By Dana Engelbert
University of Mississippi
Morris Stocks has been named Best College Professor in The Oxford Eagle’s 2022 Best of Oxford, as determined by a vote of the newspaper’s readers.
Stocks is a longtime professor and Don Jones Chair of Accountancy in the University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy.
Noel Wilkin, UM vice chancellor and executive vice president for academic affairs, said Stocks, who has earned repeated recognition for his teaching, is deserving of the award.
“Dr. Stocks strives for excellence in everything he does,” Wilkin said. “Additionally, he cares deeply about the students, his faculty colleagues and the staff of the Patterson School of Accountancy.
“This drives him to go to extraordinary measures to assist students and help them to understand the material and pursue their full potential.”
Stocks has earned seven Ole Miss awards for outstanding teaching and research, has twice been named the accountancy school’s outstanding teacher of the year and is a three-time researcher of the year.
“I love teaching,” he said. “There isn’t a better job. It’s a high calling to help students define their professional futures.”
Stocks has paused his teaching to fill several administrative roles during his tenure. He has served as associate provost, vice chancellor, accounting dean, provost and interim chancellor.
“I would be hard-pressed to think of another person who could surpass his contributions to the University of Mississippi,” Wilkin said. “In each of these roles, he has made the university better.”
Wilkin noted that Stocks has been a contributor to moving the university and its students, staff and faculty forward.
“Dr. Stocks sets the standard of excellence and commitment for the important work that we do at the university,” Wilkin said. “I consider it an honor to have had the opportunity to work with him for so long and truly value all of the ways that he has made me a better person, leader and academician.”
Stocks returned to teaching in the accountancy school – the job he said he always wanted – in 2017.
“The fact that I could come back to the faculty after 18 years and be accepted by the students and faculty speaks volumes of the quality people in our program,” he said.
Stocks earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Trevecca Nazarene University in 1977, then began his career in accounting. He accepted a part-time teaching role at Trevecca to fill in for a professor and soon discovered that he loved teaching.
He would later add a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina before joining the UM faculty.
“I’ve had a better academic and professional career than imagined because I am here at Ole Miss,” Stocks said.
Stocks and other Best of Oxford award winners received their awards during a July 21 banquet and are featured in Oxford Magazine.