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Professor Bill Beedles chats with a Summer Venture in Business participant at the program’s closing reception in June 2017.

School of Business remembers professor emeritus Bill Beedles

Professor emeritus of finance William “Bill” Beedles, a KU School of Business faculty member for 40 years, passed away Monday, Sept. 24. He was 70 years old.

Beedles joined the KU faculty in 1978 shortly after earning his doctorate in finance from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He held various leadership appointments during his time in the KU School of Business, including director of undergraduate programs, director of master’s programs, and faculty coordinator of the school’s former Center for Management Education.

Bill Beedles, pictured in a School of Business newsletter from the mid-1980s

His dedication to teaching earned him recognition not only from the School of Business but also from the university. His teaching awards include the Beta Gamma Sigma Outstanding Educator Award, the Graduate Business Council Outstanding MBA Educator Award, the Henry A. Bubb Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the Outstanding Educator Award from the KU chapter of Mortar Board.

“Bill Beedles was a gracious colleague, mentor, and friend to many in the KU School of Business,” said Paige Fields, School of Business Dean and H.D. Price Professor of Business. “He had a remarkable ability to connect with students, and his contributions to the school and to the lives of his students were tremendous. We will miss him greatly.”

He will be remembered by his School of Business colleagues for his thoughtfulness and upbeat attitude. John Hedeman, director of the school’s Business Leadership and Business Honors programs, said he will remember Beedles for his mentorship, a topic that Hedeman discusses extensively in his Business Leadership Program classes.

“When I was new to Kansas and KU in 2012, I knew no one. Bill immediately made me a member of the KU and KU business family,” Hedeman said. “As a family member, I depended on Bill to share triumphs and disappointments, to ask for advice and support, and to use him as a model of mentorship (which I do in my classes). He mentored so many that his legacy will have a long life. He is a legend in the KU School of Business.”

Beedles fully retired from teaching at the end of the 2017–18 academic year. As a way to honor his legacy and service to the university, a scholarship to support first-generation college students in the School of Business was established this summer. The project raised $58,900 from 89 donors over the summer. Those wishing to contribute to the fund in his memory may do so at launchku.org/beedlesaward.

Students will remember him for his encouraging guidance and challenging yet rewarding approach to teaching.

Larry Miller, a 1978 graduate of the School of Business and Dean’s Advisory Board member, said his experience participating in a graduate-level course taught by Beedles solidified their friendship. He remembered Beedles telling the class of 25 on the first day that the Capital Budgeting course they would be taking was serious and that he would move along at a fast pace, ending the course introduction with, “if you are not serious about the class, it’s time to drop.” Miller said that when only 18 students showed up for the next class, he knew he liked Beedles and was going to learn a great deal from the course.

“I thank Bill for his teaching. I thank him for allowing me the privilege to lecture in his classes. I thank him for his advice and encouragement with my business financial matters,” said Miller, who is chief financial officer of E.E. Newcomer Enterprises. “Most of all, I thank him for being my friend. I will miss him so.”

In addition to the KU School of Business, Beedles held teaching and research appointments at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Indiana University Bloomington, Kansas State University, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the University of Texas, and served as a faculty member for KU’s former Law and Organization Economics Center, teaching financial economics to state judges. He was the author of dozens of research articles published in professional and academic journals and author of the textbook “Just Enough Finance for Non-Financial Managers.”

Beedles also was active in the Lawrence community and had served as the chair of the Lawrence Public Library Investment Committee, chair of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center’s Investment Committee and was on the Bert Nash Endowment Board. In April 2017, Bert Nash honored him with its 2017 Pioneer Award for his service.

Information about services can be found here.

Additional content to remember Professor Bill Beedles:




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