Martin Leibowitz is the Joseph Kerzner Chair in Accounting and Clinical Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance. He received a BS from Pennsylvania State University, and an MPhil and a PhD from Columbia University. He has been a full-time faculty member of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University since 1995, and has received the school’s professor of the year award numerous times.
1. What did you do before you joined YU as a faculty member?
I was a CPA in public practice for 18 years, including audit manager for Coopers & Lybrand, and head of my own firm prior to PhD studies at Columbia University.
2. What is your favorite aspect of your job at YU?
I thoroughly enjoy accounting and teaching, which probably puts me into nerd territory. My favorite teaching experience is seeing students’ facial expressions change from bewildered to “aha, now I understand!” I also get nachas from catching-up with former students I meet at simchas.
3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
That’s a tough question, because so many careers interest me. I have a degree in elementary education and would love to teach 2nd grade. My 7th-grade math teacher inspired me and I would want to teach middle school math. I invest for several trusts and investment advising would be exciting. I could also see myself directing a nonprofit organization, inventing something, writing textbooks and engaging in carpentry.
4. What is your goal as an accountant, and what is your goal as a teacher?
I have the same goals for both: innovation and excellence.
5. What would your current and former YU students be surprised to learn about you?
I was at Woodstock! In those days, I thought that Billy Preston got his hairstyle from me.