John R. Suroviak, MS

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Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday, 1-2 p.m. and by appointment


At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. Typically, we do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunities to get to know the faculty in your discipline. Below I have listed some of the courses that I teach. We are always developing and trying out new classes, so the list may change now and then.

BA 201 | Financial Accounting Principles

BA 210 | Excel for Business

BA 313 | Intermediate Accounting I

BA 314 | Intermediate Accounting II

BA 316 | Cost Accounting

BA 318 | Fraud Examination

BA 435 | Accounting and Auditing Seminar

Teaching Philosophy

After 30 years of college teaching, I believe that all students bring a wide variety of skills and knowledge to college. As a professor, it is my responsibility to create an environment in which all students can succeed: an environment that challenges and nurtures students and promotes their creativity.

Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." As our world continues to change rapidly, students will be required to develop creative solutions to solve unique problems. Professors must enable students to develop all of their skills. Consider the following people who probably wouldn't have made the cut.

  • Beethoven's music teacher once said of him, "as a composer, he is hopeless."
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he had "no good ideas" and he "doodled too much."
  • Albert Einstein flunked math.
  • Dr. Robert Jarvick was rejected by 15 American medical schools. He later invented an artificial heart.

Each semester, as I stand in front of my classes on the first day, I wonder how many Beethovens, Disneys, Einsteins and Jarvicks there are in this class.

As a CPA who has worked in both public and private accounting, I am constantly aware of the changing workplace accountants face. As computers become more prevalent in business, the traditional role of accountants continues to change. Accountants no longer can survive merely as bean counters. Today's accountants must bring value to their jobs. They must become integrally involved in the strategic planning and be able to communicate clearly and concisely with top management; they must be able to work in cross-functional teams; and most importantly they must be able to solve problems and provide strategic advice to management. The days of simply adding up rows of numbers and preparing journal entries are over — thank goodness!


Master of Science in Public Accountancy, University of Hartford, West Hartford, Conn., in 1976

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1973.

Select Publications

Pacific Northwest Wine Industry Survey, Steve Boone, Charles O’Connor and John Suroviak, findings presented at the Pacific Northwest Wine Symposium, Aug. 8, 2002. The survey, part of a pilot study modeled after a similar UC Davis study, focused on how wineries and wine sellers could increase growth and profitability.

Conducted research with Charles O’Connor and Steve Boone on the Pacific Northwest wine industry. Presented our findings at the Second Annual Pacific Northwest Wine Industry Symposium attended by approximately 75 winemakers and distributors, March 27, 2003.

“Using Technology in the Classroom,” Annual Meeting of the Oregon Association of Accounting Educators, hosted by Pacific University, April 19, 2002.

Professional Memberships

Member, American Accounting Association

Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Member, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants

Board of Directors, 2006-2008

Financial Literacy Strategic Interest Team, 2005-2010

Career Development Team, 2001-present

Chair, 2004-present

Strategic Plan Task Force, participant

Personal Story 

I graduated from Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) with a BA in economics and earned my MS from the University of Hartford. Before coming to Pacific, I taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Nichols College (Massachusetts), and worked in public accounting for KPMG and Laventhol & Horwath.

My special interest, outside of accounting (of course), is helping to raise our three golden retrievers. My wife, Cathy, shows goldens in conformation and obedience trials.

Office Location: 
Berglund Hall 236 (Forest Grove)