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Professor Dr. T.K. Lim – Faculty profile

Release Date: Jun 23, 2009


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I am not a teacher, but an awakener, Robert Frost

Professor Tiong Kiong Lim was the first teaching academic appointed when Carnegie Mellon University Australia opened in May 2006.

The student numbers have grown in direct proportion to the respect and esteem held for Professor Lim or ‘TK’ as he is commonly called.

“Teaching is a profession where you must stimulate the intellectual thinking of the learner as well as arouse his/her passion towards the field of knowledge. If the minds and emotions are not in congruence, then they are not learning actively and effectively,” Professor Lim says.

Professor Lim is an academic who comes from the world of banking and finance. For sixteen year before joining the higher education sector, he was a senior corporate executive in the finance and securities industry. He has held various senior managerial positions ranging from branch manager to vice-president of publicly listed companies working across the Asia Pacific and Europe regions.

In 2001 Professor Lim gained his Ph.D at Monash University in accounting and finance. For the period 2000-2003 he taught at Monash University before moving to Adelaide where he accepted an appointment as a senior lecturer and discipline leader of the finance programs at the University of South Australia.

“I had no intention to become a lecturer or professor. My background was in the corporate world. As time passes I understand that education is the most fundamental force that changes human life. If you look at our society, a person with good educations tends to live a comfortable life and make effective contributions to the society. This was a motivator for me,” he says.

Dr. Lim has also taught at both the Pittsburgh and Washington DC campuses. Besides teaching in the Australian tertiary institutions, he has also taught extensively in universities across China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Switzerland.

“Most of the students who come to my classes have little idea about annual reports. There’s a fear of these numbers and professional jargon. It takes me a while to convince them that an understanding of financial concepts and ability is a key component of their lives,” he says.

Professor Lim uses humour to demystify the often baffling world of finance.

“I adopt a pragmatic and ‘straight talk” approach to teaching whereby I focus on both theoretical foundation and practical problem-solving skills.

“There are three things the graduates must have. First, an understanding of technology and how to use it. Second, an appreciation of human capital and how to lead people. Finally, an awareness about the significance of financial capital and how to manage limited financial resources.

“If the graduates can demonstrate a good command of these three components they will be able to make significant contributions to their organisations and the societies in which they live,” Professor Lim says.