July 20, 2011

A Year in Review

Dr. Donde Plowman, James, Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business Administration, celebrated her first anniversary at UNL on July 1 – the same day UNL officially became a member of the Big Ten conference. The announcement to join the Big Ten happened between the time Plowman accepted the offer to join CBA and before she started her official first day. Since then, much of Plowman’s work has involved positioning the college to take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. The combined energy of a new dean and moving to the Big Ten has been noticed by faculty and students alike.

Dr. Tom Zorn, George B. Cook/Ameritas College Professor of Finance and winner of the 2011 Distinguished Teaching Research and Service Award, is retiring from the college but does have some misgivings about leaving at this time.

“My biggest regret in retiring is that the college is ready to be part of the Big Ten,” said Zorn. “We have a new dynamic dean and I think that’s really going to be exciting. Every one of the Big Ten schools is strong in finance. For us to be associated with them is great for our students.”

Student enthusiasm has also been given a boost. Recent business administration graduate, Alex Bieber, was one of many students able to meet with Dean Plowman over the past year and provide input.

“It’s really neat because I have an understanding of what’s going on with the college,” Bieber said a week before graduating in May. “We have lunches with Dean Plowman and hear her ideas and get to share what we would like to see changed.”

Besides student meetings, more than 50 faculty and staff engaged in strategic planning with Dean Plowman. They compared CBA to other Big Ten business schools to benchmark and determine where to focus resources and energy. A plan was developed and the transformation has already begun.

“Being part of the Big Ten has significant academic implications for the College of Business Administration,” said Plowman. “The Big Ten schools are among the finest in the nation and joining these colleges sets a high standard of excellence that will benefit the university, our students and the state of Nebraska.”

The flexible MBA program, actuarial science program, business ethics program and continued recognition in research are just a few areas of excellence that have been noted nationally and continue to grow. Student success has been recognized both in the classroom and through professional accomplishments beyond the college.

  • Noteworthy events and accomplishments during the past year include:More than 3,300 students enrolled in the College of Business Administration in the fall 2010 semester, including nearly 400 graduate students.
  • The marketing department hosted the second annual International Human Trafficking conference to bring attention and find solutions to the problem of human slavery in the 21st century. Keynote speaker and award winning journalist B.J. Skinner was also invited to speak at the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues held prior to the conference.
  • Dr. Paul Shoemaker, professor of accounting and director of the school of accountancy, was awarded the first BKD, LLP Professorship in Accountancy.
  • MBA student and Nebraska Cornhusker football player Tyrone Fahie received an honorary Lott Impact trophy awarded for contributions on and off the football field.
  • Publishing magnate and former U.S. presidential candidate Steve Forbes spoke at UNL as a guest of the College of Business Administration. Forbes answered questions from a student panel during the talk and met with several students afterward.
  • Graduate Warren Buffett received the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented in a White House ceremony by Barack Obama.
  • The Ford Foundation bestowed a $250,000 grant to support the publication of a special issue of Feminist Economics, the journal of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE). The grant is overseen by Dr. Ann Mari May, professor of economics and an officer of IAFFE.
  • The College of Business Administration maintained its prestigious AACSB accreditation after review by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The college has held accreditation since 1913 when the AACSB was founded. Less than 5% of business schools worldwide hold AACSB accreditation.
  • Students in Free Enterprise captured room champions award at the 2011 regional SIFE competition in Chicago. The competition lets students highlight their entrepreneurial accomplishments from the past year. The UNL team was involved in a program to introduce entrepreneurial skills to members of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • CBA professors made news alongside Japan’s devastating March 2011 earthquake. Dr. Carlos Asarta, economics, was in the Tokyo Tower when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit and documented the event on his video camera. Dr. Scott Fuess, chair of the economics department, later appeared on public television to analyze the economic impact of the disaster on Japan and the rest of the world.
  • Duane Acklie, Tenaska, JoAnn Martin and Joe Petsick were all honored at the CBA advisory board luncheon. Acklie received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tenaska receive the Corporate Leadership Award, JoAnn Martin received the Business Leadership Award and Joe Petsick received the Business Excellence Award.
  • Economics graduate Alyx Dodds Garner was named a Fulbright Scholar and will be traveling to Germany this summer to study and teach English at a middle school in Germany. Dodds, who also majored in German, spent time in Germany as a young girl when her father was stationed at Noervelich Airforce Base.
  • More than 700 students graduated from the College of Business Administration this past academic year. Over 200 students graduated in December 2010 and nearly 500 students graduated in May 2011.