Tribute to Emeritus Professor David Emanuel
26 February 2021
(15 April 1944 - 18 February 2021). It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of our colleague and friend Emeritus Professor David Emanuel, aged 76, following a courageous battle with cancer.
David had a long and distinguished career at the University of Auckland. He first joined the University as a lecturer in 1968, and was here till 1971 before heading off overseas to do a stint at the University of Western Australia.
In 1975, David returned to Auckland as an Associate Professor, before being promoted in 1981 to Professor in the Department of Accountancy (as it was known then), two years prior to receiving his PhD in Accountancy from the University of Auckland.
David, who retired in 2017, contributed greatly to the Department, Business School, and the University over decades. In his early years, he was very prominent in the setting of accounting standards used by companies and other entities in New Zealand to report their financial results.
As the longest serving member of staff, he taught many generations of students in both Accounting and Finance courses at all levels and supervised numerous PhD students. Many of his former students have gone on to very notable academic/business careers.
He was also one of New Zealand’s most prolific accounting researchers and a key person in significantly lifting the profile of accounting and business research done in New Zealand, to the world stage.
David also made significant service contributions to the Department, the University, and the accounting profession, including being the Head of Department twice, serving on countless committees at the University and in the accounting profession, being a reviewer for many journals, being an examiner for many theses/dissertations, and as a valued mentor.
Staff and students (both current and previous), and those who knew him in the profession and in other contexts have benefited enormously from David’s vast knowledge and experience.
His impact and influence on accounting and finance education, accounting research, and accounting practice, especially in New Zealand, has been considerable.
During his illustrious career he published six books, and 73 articles, and received numerous prizes and awards. His impact and influence on accounting and finance education, accounting research, and accounting practice, especially in New Zealand, has been considerable.
When he retired, staff members and alumni raised $136,000 to create an endowed scholarship in his name. The David M Emanuel Research Scholarship in Accounting & Finance marks David’s substantial contribution to the University over a 46-year period, which will continue for future generations.
David was a giant and legend of the accounting community and he will be missed by many.
Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane - The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane.
Obituary by Professors Susan Watson (Dean) and Norman Wong (Department of Accounting and Finance), the University of Auckland Business School.