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Delta State’s Billy Morehead: dedicated to students, accounting

Billy Morehead is an accountant with a wide range of professional experience. The affable 44-year-old Greenville native is presently serving in his third position at Delta State University after a career in state government that included various service with the State Department of Mental Health, Department of Finance and Administration and the Office of the State Auditor.

He also took a year-long leave of absence to work as a volunteer financial facilitator with the International Service Corps in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa.

“I guess it was a mid-life crisis,” he says with a laugh. “I was on the International Mission Board through the Southern Baptist Convention and had been doing audits as a volunteer. Going to West Africa was a wonderful thing for my career, especially with the world becoming more global. My wife and I traveled all over the area meeting people and missionaries.”
Although he took an 80% pay cut, Morehead says the foreign service was rich and rewarding in other ways. A small monthly stipend and housing were provided.

“However, we actually saved money because there was nothing there to spend it on,” he added.

Morehead returned to Mississippi and worked again with the Department of Mental Health before leaving to join his alma mater, Delta State University. He also earned degrees from Millsaps College and Mississippi College. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in international development from the University of Southern Mississippi, which he expects to complete in August.

As a busy academic year nears the close in Cleveland, Morehead took time to answer a few questions for the Mississippi Business Journal.

Mississippi Business Journal:

What are your duties at Delta State?

Billy Morehead: I’ve been here almost seven years. The first year I was an instructor of accountancy. From October 2001 through December 2006, I was vice president for finance and assistant professor of accountancy. In January of this year, I became the chair of accountancy, computer information systems and finance and assistant professor of accountancy.

MBJ: What is the most rewarding thing about your work?

BM: As vice president, it was improving the campus for our students, faculty, staff and community. As chair of the department, it’s working with our wonderful students helping them achieve their professional goals and creating the new CFOs of the future.

In this position I’ve followed one of my mentors and it’s a good thing to carry on his legacy and tradition. I’m three months into it now, and when students come to talk to me about their future, I know I made the right decision. I was a CFO before coming to the university, and it’s important to me to influence the next generation of CFOs.

MBJ: Why did you
choose a career in accounting?

BM: I’ve always sought accountability, and accounting champions accountability and integrity. Even though we’ve had some eyesores in the last few years, it’s still a profession of integrity and ethics. Everything I’ve done has been accounting related.

Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at llofton656@aol.com.

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