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October 14, 2020

Kathy’s Point: The Power to Do Big Things

Kathy’s Point: The Power to Do Big Things
Dean Kathy Farrell engages with students, faculty and staff in a special Dish It Up event held in partnership with the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS) during Business Week, Sept. 23-24. Sponsored by Student Advisory Board and Union Pacific, B-Week celebrates the College of Business and its community.

Can you believe we’re over halfway through the condensed fall semester? I am extremely proud of our community – including our students, faculty and staff – for their resilience and creativity in continuing their learning, teaching and researching in this new normal. Ten new faculty started this fall and immediately worked to build meaningful connections with students and engage in cutting-edge research. Our core mission has not waivered – we are still committed to empowering students to lead the future of business.  

To do that, we’ve adapted and innovated:

  • I hosted multiple town halls since this summer including one last month for our students’ families to hear updates and ask questions. More than 200 families attended, and this two-way communication benefits us all. 
  • Our staff in the Teaching and Learning Center provided additional faculty training this summer to best utilize online learning environments for their classes. 
  • The Business Career Center and Clifton Strengths Institute created an innovative program called the Summer Career Accelerator to support students who were unable to complete summer internships due to the pandemic so they could still advance their career development through career coaching and a major project. 
  • The upcoming three-week session, November 30-December 18, gave opportunity for new classes like Christmas and the Supply Chain and Using Tableau with Excel Add-ins. We’ll have another three-week session, beginning January 4, before the spring semester. 
  • We also launched a new online graduate certificate program in supply chain analytics to provide professionals new data skills to adapt to rapid change happening in their careers. See all of our certificate programs here.

The Nebraska Business Student Advisory Board planned a B-Week unlike any of the others since 1921. While physically distancing and mostly online, the week – sponsored by Union Pacific – provided opportunity for us to come together and celebrate our community. One of the events was a special Dish It Up conversation to discuss unconscious bias, microagressions and more. The event was offered in collaboration with the university’s Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS).  

During B-Week, we also produced two videos – one with Dr. Marco Baker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, and one with me talking about specific college efforts – for students to learn about how they can get involved in our university and college’s journey to inclusive excellence. The Inclusive Excellence Gathering Space, where the CoB Huskers Shop used to be, is almost done with construction and will open soon. Additionally, the Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board will soon launch to bring students, faculty, staff and alumni together to formalize and advance diversity and inclusion efforts in the college.  

We’re also proud to serve as a pilot school utilizing the new AACSB accreditation standards. Only a small group of business schools will be reviewed this year by these new standards that address the radically changing context of higher education in terms of technology, globalization and lifelong learning. They recently approved and offered feedback on our initial draft as we continue to prepare for our virtual re-accreditation visit in February.  

Over the last seven months, you’ve experienced drastic challenges at work and in life too – and, a lot has changed this semester too. However, I am reminded of what has stayed the same – our strong Nebraska Business community of alumni and friends and the shared belief that Huskers help Huskers. It's a combination of determination and resiliency mixed with hard work and caring about each other. 

Our College of Business is stronger due to you and our Nebraska Business community – people who believe in the power of every person to do big things. Thank you for your continued support and engagement. 

Sincerely,

Dean Kathy Farrell