Marijane England, associate professor of practice emeritus in management, retires this May after a 46-year career at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Starting as a research associate in the West Central Research and Extension Center in 1976, she brought desktop computing to the center and later served in the vice chancellor for academic affairs office, working with faculty personnel, institutional research data and facility improvements projects.
“I was first given the position of courtesy assistant professor in management in 1992. I developed a close relationship with the chair and faculty and continued my appointment until joining the department as a senior lecturer in 2000. I also spent a short stint filling in after the associate dean resigned in 1994. This time cemented my relationship and commitment to the College of Business and the Department of Management,” she said.
In 1994, England became associate director of the Polar Ice Coring Office, a contract from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She headed the division charged with field logistics for government-funded scientists working in the Arctic in Greenland and Northern Alaska.
“The initial contract was $10 million for five years. I was able to increase the scope of the contract for my division and was awarded more than $19.7 million for six years. At the end of the contract, the scope was expanded to $80 million, and the NSF determined that the contract needed the agility of a commercial contractor,” she said.
Appointed senior lecturer in management, England taught Operations and Management Information Systems at the undergraduate and master’s degree levels. At the time, the rank of professor of practice did not exist.
“As I prepared for my first semester teaching large lectures, I had the jolting realization that, although I knew my topic inside-out, giving seminars and presentations to groups of peer professionals had not prepared me to teach a hall of 200 students,“ she said. “My son graduated from the college in spring 2000 and my daughter was entering as a freshman that fall, so I spent hours with them and their peers learning what they liked and disliked about classes and professors. Their advice worked, and all these years later, I still walk into a classroom and see my kids. Nerves and self-doubt melt.”
After six years, she was appointed as assistant vice president for academic affairs and director of institutional research at the University of Nebraska System office in 2006. Under her leadership, she led the creation of the first database that integrated common data from the four NU campuses that could be used for institutional reporting, and her staff published the first Fact Book. She made numerous presentations to the Board of Regents and represented NU to Unicameral legislative committees and the Nebraska Commission on Higher Education.
England returned to the management faculty in 2011 and, throughout the years, taught operations, management information systems, human resource management and business strategy and has had more than 4,700 students enrolled in her courses. She also served as a director of special projects for the dean for four years and developed institutional research data at the college level for resource allocation modeling and budgeting.
In spring 2014, teaching the College of Business capstone course in business strategy became England’s primary assignment. Later she oversaw the senior thesis projects for students in the University Honors Program. She supervised 57 senior theses during her career.
“I love working with 20-somethings. My greatest honor is winning the college's Excellence in Teaching Award three times. I have been nominated every year since the award was established. The nomination comes from students, and to me, that is the highest honor I could ever receive,” said England.
Also active in service, she chaired the department's curriculum committee and grade appeals committee. She also evaluated transfer credit for domestic and international course equivalencies. She started as chair of the undergraduate curriculum and assessment committee in 2017 and served on the college awards committee.
“I look forward to a life with an open schedule, few if any deadlines and no grading. I am a lifelong learner and am already eyeing the course catalog," said England, who also weaves, quilts, knits and gardens. "I am also looking at volunteer or board positions that will allow me to use my background to make Lincoln and Nebraska a better place to live for all residents.”
A Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and Certified REACH Suicide Prevention Trainer, England judged student entrepreneurship and case competitions and volunteered for the Business Career Center Employer Partners Day. She authored and co-authored two book chapters, nine referred journal articles, 20 technical reports, and 17 referred abstract and meeting presentations.
"Without a doubt, I will miss my students. I started at Nebraska at age 17 in 1970. I have three degrees from three colleges and am privileged to retire after teaching in a fourth. In addition to providing outstanding undergraduate and graduate education, the university is an economic driver in the state, a center for innovation, and disseminates research to the citizenry in an understandable, usable way. I am humbled that I had the opportunity to have a rich and fulfilling career at Nebraska," she said.
Published: May 1, 2023