Dr. DeVries earned his B.S.B.A. in Accounting at the University of South Dakota-Vermillion and completed a distinguished career with Citibank. He also became a certified public accountant and completed an industry certification to be an Information Systems Auditor prior to earning his Ph.D. in Accounting from Arizona State University. He taught at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville before ultimately choosing to come to Belmont.
1) Hello Dr. DeVries, thank you for doing this interview. How did you come to be a professor at Belmont? What made you decide to work at Massey?
I have been at Belmont University for 10 years now, since 2007. Belmont had a special attraction to me from the first accounting faculty members that I met and the first time I visited campus. Mission, vision, and values are an important foundation for work, and I feel as if I have been called to my work at Belmont and Massey. Belmont is a unique academic institution because of my faculty colleagues and our students and alumni. Our student centered focus is a core value. AACSB accreditation for Accounting and the Massey College of Business shows the dedication, professionalism, and commitment to quality.
2) What is your favorite course to teach? Why should accounting students be excited about this class as well?
My favorite course to teach at Belmont is difficult to pick because my specialty area is at the intersection of accounting and information systems. The world of business, accounting, and technology continue to change rapidly and I have the opportunity to regularly incorporate new content in Accounting Information Systems courses that I teach at both undergraduate and MAcc levels. Business processes and controls are the core area of all my courses. My favorite courses are focused on helping MAcc students learn to leverage technology to become more effective auditors and accountants. I believe that this happens in ACC 6400 and ACC 6560. Students can differentiate themselves from their competition in the work environment by learning to use technology effectively. Of course, it is critical to have a strong foundation of accounting knowledge. I think that students are excited to have the opportunity to learn technology and accounting skills that can be implemented almost immediately in their work. Part of this process is “learning to learn” so that students are able to keep up with future changes in both business and technology tools.
3) What do you like to do in your spare time? What is your favorite thing about music city?
In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family traveling, hiking, and kayaking. My wife and I have three children that continue to keep us busy as a family. Our youngest son is a freshman computer science major at Belmont. Our daughter, a Belmont alum, is at the dissertation stage in her Biology PhD program at the University of Louisville. And our oldest son is a software engineer at the Google office in New York City. I am an avid reader, including audio books for Nashville traffic, and have been carrying a camera since my high school days. I enjoy photography because it forces me to slow down and notice details around me.