College of Business History

History of Accounting at USMThe University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business was first established as the Division of Commerce in 1941. Courses were first designated as “Accounting” in the 1953-1954 course catalog. During this period, eleven accounting courses were offered, ranging from “Secretarial Accounting” to “CPA Problems.” The accounting faculty at that time consisted of three instructors. The Department of Accounting first appeared in the 1955-1956 course catalog. Students could major in General Accounting, Industrial Accounting, or Public Accounting.

The School of Business Administration was established in 1964, along with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program. The Master of Professional Accountancy first appeared in the 1971-1972 course catalog. The school of business title was changed to the College of Business Administration in 1975, and was first accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 1976.

The Professional School of Accountancy was established in 1979, and the undergraduate program in accounting was one of the first in the nation to receive separate AACSB accreditation in 1982. Whereas over 30 schools applied for separate AACSB accounting accreditation at the time, only 18 programs were accredited.

For much of its history the School of Accountancy was led by Professor Jerold J. Morgan, its founding Director. First joining Southern Miss in 1969 as the accounting department chair, Professor Morgan retired as the School’s Director in 1992. Under his leadership, the School’s reputation for producing highly qualified accounting graduates was firmly established.

Source: Memoirs: Building of The College of Business Administration at The University of Southern Mississippi – 1949 – 1985, by Joseph A. Greene, Jr., Dean Emeritus.