Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University



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Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Accounting Services. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Accounting Services.

Historical Note:

Accounting Services is responsible for providing the Southern Illinois University Carbondale with timely and accurate reporting of financial information for all University funds as well as processing vendor payments and employee travel reimbursements.  It is comprised of Financial Accounting, responsible for the preparation and interpretation of financial statements and transactions; Accounts Payable, responsible for professing payment to University vendors; and Employee Travel, responsible for processing employee travel reimbursements.

Southern Illinois University’s financial affairs was first managed by a Registrar, who was also a member of the faculty, from 1874-1917.  In 1917 the university created the position of Business Manager who oversaw the Business Office.  The specific duties of the Business Manager included: assistance in the preparation of legislative budget requests, exercising control over the operation of the internal budget, establishing systems of accounting and business procedures, supervising financial and cost accounting and preparation of financial reports, collecting of monies due to the University, establishing and administering petty cash funds, and the disbursing non-State funds.  Professor Richard V. Black was the first Business Manager and added the position of “institutional bookkeeper.”  Tracy L. Bryant, also in the Commerce Department, succeeded Black, who died in 1919, as Business Manager.  In 1926, Edward V. Miles became the Business Manager and held the position until his retirement in 1958.

In 1952 the university created the position of Vice President for Business Affairs, filled by Dr. George H. Hand, who reported to the SIU President.  Miles of the Business Office reported to Hand, as did Physical Plant (William A. Howe), the University Architect (Charles Pulley), the Personnel Office (Max M. Sappenfield), and Auxiliary Enterprises (Paul W. Isbell).  The Business Office continued as the primary unit responsible for university fiscal procedures and affairs, and served in an advisory role during budget preparation.  At this time the Bursar, Chief Accountant, Purchasing Agent, Auditor, and General Storekeeper reported to Miles.

The Office of Business Affairs was reorganized in 1966.  The service functions were separated into Business Affairs – Services Division and the fiscal functions into Business Affairs – Fiscal Division.  The Services Division retained Physical Plant, University Architect, Personnel Office, and Auxiliary Enterprises.  Mr. C. E. Peebles was appointed Director of the fiscal division, which included Accounting, Bursar, Disbursement, Payroll, and Purchasing.  Both divisions reported to the Vice President for Business Affairs.  Peebles became Assistant to the SIU Chancellor in 1969.  At this time Board members and university officials believed there should be a controller responsible for the university’s finances, possibly in response to the University House controversy.  The Board of Trustees created the position of Comptroller (Controller) at the November 12, 1969 meeting.  This position remained inactive until October 1971 when Donald Arnold was appointed Controller.

In 1974, the university more formally centralized the collection, handling, disbursement, and accounting of funds to be in compliance with the Illinois State Controller Act.  General Accounting reported to the Controller until 2001 when the SIU Board of Trustees abolished the position at its October 11 meeting.  Prior to its abolishment, the Controller reported to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration.  With the elimination of the Controller office, General Accounting began reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor for Administration.  The name of General Accounting changed to Accounting Services on March 1, 2004.


George K. Plochmann.  The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University.  Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1959.

Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.  Annual Report of the Board of Trustees: 2001-2002.  Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University, Board of Trustees, 2002.

Accounting Services, (accessed November 18, 2016).

Note Author: Matt Gorzalski

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