History of Accounting at CMU

Black and White photo of Grawn Hall on Central Michigan University's Campus

1892 - 1949

  • Central Michigan University opened its doors on September 13, 1892 as Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute. Arithmetic courses were offered to help prepare teachers for rural schools. The curriculum focused on calculations the farmers would need to make in their everyday lives, including some forms of accounting.
  • CMU offered accounting courses for the first time in 1919. These classes covered all ordinary business forms and transactions.
  • Starting in 1938, pre-professional courses in business administration and commerce (accounting) were offered by CMU. A two-year general business training course would be added in 1946.

1960s School of Business Class held in the library. Young women and men using typewriters.

1950 - 1969

  • Accounting officially became a major at CMU in the early 1950s.
  • The School of Business Administration was founded on June 1, 1959. It would later be renamed as the College of Business Administration in 1994.
  • Grawn Hall became the new home of the School of Business Administration in the fall of 1966. The school had previously been housed in Smith Hall for six years.

Man and women studying in School of Business Administration computer lab in the 1970s


1970 - 1979

  • The Department of Accounting became the first academic department in the School of Business Administration in 1970. It would later be renamed as the School of Accounting in 1994.
  • Long time and popular professors, Dr. James Damitio and Dr. Thomas Weirich were hired as accounting instructors in 1970. Dr. Weirich continues to teach auditing and forensic accounting courses today.
  • The legendary Dr. Leonard Plachta was hired as a Professor of Business in 1972. He would later serve as Dean of the College of Business Administration. In 1994, Dr. Plachta was appointed to President of Central Michigan University after two years of serving as Interim President.

1990s photo of three students talking on central michigan university's campus outside of warriner hall.

1980 - 2009

  • CMU’s first application for AACSB accreditation was originally denied in 1982. Rather than begin the accreditation process over, Dean Leonard Plachta appealed the decision. CMU’s School of Business Administration received its initial AACSB accreditation on appeal in 1983, becoming one of the few schools to do so.

  • In 1989, CMU’s Department of Accounting became the second accounting program in the state of Michigan to be accredited by AACSB.
  • The Accounting Information Systems major was developed in 1993. During Y2K, employers expanded the hiring of information systems graduates and greatly reduced hiring of accounting graduates. The blending of both programs would prepare graduates for careers in the new millennium. 

2020 Photo of students studying in the Grawn Atrium

2010 - 2020

  • In June 2020, the College of Business Administration and the School of Accounting had their AACSB accredited status extended through 2025