Kathy Farrell, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business interim dean for nearly a year, has been named permanent dean of the College of Business pending approval by the Board of Regents, on Dec. 1. Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman announced the appointment.
“Kathy Farrell is exactly the right person to take the College of Business to the next level. ” Plowman said. “Overwhelming support from faculty, staff, students, and members of the larger business community make this an exciting appointment. I am confident in her unique leadership abilities and look forward to working with her in this important role.”
Farrell has been a member of the faculty of the College of Business since 1993. Her teaching focus is on corporate finance and banking at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her primary research interests include executive compensation, executive turnover and succession, and other corporate governance issues.
Farrell became the college’s associate dean in 2010, with responsibilities including undergraduate programs and faculty affairs. She served as senior associate dean for four years and in that role oversaw the development and implementation of new programs, including the business minor for non-business students, a hybrid career services model, and the Professional Enhancement program for all undergraduate business students. In 2014, Farrell became the chair of the college’s Department of Finance.
When Plowman, then dean of the college, was named the university’s executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, Farrell was appointed interim dean. She has served in that role since January 2017.
Farrell earned a doctorate in finance from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and finance from Kent State University.
“I am honored to lead the College of Business and to build upon its recent momentum,” Farrell said. “With the opening of Howard L. Hawks Hall, the state-of-the-art home for Nebraska Business, and unprecedented growth in students, programs, faculty and research, this college is poised to begin a new era of excellence.”
A 16-member committee of faculty, staff, administrators and college stakeholders led the search. Richard Moberly, dean of Nebraska’s College of Law, chaired the committee.
Farrell is taking the helm as permanent dean at a pivotal moment in the university’s history and in the college’s trajectory. Nebraska Business has experienced unprecedented enrollment growth since 2010. In the past seven years, 70 new faculty and 40 new staff have joined the college. Signature programs such as a Business Honors Academy
and the world's largest strengths lab in the Clifton Strengths Institute
were created. She will have the opportunity to define and implement a strategic vision of an energetic faculty, staff and student population.
The dean reports directly to the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer