By Nick Nelson
His face is everywhere on campus computer screens, his lips a blur as they churn out volumes of accounting wisdom. And even though his digital image will remain, professor Norm Nemrow will leave BYU in July to serve as mission president of the Taejon Korea Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In an early February interview with James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of the church, Nemrow was asked to return to Korea, where he served as a full-time missionary over 20 years earlier.
Nemrow began teaching accounting at BYU in 1992 and is best known for the CD”s he developed for his Accounting 200 class, which draws about 3,000 students each year. In his absence, Nemrow will hand over the reigns of the popular class to E.Kay Stice, BYU professor of accounting.
While rumors have circulated the nature of the class will change with the professor gone, Nemrow said it would not.
“The CD”s will still be the basic core content for the course,” Nemrow said. “It will still be a great course.”
Professor Stice promised he would make no major changes to the course he will soon inherit.
“I”ve given Norm my word that we”re not going to change Accounting 200,” he said. “It”s going to stay the same as it”s always been.”
Nemrow said his latest project was the development of CD”s for his Accounting 210 class, which he will likely not finish before his July 1 start date in Korea. He said another faculty member will probably finish the CD”s while he is gone.
“I”m about 75 percent done with them, but frankly, I”ve lost all motivation,” he said. “I”ve got other things on my mind.”
One of the things on his mind is the Korean language. In an interview with Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve Apostles for the church, Nemrow was asked to rate his ability to speak Korean on a scale from one to five.
“It”s below one,” he responded.
“I spoke Korean fairly well when I was a missionary,” Nemrow said, “but it was like a temporary gift.”
Nemrow meets two or three times a week with a tutor in the Missionary Training Center to refresh his memory of a language he once spoke fluently.
“I”m relearning it, but I”m learning it a lot faster than I did the first time,” he said. “I”m working hard on that and I think I”m going to be okay.”
The BYU professor said he felt “conflicted” about leaving BYU behind and that he will miss the opportunity to impact students” lives.
“I have felt that on occasion I”ve been able to do some things or say some things in the class that might help a student,” he said.
Nemrow is also concerned with missing BYU sporting events for the next three years. He has served as the faculty advisor for the BYU Superfans club, and said he dreaded giving up his front row seats in the Marriot Center.
“I”m really conflicted in BYU football and basketball,” he joked. “Of course, given the way we played [football] this last year maybe that”s a good thing that I won”t be there — I won”t get so upset.”
Nemrow said he knows the current mission president in Taejon well and he was confident the mission has been in good hands.
“My game plan is to go and just not do any damage at first,” Nemrow said. “Then, if I can figure out some unique way I can make some contribution, I”ll try to figure that out.”
With family in tow, Nemrow will serve from July 2004 to July 2007, after which time he intends to return to BYU.
“I”m coming back for sure,” he said. “I love BYU. I love teaching here.”