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Philip Piaker, distinguished service professor emeritus, dies

By : Katie Ellis

Philip M. Piaker, distinguished service professor emeritus in the School of Management, died earlier this week.

Piaker joined the faculty of Harpur College in 1952 as a professor of Social Sciences and later became the first chair of the department of Accounting in the SOM. During his tenure at Binghamton, he was recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and, in 1980, he was appointed a distinguished service professor.

"Phil Piaker was a master teacher who impacted the lives of many of our students in ways that enabled them to move into partnerships and presidencies of major companies," said Thomas Kelly, vice president for external affairs and former dean of the School of Management. "Phil was always concerned about the ethical aspects of management and accounting and he made these concerns an integral part of the courses he taught."

Piaker was also instrumental in establishment of the SOM. "He was truly the father of SOM in some sense," said Upinder Dhillon, dean of the school. "He argued that there was a role for professional education on the campus and for setting up the SOM, and accounting was its first program." Piaker set the tone for the school as well. "He was always giving of his time and advice," Dhillon said. "He had perspectives on education that one could learn a lot from, and he was a deeply compassionate person who cared for people. He was a support system here for us."

He served as a mentor to others and was responsible for recruiting many of the school's faculty. "He took it upon himself to establish a nationally renowned program,"Dhillon said. "Our students are highly prized by the Big 4, and if you look at New York City and talk to these firms, they mention that we are one of the top schools in terms of number of graduates employed there.

In addition to his distinguished career in academics and business, Piaker served as chairman of the New York State Board of Public Accountancy and was a member of the Binghamton University Foundation board of directors. He and his late wife, Pauline, were active supporters of the Chabad House in Vestal. Upon her death several years ago, Piaker endowed an education fund at Chabad House in her name that supports visiting scholars, lecture series and other educational opportunities.

A memorial service was held yesterday at Temple Israel in Vestal.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08