Dr. Lei Zhou named Jones Diedrich Mennie Endowed Professor of Finance

A major gift from four alumni has established the Jones Diedrich Mennie Endowed Professorship in Finance. Paul Jones (B.S., finance, ’76), William J. Jones (B.S., finance, ’79), John C. Diedrich (B.S.,  accountancy, ’76) and Douglas U. Mennie (B.S., industry and technology, ’78) created this professorship to assist the NIU Department of Finance in retaining excellent faculty and enriching the research done in the field.

“My brother William and I met John and Doug on campus through their fraternity, Delta Upsilon and made lifelong friendships. Those connections extended beyond college and developed into deep business relationships, where we now work as business partners at Glenview State Bank and Cummings Allison Corp.,” said Paul Jones.

Finance Professor Lei Zhou

The inaugural Jones Diedrich Mennie Professor of Finance was awarded to Dr. Lei Zhou, professor in the Finance Department. Zhou teaches classes on corporate finance, investment, fixed income securities and security analysis. While currently a visiting scholar at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), his research areas include fixed income securities, credit risk, mutual funds and investment.

“Being named the Jones Diedrich Mennie Endowed Professor of Finance is truly an honor. I’m grateful to the four men (and Glenview State Bank and Cummings Allison Corp.) who made this opportunity possible,” said Zhou. “This professorship will allow me to work with a group of researchers at the SEC to develop models to detect potentially inflated or misleading credit ratings. I’m really excited that my research can make a real-world impact.”

“Supporting faculty excellence is a very important priority,” said Dean Balaji Rajagopalan of NIU’s College of Business. “A curriculum informed by research in areas like financial investments and securities is critical for preparing students to lead and gives future generations access to faculty experts on the economy and investments. This professorship helps the college attract and retain faculty like Dr. Zhou who pursues an active research agenda and brings that cutting-edge expertise to the classroom,” said Rajagopalan.

The NIU College of Business has 28 externally supported faculty professorships.

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