A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Polimeni

Meet the People of Zarb:  Professor Ralph S. Polimeni, Chaykin Endowed Chair in Accounting

[Note: This is one in a series of posts to highlight the people who contribute to making the Zarb School of Business a special place.]

Here is our Q&A with Dr. Polimeni, one of the Zarb School’s distinguished professors.

  • Could you describe your educational, academic, and professional background.

I have a Ph.D. in Business with a major in Accounting and a Certified Public Accountant license in New York State.  Prior to my current faculty position, I served as  Hofstra University’s Vice Provost for Accreditation and Assessment; Dean of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business; Chair of Hofstra’s Department of Accounting, Taxation and Legal Studies in Business; and Director of the Chaykin CPA Review Program at Hofstra.

I have also worked for a “Big Four” public accounting firm, chaired the Nassau County Audit Advisory Committee, was the team leader for the Nassau County Consolidation Consulting Group, served on a financial task force for New York City, was on various boards, and did consulting for several Accounting and Law firms.

  • What are your major areas of teaching and research interest?

My current major areas of teaching interest are in Managerial and Cost Accounting.  I have also taught Financial Accounting and Auditing courses.

My present research interests are in Auditing, Managerial and Cost Accounting, and learning/pedagogical subjects.  I have co-authored Accounting textbooks, some of which have been translated into multiple languages and are used internationally.  Over the years, I have also published in Accounting and Business journals, including the International Journal of Accounting,  the Cost and Management Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management, and the Journal of the Academy of Business Education.

  • What is your philosophy with regard to the three major goals for ZSOB faculty: teaching, research, and service?

A colleague once compared the three major goals of teaching, research, and service for ZSOB faculty to a three-legged stool which needed substance in each area in order to be in proper balance.  I agree with this philosophy and personally strive to make a contribution in all three areas.

  • Please describe some of your accomplishments while at the Zarb School.

When I was Dean, I had the pleasure of meeting with many alumni of the Zarb School.  They were very pleased that the Zarb School had been awarded the prestigious Accounting AACSB International accreditation and recently opened the Martin B. Greenberg Trading Room (which is equipped with one of the largest number of Bloomberg terminals in the nation). 

A common theme also emerged from our conversations: the education they received at the Zarb School played a pivotal role in helping them accomplish their career goals. The success of students has always been the Zarb School’s top priority and this accomplishment can be attributed to everyone at the School.

I have always placed a very high priority on my teaching.  In my faculty position, I am pleased to have been selected as a past recipient of the Hofstra University Distinguished Teacher of the Year award and the Hofstra University Frank G. Zarb School of Business Outstanding Teacher award. 

  •  How have you seen the Zarb School change over the years?

Over the years, I have witnessed significant growth in the quality and reputation of the Zarb School.  I attribute this success to the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, and administration.  I also believe that the success of our talented alumni has had a significant influence on enhancing the status of the Zarb School.   

  •  What is something most people don’t know about you?

My original career goal was to work as an Accountant.  I had never considered a career in teaching and research.  While I was pursuing my MBA degree, the firm I was employed by asked me to research an emerging issue in Accounting and make a presentation to the staff.  I found the experience to be very rewarding and as a result, decided to pursue a career path in accounting education.  After completion of my MBA, I enrolled in a Ph.D. program which eventually led me to a career at Hofstra.  

  • Any final thoughts?

I feel privileged and fortunate to have been able to be a part of the Zarb School for over 40 years.

One thought on “A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Polimeni

  1. Fred Gropper class of '77

    Wow, I had Dr. Polimeni for auditing back in the 70’s. Great teacher. I’m glad to see you are doing well.


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