Dr. Kathy Farrell became the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business on December 1, 2017, after serving nearly a year as interim dean. She immediately launched an inclusive strategic planning process to help guide the college with a new mission, guiding principles and strategic initiatives. Focusing on key mission-focused goals, Farrell cultivated donor support for seven new endowed faculty chairs, implemented the Seacrest Teaching Fellows program, launched the undergraduate business and law major, established the Inclusive Business Leaders program, offered additional free tutoring for students in business classes and increased funding for student scholarships, along with other student retention initiatives. The college's connection with Nebraska's business community also expanded with the addition of several new online graduate programs and continuing education offerings for professionals to help meet workforce demands.
Elected to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Board of Directors in 2023, Farrell is an experienced academic and business leader. She formerly served as associate dean of the College of Business for four years and chair of the Department of Finance for two years. She also serves on the boards of directors of Lincoln-based organizations Nelnet, Inc., Assurity, Inc. and Bryan Health.
After joining the College of Business in 1993, she taught 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.