Diane Janvrin, associate professor of accounting, has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the William L. Varner Professorship in the College of Business at Iowa State University.
William Varner, a 1974 graduate of Iowa State University's business program, created the position through his giving as a way to help support the College of Business faculty and in recognition of how the college helped prepare him for his career.
"Bill Varner has been a strong supporter of our college, and we are very thankful for all that he has done and continues to do," said Michael Crum, interim Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business. "His recent gift of a professorship for an accounting faculty member is much appreciated. Named faculty positions allow our faculty to improve as both teachers and researchers. Bill Varner understands that. We're proud of his success as an alumnus and grateful for his generosity."
A native of Decorah, Iowa, Varner retired in 2009 after spending his career with Cargill in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He joined Cargill shortly after he left Iowa State, where he had a highly successful baseball career. At Cargill, he worked his way through the ranks, holding various accounting, managerial and controller roles including chief financial officer for Toshoku, a bankrupt Japanese company Cargill acquired and returned to profitability. His efforts in Japan earned him the Chairman's Quality Award from Cargill in 2002. That year he came back to the United States as Cargill's vice president and controller, the role he held until his retirement.
Varner was extensively involved with Iowa State on behalf of Cargill, recruiting graduates, collaborating on research opportunities, and promoting a global business perspective among students. A member of the ISU Foundation Order of the Knoll, he made a 2008 gift to name the college's accounting and finance suite in the Gerdin Business Building.
Janvrin joined the faculty at Iowa State University in January 2001. Her research has been published in Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Journal of Information Systems, Accounting Horizons, Accounting and the Public Interest, Advances in Accounting, Research in Accounting Regulation and Information & Management. Along with three co-authors, she recently received research funding from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.
She serves on the XBRL.US Data Analysis Task Force and was a member of the AAA Auditing Section Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) confirmation research team. She has earned her Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certificates. She is an active member of the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Iowa, and her BA from Central College in Pella, Iowa.
The Varner Professorship is one of 29 named positions in the College of Business at Iowa State University, compared to 11 just 10 years ago. These prestigious positions help recruit and retain the finest business faculty, while providing them additional resources to pursue their research interests.