? The number one reason is the students at Texas Tech. I had almost 8,300 students in my class over the years, and I enjoyed my interactions with each of them," Dr. Mann said. "Even though I may be retired, I'm looking forward to seeing the positive steps the Rawls College, Texas Tech, and the School of Accounting will make in the future."
To view additional photos of Dr. Mann's retirement dinner, please visit the Rawls College's Flickr account.
About Dr. Mann
He received his B.B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Alabama. He has been a CPA in the State of Texas since 1973. He is the author or co-author of eleven software-based CPE courses for Thomson-Reuters, including the author of Thomson-Reuters' number one selling CPE course, Accounting for Income Taxes. Selected other courses of which he is an author or co-author are FASB Update, Accounting for Derivatives and Hedging Activities, Accounting for Share-Based Compensation Plans, Analyzing and Interpreting Financial Statements, Business Combinations, A Comparison of U.S. GAAP and IFRS, and IFRS Update. He has published articles in several journals and is the co-author of one book. Herschel has conducted approximately 250 continuing professional education courses for numerous companies, CPA firms, and CPA societies, including three of the Big Four accounting firms. He also was selected to participate as an instructor in KPMG's national partner/manager training program.
Dr. Mann has received several teaching awards. In 1994, he was selected by the Texas Society of CPAs as the State of Texas nominee for the AICPA Educator of the Year Award. He has been a recipient of seven university-wide teaching awards, including the Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa Award three times (the only Texas Tech professor to be recognized three times), Texas Tech President's Excellence in Teaching Award (twice), Texas Tech Greek Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Amoco Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2008, he was selected by students completing graduate degrees at Texas Tech during the 15-year period 1993-2008 as their favorite professor in the College of Business Administration. He also received the Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Business Administration Award, as selected by the then College of Business Administration Student Council. In addition, he was the recipient of the Edwin E. Merriman Outstanding Accounting Professor at Texas Tech Award.
Herschel served on the Texas Tech Athletic Council for 15 years - 13 of those years as its Chairman. He served on three Presidential Advisory Search Committees of Texas Tech. He also served as the Faculty Advisor of the Texas Tech Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (the national accounting honorary fraternity) and the Faculty Advisor of Tech Accounting Society.