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The Power of Accounting: Dennis Clark

Dennis Clark

Dennis Clark | College of Business since 1988

Crunching numbers for Delmarva Power, where he managed the supply chain that kept the regional utility up and running, led Dennis Clark to teach accounting, auditing, and principles of management courses at the New Castle campus. The way he teaches them, however, was inspired by a professor in the Wilmington College MBA program from which he graduated in 1985 (after earning his bachelor’s here in 1981). “I never gave much thought to teaching until my master’s,” says Clark. “But I liked the way that Bob Henson, the late Bob Henson, taught his grad school classes. I thought, I’d like to teach with that kind of style.”

What a teacher is. “What I wanted to do in the classroom was, I wanted to bring students to the material. I didn’t want to just assign a book, I wanted to share my working experience. A book can give you the information, but through experience you can understand what that information is all about. Work experience is a true benefit to teaching.”

My favorite course. “Accounting I, that’s the beginning. Typically, the individuals who are taking that course don’t know anything about accounting. I’m taking a blank sheet of paper and filling it in. That’s a good feeling to know that you can shape and supplement a student’s knowledge.”

What changes and what’s constant. “Technology has improved significantly from blackboards and overhead projectors. You present and structure information to fit the times. While the principles of accounting have not changed, the principles of management are changing all the time. Businesses are run very differently now.”

WilmU and the world. “When I started teaching at Wilmington College, it was very localized. Local working individuals who wanted to better themselves by going to school at night. Today it’s international. Very spread out, very diverse. This school educates many different people, from many different walks of life.”

The goal. “Each semester I’m trying to turn out a classroom of individuals who have learned accounting and can move on in business. If I can reach any of those students, I’m proud, I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do. Sometimes they see me outside the classroom, years later, and say ‘You might not remember me, but I was in your accounting class.’ That’s what it’s all about, if I helped them get where they were trying to go.”

—Bob Yearick

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