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University of Nebraska–Lincoln



"Nebraska Business will remain true to the university's core mission as a land grant institution while emerging as a premier public business college in the U.S. through innovative research, dedicated teaching and committed service to our community." -- Dean Kathy Farrell

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James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean

Kathy Farrell

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 and other nonprofit boards and committees.

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.

Associate and Assistant Deans

Rik Barrera
Associate Dean of Operations, Inclusion and Chief of Staff

Rik Barrera is the associate dean of operations, inclusion and chief of staff at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. He oversees all business operations, financial reporting, budget preparation, human resources, facility/plant management, IT operations and staff development. Barrera also coordinates all diversity and inclusion efforts for the college.

Barrera joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1994 as the chair of the Military Science Department and following retirement from the U.S. Army in 1998, took the position of business manager of the Beadle Business Center at Nebraska. Barrera joined the College of Business in October of 2011. Before coming to Nebraska, he taught leadership, ethics and military law at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He earned a master’s degree in management and human relations from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona.

Aaron Crabtree
Associate Dean of Master's Programs and Executive Development

Dr. Aaron Crabtree is the associate dean of graduate programs and executive education. In this role, he manages the strategic growth of the college's graduate programs, including a high-quality portfolio of online programs, and continuing education outreach.

He previously served the College of Business as the director of the School of Accountancy since 2014. Crabtree was promoted to associate professor in 2010 and awarded the KPMG Faculty Fellowship. He joined Nebraska in 2004.

His research examines initial firm cost of debt, specifically how taxes and audit-related characteristics influence creditors and rating analyst’s perception of the firm. His papers have been published in Auditing, A Journal of Theory and Practice, Journal of the American Taxation Association, Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance, Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Advances in Accounting and Journal of Accountancy.

Crabtree completed his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in 2004, after receiving his master’s degree in accounting from Virginia Tech in 2000 and his bachelor’s degree in management from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia.

Laurie Miller

Dr. Laurie A. Miller is the associate dean of undergraduate programs and curriculum. In this role, she manages the undergraduate business programs ranked among the top 35 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

As associate professor of practice of economics, she served as a Secrest Teaching Fellow and member of several department and college committees. She earned multiple teaching awards including Certificates of Recognition for Contributions to Students and the College of Business Excellence in Teaching Award. Before joining the faculty at Nebraska, Miller served an economics instructor at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for three years.

Her primary research interests are in labor economics and applied microeconomics. Miller has published research in Review of Economics of the Household, International Journal of Manpower, British Journal of Industrial Relations, The Manchester School, Empirical Economics and Environmental Studies and Sciences. This research explored workplace stress, workers’ job satisfaction, the effect of flexible working arrangements on the U.S. workforce, the impact on employees of family friendly policies such as financial support and family leave for caregivers, and wages and wage dispersion, among other topics.

Miller received her Ph.D. and master's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Janet Near

Dr. Janet P. Near is the associate dean of faculty and research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. She earned her Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Buffalo. Her research interests include antecedents and consequences of life satisfaction and job satisfaction, and antecedents and consequences of organizational dissent (e.g., whistleblowing). Near has co-written three books, most recently Whistle-blowing in Organizations. In addition, she has authored or co-authored more than 70 refereed journal articles published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal and Academy of Management Review.

She has served as an elected representative to both the OB Division and the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management and received a fellowship with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Fellows Program in 1991-92 (associated with Big Ten universities); her other service activities include being department chairperson and doctoral programs chairperson at Indiana during her time there.

Rachel Larson

Dr. Rachel Larson is the assistant dean of academic and career development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business. In this role, she oversees the college's career center, undergraduate academic advising, student engagement and enrollment management.

Larson co-founded the College of Business Career Center, a partnership between the College of Business and the University Career Services, in 2011 and served as its inaugural director. She developed and coordinated the Professional Enhancement Program (PrEP), a series of four one-credit hour required classes to develop confident, professional and connected graduates for lifelong career success. Prior to Nebraska, Larson served the University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Development for five years. Her research on newcomer adjustment has been published in the Human Resource Development Review and HR Magazine. Larson holds a bachelor's and a master's degree from Nebraska and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Department and Program Chairs

Downes, Jimmy
Messersmith, Jake
Thompson, Eric
Saini, Amit
Ryan, Jennifer K
Supply Chain Management and Analytics
Vagts, Sue
Actuarial Science