With pride, Clikeman and Hoyle reflect on decades of teaching

September 27, 2019
Paul Clikeman and Joe Ben Hoyle were installed as Robins Teaching Fellows on September 17.

Paul Clikeman and Joe Ben Hoyle were installed as Robins Teaching Fellows on September 17.

As Paul Clikeman, associate professor of accounting, took the stage to share his teaching philosophies, he pointed out every one of his students in the audience, current and past, by name, and thanked them for their attendance.

“My philosophy is very simple. I teach students, not accounting,” Clikeman said.

His student-centered method developed from being in a family with four generations of educators. Clikeman’s grandmother, father, wife, sister, and his daughter are all teachers.

As a student himself, Clikeman fell in love with accounting. But when he entered the profession at Deloitte, he realized, it wasn’t for him.

“I love accounting, but when I was in the profession, I discovered I didn’t really enjoy doing accounting,” Clikeman said.

He shifted gears and began teaching the subject he loved. His passion for accounting and the classroom immediately shone through to his students.

“Dr. Clikeman has a true gift for making auditing fun and learning entertaining,” said Marybe Assouan, ’05, who explained that Clikeman brought much more to her auditing class than the course required. “I always go back to his advice: ‘College is like an all you can eat buffet. The real world is like a pot-luck dinner, it’s about what you bring to the table.’”

Clikeman hopes all of his students remember him as a professor who cared more about how his students learn and grow throughout their college career, rather than one who focused solely on the numbers. During his reflection, he shared a quote about teaching from Donn Lancaster, a 20-year middle school teacher in Richmond and late husband to retired Robins School professor, Carol Lancaster:

“So what teaching has taught me is that a meaningful, joyful life for me is not the freedom to do as I please; rather, it’s the privilege to experience relationships with my students in such a formative time in their lives. They (sometimes desperately) want someone to care deeply about their success and share in their journey toward an identity and a healthy sense of self. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to walk with students in their quest to know that their life is significant and does matter.”

“When I read that a few months ago, I thought, that’s what I want to be when I grow up,” Clikeman said. “Although I became a professor because I love accounting, I’m trying as the years go by to love my students as much as the elementary and secondary school teachers in my life love their students, and that means more than delivering content.”


That philosophy is something he says he’s learned from Joe Hoyle, associate professor of accounting, who reflected on his 40 years at the Robins School. His Intermediate Accounting course is legendary for his use of the Socratic method, making it one of the most challenging courses in the Robins School.

“There’s something in every person that wants to be pushed to be great, I believe that religiously,” Hoyle said of his reputation. “I view my job like a dance. In a dance, two parties come together, and if they push each other, as hard as they can push each other to be great, they will create something that’s absolutely fabulous. You’ve got to push each other. And when it works, it is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see.” 

Though he is tough in the classroom, he quickly becomes one of students’ favorite professors because of his dedication to their learning experience.

“Hoyle’s professional accomplishments are unmatched, however while remarkable, those are not what define who this man is and why he is beloved by so many,” said Heather Rice, ’02. “What describes Professor Hoyle cannot be measured on a resume or a diploma, it can’t be counted or tracked. The intangibles are what his legacy is built upon.”

He gives students lists of activities to explore around Richmond, and emails them on holidays, not just to wish them well, but to get them excited about the upcoming semester. 

In perhaps the most touching moment from the evening, Hoyle shared a message for his current and former students. 

“I want you to know, if you were ever a student of mine, I am proud of you. I wish I had told you that while you were still a student of mine,” Hoyle said. “You can’t be a teacher without students. And I so much want to say thank you to all of you who were my dance partners. You can’t create the wonder of education unless you have students. My life has had more meaning because you were a part of it. As I get closer to the end of my career, I become more appreciative of how much having students to create learning with has added to my life, so I do thank you for that.”

The Robins School Teaching Fellows emphasize the Robins School’s focus on highest quality instruction. Faculty members within the Robins School embody the Teacher-Scholar model, and the Fellows emphasize the importance of teaching, and recognize faculty members who are exemplars. These Master Teachers serve as role models and mentors for other business school faculty. Faculty holding the fellowships are selected by a committee organized by the Dean.

Paul Miles Clikeman (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin—Madison; MBA University of Chicago; BSBA Valparaiso University) is an Associate Professor of Accounting in the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Dr. Clikeman was an auditor and audit supervisor in the Chicago office of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte). The Institute of Internal Auditors awarded Dr. Clikeman the Highest Achievement Award in 1989 for earning the highest worldwide score on the Certified Internal Auditor exam. Dr. Clikeman has been teaching financial accounting and auditing in the undergraduate, MAcc, and MBA programs since 1995. He received the Robins School’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002, served as the David Meade White Distinguished Teaching Fellow from 2011 through 2013, and was named the MBA program’s Outstanding Professor in 2019. He has published more than 30 articles in academic, practitioner, and education journals, and is the author of Called to Account: Financial Frauds That Shaped the Accounting Profession (Routledge 2009, 2014, 2019). Dr. Clikeman created and maintains Auditeducation.info, a website and blog dedicated to the study and teaching of financial statement auditing. 

Joe Hoyle (Masters of Business and Economics, Appalachian State University; Bachelor of Arts, Duke University) is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Robins School of Business. He is a coauthor (with Tom Schaefer of the University of Notre Dame and Tim Doupnik retired from the University of South Carolina) of the market-leading textbook, Advanced Accounting, published by McGraw-Hill and now in its 13th edition. He is also coauthor (with C. J. Skender of the University of North Carolina and Leah Kratz of Eastern Mennonite University) of Financial Accounting, a textbook published by Flatworld that is now in its 3rd edition. He also maintains a teaching blog titled, Getting the Most from Your Students where he has posted more than 280 of his essays and had 500,000 page views. In 2015, Professor Hoyle was the first recipient of the J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook Prize for undergraduate education. The award is presented by the American Accounting Association as “the foremost recognition of an individual who consistently demonstrates the attributes of a superior teacher in the discipline of accounting.” In 2012, he was named one of nine favorite professors in the U.S. by Bloomberg Businessweek. In 2009, he was included among the 100 most influential people in the accounting profession by Accounting Today. In 2007, he was selected the Virginia Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2006, he was named one of 22 favorite professors in the U.S. by Business Week. On five occasions, Professor Hoyle has been named a Distinguished Educator at the University of Richmond.