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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 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 six endowed faculty chairs, implementing the Seacrest Teaching Fellows program, launching the Nebraska Family Business Initiative and 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 developing a new law and business 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.

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.

Tammy Beck

Dr. Tammy E. Beck joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business in 2014 and is currently associate dean of graduate programs and executive education and associate professor of management. She formerly worked at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she was an assistant professor of management and organization science.

Beck received her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at San Antonio and M.B.A. from the University of Houston. Her research interests include macro-level strategic management, inter-organizational collaboration and organizational resilience. Her research has been published in top journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management and Organization Science.

She has previously held management positions in publicly-traded firms in roles related to strategic, financial and tax planning. Beck also has more than 20 years of professional experience as a CPA.

Donna Dudney

Dr. Donna Dudney is the associate dean of undergraduate curriculum and programs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. She earned her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Nebraska in interdepartmental area of business and her MBA from Nebraska. Her teaching interests include financial institutions and markets, project analysis and investments. Her research interests include asset pricing, market efficiency/market anomalies, fixed income, corporate governance and valuation. Her areas of expertise are financial institutions, financial markets and investing, and managerial economics.

Dudney's publications include “Does the Quality of Financial Advice Affect Prices?” Financial Review; Management Use of Image Restoration Strategies to Address SOX 404 Material Weakness” Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal; and “Should More Local Governments Purchase a Bond Rating?” Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.

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.

Tawnya Means

Tawnya Means is an assistant dean at the University Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business. Means administers the Teaching and Learning Center at the college, as well as facilitating issues related to technology in the classroom and student learning.

She spent ten years as the director for the Teaching and Learning Center at the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida. Her research interests include online and blended teaching and learning, technology for teaching, faculty preparation to teach and more.

Department and Program Chairs

Sohi, Ravi
Ryan, Jennifer K
Supply Chain Management and Analytics
Vagts, Sue
Actuarial Science