Zicklin School of Business appoints new interim dean


Zicklin School of Business

May Khin

The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College appointed Paquita Davis-Friday as the new interim Willem Kooyker Dean starting Jan. 1.

Davis-Friday wrote in a LinkedIn post that she was “happy to share” that she started the position, which was endowed by and named for an alumnus who died in November 2022.

Before Davis-Friday’s appointment to the role, H. Fenwick Huss retired as the dean of the Zicklin school on Dec. 31, 2022. He served eight and a half years of leadership.

“I’m very optimistic about our future, because the new leadership team is deeply committed to the School’s mission,” Huss said in the press release. “We’re currently in the middle of revising the MBA program. Guess what? We did that a couple of years ago, and a couple of years before that.”

Huss encouraged the staff at the Zicklin school to continue improving its master’s degree program in business administration.

Davis-Friday is a professor in the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy. She was a senior associate dean of the Zicklin school from December 2017 to December 2022.

She also served as the executive director of graduate programs at the Zicklin school from April 2013 to December 2017.

She taught undergraduate courses that covered principles of financial accounting, intermediate accounting and auditing.

She also taught the financial reporting course to graduate students and an international accounting research seminar to doctoral students, winning the Zicklin School of Business’ Teaching Excellence Award in 2008.

“I don’t think any course is necessarily relevant and exciting to students unless the instructor brings it to them,” Davis-Friday said in a taped interview that was published by Baruch in 2016.

Before joining the Zicklin faculty in January 2006, Davis-Friday taught accountancy as an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She educated students there from 1996 to 2005.

Her primary research specializes in executive compensation and pensions.

Davis-Friday was a member of the financial accounting standards committee in the American Accounting Association. She was one of the principal authors of the committee’s responses to the Financial Accounting Board’s exposure drafts, which propose new standards in the profession.

She won the best paper award from the association’s international accounting section in 2008.

Davis-Friday graduated from the accelerated degree program in accounting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the university’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business in 1991.

Davis-Friday became a certified public accountant in 1992. In the same year, she began a two-year program studying for a master’s degree in applied economics at the University of Michigan.

She worked as an auditor for Deloitte in Detroit, and as a tax accountant for the “Big Four” accounting firm in Ann Arbor.

She earned her doctorate in accounting at the University of Michigan in 1997.

Davis-Friday received the Outstanding International Accounting Dissertation Award from the American Accounting Association for her dissertation in the same year.

She is currently a member of the board of directors of Pollyanna, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping institutions achieve diversity, inclusiveness and equity.

Davis-Friday received many congratulatory welcomes on LinkedIn from members of the Baruch community. She will give an introduction in the next installment of the “Zicklin Talks Business” webinar series on Feb. 14.