Dr. Kathy Farrell became the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business on December 1, 2017, after serving nearly one year as interim dean. As dean, Farrell led an inclusive strategic planning process to help guide the college with a new mission, guiding principles and strategic initiatives. Several mission-focused goals have been accomplished including donor support for seven endowed faculty chairs, implementing the Seacrest Teaching Fellows program, launching the Nebraska Family Business Initiative and the Inclusive Business Leaders program as well as increasing free tutoring for business students. The college's connection with Nebraska's business community expanded with new online graduate programs to answer workforce demands and continuing education for professionals and custom programs through the Center for Executive and Professional Development. Currently, she spearheads strategic initiatives such as launching a new business and law major, aligning scholarships with enrollment goals, and creating a program to foster a culture of engagement and recognize highly-engaged students.
An experienced academic and business leader, Farrell served as associate dean for four years and chair of the Department of Finance for two years prior to serving as Dean. She also serves on the board of directors of Lincoln-based organizations Nelnet, Inc., Assurity, Inc. and Bryan Health.
After joining the College of Business in 1993, she began teaching corporate finance and banking for over 20 years. She received the Distinguished Teaching Award and the University Distinguished Teaching Award along with achieving tenure in 2001 and full professor in 2009.
Farrell’s research interests include executive compensation, executive turnover and succession and other corporate governance issues. Her publications have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Business, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Corporate Finance, Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, National Tax Journal, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Research and others.
Prior to earning her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Georgia, Farrell was an auditor for KPMG Peat Marwick in Baltimore and Atlanta and earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (inactive). She received her bachelor's degree from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.