First, Gary Farmar (BSBA 1975, MBA 1982) discovered oil. Then gold. Likely his richest discovery as a metaphorical prospector, however, is the student body at Daniels’ Reiman School of Finance, from which he retired as teaching associate professor in June 2021.
After three years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co., Farmar staked a claim as assistant controller at Petro-Lewis Corp. oil firm in 1978. Then, Farmar joined Newmont Mining, where he led internal audit and business planning. In 2003, Farmar and his family moved to Adelaide, Australia, where he headed finance for Newmont’s newly acquired gold mines. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2006, Farmar cultivated a lifelong desire to teach. His initial transition was challenging.
“When I read the student evaluations after my first quarter, I really wondered if they would ask me back,” Farmar said. “The evaluations were pretty brutal. Fortunately, KED Davisson helped me understand how to tell if you’re connecting with students. I credit her with putting me on the right path.”
According to Davisson, assistant director for Daniels’ School of Accountancy, it was just a matter of shifting from how things are achieved in the business world to how they are achieved in academia.
“Students respond differently than employees. Once you bring the topic to their life experiences, you can connect with them better. Gary adapted to this very well,” she said.
In 2009, Farmar became a full-time faculty member at Professor Ron Rizzuto’s recommendation.
“Gary’s been a great teacher, but he also helped us organize faculty and curriculum around our basic finance course. He’s made tremendous contributions here,” said Rizzuto. “He’s a very capable guy, and we’ve been lucky to have him.”