It’s extraordinary for a professor, especially one with an expertise in forensic accounting and fraud examination, to spend an entire career as full-time faculty at only one university. Bob Hurt is that rare exception and it became official following his Sept. 9, 2015 retirement.
What makes Hurt’s retirement even more unique is that on his last day as a full-time faculty member on Cal Poly Pomona’s campus, he left the College of Business Administration a $500,000 gift after cleaning out his office.
“I believe in what we do here,” Hurt says while sitting at his office desk for one of the final times. “We give students a good, solid, practical business education– particularly in accounting.”
Between earning an accounting bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State and holding a doctorate from Claremont Graduate University, he received his master’s in business education from Cal Poly Pomona.
Hurt made the transition from being a Bronco to teaching them when he joined the faculty part-time in spring of ’87, then full-time in fall ‘91. He says although his estate isn’t huge, there was enough to bequeath the $500,000 donation without neglecting his loved ones.
“As stateside support decreases, the college continually becomes more and more dependent on private gifts,” Hurt says. “I feel like I have the ability to do that and therefore it’s almost an ethical obligation.”
When asked how he knew it was time to hang up the full-time faculty title for good, Hurt replied he feels he is at the apex of his career following the revival of the College of Business Administration’s Master of Science in Accountancy program.
Two years ago, Hurt led the efforts to reinstitute the MSA program receiving the green light to proceed March ’14. Of the 10 students that started the program in fall ’14, eight completed it by summer’15. This year’s enrollment has already increased to 15.
“The reach of Dr. Hurt’s three decades of faculty service is immeasurable because every day his former students and colleagues still benefit from his efforts,” interim dean of the College of Business Administration Dr. Cheryl Wyrick says. “His gift was the latest in a long list of joys he has given Cal Poly Pomona and we’re eternally grateful for each one.”
Hurt’s short-term plans are packed with personal and professional travel. He says he also intends to continue updating his AIS and Fraud Alert blogs regularly.
Long-term, Hurt has no concrete commitments and is leaving the door open to potential opportunities. He says he hopes it will be many years before his donation check is cashed and puts his faith in tomorrow’s administration.
“I have to trust that the future leadership will continue down the path of Learn by Doing and the practical application of knowledge,” Hurt says. “I have no specific expectation regarding how the funds are used. I want them to address whatever the pressing need is at the time.”