After 38 years, the reign of “friendly terror” in tax is coming to a close.
Bill Resler, a senior lecturer renowned for his effective classroom mix of rigor and humor, will retire this year after almost four decades teaching tax accounting—in his inimitable way—to generations of Foster School students.
An attorney by training, Resler earned a JD at the University of Washington in 1972. He practiced law and taught for four years at the New York University School of Law LL.M. (Taxation) program before returning to Seattle and the UW.
He joined the Foster School’s Department of Accounting as a part-time lecturer in 1978 and became a full-time lecturer in 1984. In 1992, he co-founded (with Steve Rice) the school’s highly successful Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) in Taxation program.
But Resler will be best remembered for his work in (and out) of the classroom. He instructed an estimated 6,000 students on the vagaries of tax law in a style that has been described as “friendly terrorization.” Into every challenging topic, he injected a dose of humor. The self-described “Code head” even gave personalities to various sections of Internal Revenue Code—including Section 1231 (“Paradise Island”), Section 1245 (“Jaws), and Section 751(b) (“Alien”).
On the side, Resler coached Seattle’s Roosevelt High School girls’ basketball team from 1998-2006, leading the Roughriders to a record of 187-51 and the 2004 state title. His uniquely empowering coaching style was documented in Ward Serrill’s (BA 1978) award-winning film, The Heart of the Game.
Izzy Weber, a Foster MPAcc-Tax graduate who practiced several years at PwC, will replace Resler as director of the program, beginning next academic year. Resler will assist the transition while teaching part-time.
A retirement party for Resler will take place in the HUB South Ballroom on May 13th at 5 p.m.
Friends and former students are spearheading an effort to raise $250,000 for an endowment in Resler’s name that will provide scholarship and program support to the MPAcc Program. To make a donation, click here or call Sean Moore at 206-616-3860.