Oluwakemi (Kemi) Osidipe
Professor of Accounting
Lee Business School
Kemi Osidipe came from a family of smart physical scientists. She expected to follow in their footsteps. But as she finished high school and started college, her grades began slipping as she struggled to connect with the material. "For a while I just thought I was not smart enough," she said.
Then she stepped into her first accounting principles course. "I knew right away I had to rethink my choice and everything fell into place after that." Now she hopes that students find that same sort of inspiration for their lives in her classroom.
Why UNLV? I chose UNLV because during my visit to the campus, I noticed a few things. Everyone I met with reported that they enjoyed working at UNLV and living in Las Vegas. In addition, during my research presentation during the campus visit, I noticed that the students present actively participated in the research discussion and had read the paper beforehand. Faculty members were actively interested in supporting my research and improving my research paper. And the accounting department includes faculty members with similar research interests and who are willing to provide support for my professional growth and success.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Nigeria. However, as of right now, I have lived in the United States longer than I lived in Nigeria. My family moved from Nigeria to Louisiana in my senior year in high school.
What do you find as the most interesting thing about your field? In general, I am always pleasantly surprised at the various types of research questions that can be addressed with accounting research. I also find it interesting that there is more than one way to address these research questions in order to fully understand an issue. Since accounting also involves a practitioner aspect, I find it interesting that accounting research conducted in academia could potentially have an impact on the accounting function or change the way accountants work.
What is the biggest misconception about your field? That accounting is just about debits and credits and paying taxes and there's nothing that could possibly be interesting about accounting research.
What inspired you to get into your field? In addition to my accounting background, I have a background in information systems and I worked as part of an information systems development team for six years. I saw firsthand that changes in technology have tremendous impacts on users of the technology and could potentially change the way in which they work.
Research Field? My research interests come from both of my backgrounds in accounting and management information systems. I am primarily interested in how accounting information systems affect different accounting functions (e.g. auditing, managerial accounting, and so on). Particularly, my research tries to understand how the use of accounting information systems or technology could affect the decision making of individuals in accounting functions. I do this by primarily looking at the decision-making process and decision outcomes.
What kind of professor would you like your students to remember you as? I would like my students to remember me as being dedicated and passionate about their learning. I teach Accounting Information Systems, which is a tough course to teach and most students come in prepared not to really enjoy it. I would like to foster a teaching environment where students are excited about learning and leave the classroom a bit more knowledgeable than when they first stepped into it.
What is your proudest moment? My proudest moments have involved my career in academia. I decided to pursue this career about 10 years ago but didn't have a clue as to how or when I would get there. It took a few years of reading resources, attending conferences on what it means to pursue an academic career and the advice of former professors before I ultimately applied for admission into a Ph.D program.
PC or Mac? PC
Can't work without? My computer. Everything I do is on it.
Favorite past time, hobbies outside of work? I enjoy reading, cooking, and dancing, and traveling.
What gadget could you not live without? I could not live without my phone. It has almost everything I need to function on it. The only thing I can't do on it is write research papers - Yet.
If you could fix one thing in the world what would it be? I would like to fix the state of things in my home country, Nigeria. Although Nigeria is a country with extensive natural and human resources, the constant rise in corruption within the government, increase in terrorist acts, and general mismanagement has made Nigeria earn the reputation of a failed state. The saddest part is that it is all at the cost of the lives and wellbeing of the general Nigerian population.
One tip to succeed? Perseverance. Most times success is not about who is the smartest or the brightest but rather, who is persistent and focused on achieving a goal.
Who is your hero? My dad. He has always been a good example, a pillar of strength and a man of integrity. He is also very well-respected among his family and peers. His father passed away when he was a young adult, leaving him, his older brother, three young sisters, and my grandmother alone. My dad was thrown into the role of being partly responsible for the rest of the family and he became like a second father. He has since carried on that role and has demonstrated to me and my siblings that dedication, hard work, discipline, and consistency do pay off. Lastly, I wouldn't be where I'm at if not for him and my mom deciding to make a better life for our family by moving and starting over in an unfamiliar country.