Coggin gift brings Bell, Gundlach to business college

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Dr. Timothy Bell is the first Coggin Distinguished Professor of Accounting, and Dr. Gregory Gundlach is the first Coggin Distinguished Professor of Marketing.

A $5 million gift from Luther and Blanche Coggin in 2002 helped make the professorships possible. The state matched the gift, boosting the total the college will receive to $10 million. UNF named the college in honor of the Coggins.

"The Coggin Distinguished Professorships provide the opportunity for the Coggin College of Business to attract world-class scholars who will be critical to the strategic development of the college," said Dr. John McAllister, dean of the college. "UNF students will be well-served by their exposure to these two exceptional faculty members. The Coggin family's gift has made this possible. Their gift has truly had a transformative impact on the study of business at our University."

A national search led to the selection of Bell and Gundlach. Gundlach, a UNF faculty member since 2003, began teaching courses this fall as the Coggin Distinguished Professor of Marketing. Bell comes to UNF in 2009. The endowment refers to the positions as "strategic professorships," which help Coggin develop nationally recognized business programs.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Bell when he assumes his teaching duties in January. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Bell received his MBA from UNF in 1975 and taught as an adjunct accounting instructor at the University in 1976 and 1977.

Since then, Bell has achieved international recognition for his leadership in the accounting profession in helping bridge the gap between practice and academia and for his efforts in encouraging excellence in auditing education.

Bell has been the director of academic research at KPMG International's Global Services Centre in New Jersey for the last 10 years. He manages research collaborations with academics and produces and distributes research findings. He is the only member of a professional accounting firm ever selected to serve as president of the American Accounting Association's Auditing Section.

In 2005, Bell won the Auditing Section's Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award for significant contributions to teaching excellence in the field of auditing. In addition to publishing research articles in scholarly journals, Bell is an in-demand speaker at workshops and professional conferences around the world.

Bell is especially proud of his impact on accounting students through the KPMG Audit Case Competition he developed. He said he's received "phenomenal feedback" over the last few years from students who participated. "I am very excited about the UNF position," he said. "I have accumulated a wealth of wisdom and knowledge during a time when the accounting profession has experienced significant change. I look forward to bringing that knowledge into the classroom." Bell's teaching areas of interest are auditing and financial accounting.

Gundlach is a marketing professor at UNF. He is also the Visiting Eminent Scholar in Wholesaling and director of the Center for Research and Education in Wholesaling. Gundlach is a Senior Research Fellow at the American Antitrust Institute, an independent nonprofit Washington, D.C.- based research and advocacy organization. Prior to coming to UNF, he was the John Berry Sr. Professor of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

"Their kindness and generosity has touched the lives of so many individuals and organizations," Gundlach said of the Coggins. "I am grateful for their endowment of the Coggin Distinguished Professorships and to have their personal support in that position. They are truly wonderful people, and they are an inspiration to all of us."