UVA Honors Retiring McIntire Professors Sue Porter, Bill Wilhelm, and Carl Zeithaml with Emeritus Titles

The Professor Emeritus appointments not only acknowledge the pivotal roles of the beloved faculty members at the McIntire School but also endeavor to preserve their impactful legacies for future generations of scholars and students.

Sue Porter, Bill Wilhelm, and Carl Zeithaml

Sue Porter, Bill Wilhelm, and Carl Zeithaml

For their many exceptional contributions to their professions, their individual fields of expertise, the McIntire School, and the wider University community, retiring Commerce Professors Susan (Sue) Porter, William (Bill) Wilhelm, and Carl Zeithaml have each been recognized by UVA as Professor Emeritus.

All three faculty members are known widely for their impactful work at McIntire as significant academic leaders, innovative, passionate teachers, caring student mentors, and visionary scholars. While their presence as beloved educators and pillars of the Commerce School community has helped to make the School stronger and more welcoming, their new titles of Professor Emeritus recognize the crucial roles they held and aim to safeguard their legacies for generations of scholars and students to come.

Professor Sue Porter

Throughout her 17-year tenure, Associate Professor of Commerce Sue Porter has been widely admired for her remarkable additions to the field of accounting, particularly in the tax area, as well as her energetic approach to the subject she taught and those who have learned from her.

Her undergraduate and graduate courses in technical and intricate tax accounting subjects have consistently earned her excellent student evaluations for her generous investment of time, care, and notable teaching skills. Porter’s pedagogical achievements are many. In addition to maintaining the timely accuracy of McIntire’s tax curriculum to reflect the complexities of the ever-changing tax code and authoring multiple chapters for Prentice Hall’s Federal Taxation textbook, she developed new courses such as the Accounting Area’s first Global Commerce Immersion course (to Dublin, Ireland, with a special session on conflict resolution with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate John Hume)—an accomplishment for which she remains most proud.

“Creating a course that was a semester long but included a travel component during spring break ensured that there would be sufficient accounting technical content to count as an accounting course for the public accounting boards while allowing a meaningful overseas experience,” Porter says, pointing out that the format of the class was used by many others to increase McIntire’s international course experiences.

As a researcher, Porter’s scholarly insights have shed light on pressing issues in accounting, disclosure, and taxation. She has authored and co-written numerous journal articles in renowned publications such as the Journal of Accounting and Economics; Contemporary Accounting Research; and The Journal of the American Taxation Association. Her work solidified her reputation in the field, and garnered significant financial support, as evidenced by the grants she has received from institutions including the Ernst & Young Foundation and the KPMG Peat Marwick Foundation.

Throughout her career, Porter has also been an advocate for doctoral students and junior faculty and a champion for institutional growth. She mentored McIntire’s current Area Coordinator, Professor Adam Koch, during his Ph.D. program at The University of Texas at Austin, served on the Undergraduate Admissions Committee, led the Accounting Area’s AACSB reaccreditation process, as well as organized and secured external funding for the annual Virginia Accounting Research Conference.

“For me, supporting junior colleagues has always been a priority,” Porter says. “Along with faculty from Virginia Tech and Darden, we began an accounting conference, with the goal of featuring junior Accounting faculty throughout Virginia. This annual conference still continues and has provided a great opportunity for networking and giving feedback on working research papers for all, especially junior faculty.”

Her leadership roles in the American Taxation Association and the American Accounting Association demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing accounting academia. As a testament to her dedication, she served as the Vice President of the American Taxation Association, where she shouldered substantial responsibilities, such as site selection, planning, and organizing their annual meeting.

Porter’s colleagues have praised Porter’s “out of the box” thinking and problem-solving approach and describe her as a team player who has always done what is best for the University, its programs, and her students.

Professor Bill Wilhelm

Bill Wilhelm, the William G. Shenkir Eminent Professor of Commerce, has been an essential part of the Finance Area at McIntire since 2002. His vast achievements in finance research have enriched the School and advanced the discipline on a global scale, with substantial groundbreaking research in investment banking, financial markets, and economic policy.

One of McIntire’s most academically prolific scholars, Wilhelm’s outsized scholarly impact is evidenced by more than 8,000 citations, and his extensive influence from the foundational importance of his work places him among the world’s elite scholars in finance scholarship. His seminal papers on initial public offerings (IPOs) stand out as financial research classics that have shaped academic understanding and provided new and valuable perspectives for the finance industry. The singular ability to blend rigorous academic research with practical relevance has given Wilhelm a reputation as an indispensable scholar for researchers and industry professionals alike.

Having been recognized for his work, his co-authored paper, “Relationships, Authority, and Reasons: A Second-Personal Account of Corporate Moral Agency,” won Business Ethics Quarterly’s 2022 Outstanding Article award; the paper examined commercial situations in which customers who feel that they have been morally wronged by employees of a corporation directed their criticism at the corporation at large.

Beyond his scholarship, Wilhelm has been an academic leader at McIntire and a longstanding dedicated mentor. Realizing the challenges undergrad students faced in attempting to understand public debate about financial markets, Wilhelm designed and launched the seminar-style course Finance & Society to help students build a foundational comprehension of market economies, financial markets, and their role in our lives as either future market professionals or informed citizens. The inventive class discussed the many moral conflicts, technical intricacies, and rampant temptations that characterize his area of expertise.

“I’m most proud of the Finance & Society course that I developed and taught over the last several years,” says Wilhelm, calling it the culmination of his time spent developing his extensive body of teaching and research endeavors. “The spirit of this work, both research and pedagogy, is being carried forward by several of my co-authors. Judging from the essays and term papers written by the students, I believe that the course left a mark on at least a small number of our students.”

His colleagues have noted that he has demonstrated a depth of integrity and strength of character in his teaching and academic efforts rarely seen. He served as Program Director for McIntire’s Global Commerce Scholars program and has been instrumental in helping to shape the futures of countless students, guiding them towards successful careers in commerce and finance.

With a tenure marked by notable administrative appointments and visiting professorships at prestigious institutions around the world, Wilhelm commands a great deal of international respect for his global influence among scholars and practitioners.

Professor and Dean Emeritus Carl Zeithaml

F.S. Cornell Eminent Professor of Free Enterprise Carl Zeithaml served as Dean of McIntire for 23 years and is one of the most important figures in the history of the Commerce School. As John A. Griffin Dean Emeritus, he has been hailed for introducing transformational curriculum changes and programmatic expansion and inspiring and supporting generations of students—more than 2,000 of them whom he taught directly.

Zeithaml’s legacy at McIntire will forever be tied to specific programs such as the renowned Integrated Core Experience, or “ICE,” as it is commonly known. Determined to find ways to connect various business subjects across the curriculum while building collaborative efforts among those who taught it, Zeithaml teamed with then-Director of the undergraduate program Professor Mike Atchison to flesh out the Integrated Core. After they secured the initial grant funding for the program, Zeithaml guided the initiative to reimagine the undergraduate curriculum, emphasizing interdisciplinary skills that continues to help Comm School graduates meet the evolving needs of the market.

“I really enjoyed working with a small team of McIntire faculty to create ICE,” Zeithaml says. “Ryan Nelson, Lynn Hamilton, Mike Atchison, Bill Kehoe, Ellen Whitener, and I introduced ICE to two core sections in fall 1999. Although the concept faced skeptics from the advocates of a function-based curriculum, the students embraced the approach immediately, and the faculty voted to adopt it for all eight core sections for the following year. It became the foundation of the top-rated program, and it was consistently cited by a variety of external reviewers as the experience that differentiated the undergraduate program, including in our most recent ranking,” he says, noting that faculty continued to refine and innovate the Integrated Core by adding the corporate sponsor project and new modules that respond to the changing business landscape.

Ensuring that McIntire positioned itself as a globally oriented institution, Zeithaml increased study-abroad relationships with partner schools and worked with faculty on a strategic plan to infuse more global topics throughout the curriculum. He inspired faculty, staff, and students to respect and appreciate the complexities of global commerce, has designed and led many international courses, and served as a visiting faculty at DIS–Study Abroad in Scandinavia. He has also authored several cases to highlight global considerations (including co-authoring “BTPN: Banking for the Bottom of the Pyramid in Indonesia” with Ryan Nelson, which won first place in the NextBillion Case Writing Competition at the University of Michigan), and he regularly collaborated with global leaders to share insights and onsite learning experiences with his students.

In an effort to offer more educational opportunities, he recognized a market gap between undergraduate business education programs and MBA programs and sought to offer a graduate degree specifically for non-Commerce students. The result was the launch of the M.S. in Commerce in 2008, which mirrored the Integrated Core of the undergraduate program, offering subject specializations, as well as the Global Immersion Experience, a monthlong faculty-led learning course held in locations around the world. The success of the program led him to pursue further growth, including the launch of the M.S. in Global Commerce, created with other leading international business schools, and the M.S. in Business Analytics, offered in partnership with the Darden School of Business, the first joint degree program of its kind between the two UVA schools. The School also created a variety of undergraduate tracks and minors that were offered to students in McIntire and other University majors.

Zeithaml’s commitment to growing the Comm School’s global connections and portfolio of programs was rivaled only by his dedication to the success of his students and his craft as an educator.

Because of his exceptional abilities as a teacher and mentor who made himself extremely accessible to students around the clock, his student evaluations were consistently in the top 1% of McIntire for more than two decades. As founder and teaching mainstay of the Integrated Core for 25 years, Zeithaml’s unwavering commitment to the student experience will stand as a hallmark of his tenure as a professor and dean. His teaching methods, a unique blend of traditional and innovative, frequently incorporating experiential learning with hands-on activities that breathe life into complex, abstract concepts, have been recalled as seminal by those he has taught.

Beyond his teaching, Zeithaml is a leading figure in the area of strategic management. His research, which emphasizes global and competitive strategy, has provided invaluable insights to both academia and industry. His work has regularly been published in top-tier academic and professional journals, and his voice is a sought-after one in global academic conferences. The breadth and depth of his research, spanning from global strategy issues in China and Southeast Asia to the complexities of high-tech acquisitions, further cement his stature in the academic world.

He has spent decades as a tireless servant of the academic community, with active participation in various editorial boards and professional associations. As a testament to his lasting impact on UVA, Zeithaml adds the title of Professor Emeritus to a long list of deserving accolades he has received throughout his distinguished career, which also include the Thomas Jefferson Award and the Raven Society Award. And although he will be retiring from McIntire, he is taking on a new full-time position at DIS in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I am proud of being part of a faculty, staff, alumni, and corporate partners team that created a high-quality, innovative, and differentiated set of undergraduate and graduate programs,” says Zeithaml. “Perhaps I am most proud that the undergraduate program was recognized consistently for providing the best student experience by generations of alumni.”

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