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University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Kathy Farrell Photo

Kathy Farrell

James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean and Professor of Finance
Office of the Dean
HLH 301 D
P.O. Box 880405
Lincoln, NE 68588-0405
(402) 472-9500
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Kathy Farrell Photo
Ph.D. 1994 (University of Georgia)
BBA 1986 (Kent State University)
Areas of Expertise
  • Executive Compensation
  • Executive Turnover
  • Corporate Governance
Research Interests
  • Corporate Governance
  • Executive Turnover
  • Executive Compensation
  • James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean, 2017
  • Professor, 2009
  • Associate Professor, 2001
  • Assistant Professor, 1993
CliftonStrengths ®
  • Learner
  • Analytical
  • Responsibility
  • Intellection
  • Arranger

Dr. Kathy Farrell became the James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business on December 1, 2017, after serving nearly a year as interim dean. She immediately launched an inclusive strategic planning process to help guide the college with a new mission, guiding principles and strategic initiatives. Focusing on key mission-focused goals, Farrell cultivated donor support for seven new endowed faculty chairs, implemented the Seacrest Teaching Fellows program, launched the undergraduate business and law major, established the Inclusive Business Leaders program, offered additional free tutoring for students in business classes and increased funding for student scholarships, along with other student retention initiatives. The college's connection with Nebraska's business community also expanded with the addition of several new online graduate programs and continuing education offerings for professionals to help meet workforce demands.

Elected to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Board of Directors in 2023, Farrell is an experienced academic and business leader. She formerly served as associate dean of the College of Business for four years and chair of the Department of Finance for two years. She also serves on the boards of directors of Lincoln-based organizations Nelnet, Inc., Assurity, Inc., and Bryan Health and other nonprofit boards and committees.

After joining the College of Business in 1993, she taught 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.

Selected Publications/Articles
  • Farrell, K. A., Unlu, E., Yu, J. (2014). Stock Repurchases as an Earnings Management Mechanism: The Impact of Financing Constraints. Journal of Corporate Finance, 25, 1-15.
  • Farrell, K. A., Yu, J., Zhang, Y. (2013). What are the Characteristics of Firms that Engage in Earnings per Share Management Through Share Repurchases? Corporate Governance: An International Review, 21, 334-350.
  • Allgood, S. A., Farrell, K. A., Kamal, R. (2012). Do Boards Know When They Hire a CEO that is a Good Match?  Evidence from Initial Compensation. Journal of Corporate Finance, 18, 1051-1064.
  • Farrell, K. A., Hersch, P. (2012). Inter-board Pay Differentials for Directors with Multiple Appointments. Applied Economic Letters, 19(14), 1401-1404.
  • Zhang, Y., Farrell, K. A., Brown, T. (2008). Ex-Dividend Day Price and Volume:  The Case of 2003 Dividend Tax Cut.National Tax Journal, 61(1), 105-127.
  • Farrell, K. A., Friesen, G., Hersch, P. (2008). Erratum to "How Does Director Compensation Change?" Journal of Corporate Finance, 14(5), 753-754.
  • Farrell, K. A., Friesen, G. C., Hersch, P. (2008). How Does Director Compensation Change? Journal of Corporate Finance, 14(2), 153-162.
  • Farrell, K. A., Winters, D. (2008). An Analysis of Executive Compensation in Small Businesses. Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance and Business Ventures, 12(3), 1-21.
  • Blackwell, D., Dudney, D. M., Farrell, K. A. (2007). Changes in CEO Compensation Structure and the Impact on Firm Performance Following CEO Turnover. Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, 29(3), 315-338.
  • Brown, T., Farrell, K. A., Zorn, T. S. (2007). Performance Measurement & Matching: The Market for Football Coaches. Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics, 46(1), 21-35.
  • Farrell, K. A., Hersch, P. (2005). Additions to Corporate Boards: The Effect of Gender.Journal of Corporate Finance, 11(1-2), 85-106.
  • Farrell, K. A., Whidbee, D. A. (2003). The Impact of Firm Performance Expectations on the CEO Turnover and Replacement Decisions. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 36(165-196).
  • Allgood, S. A., Farrell, K. A., (2003). The Match Between a CEO and Firm.Journal of Business, 76(2), 317-342.
  • Farrell, K. A., Whidbee, D. A. (2002). Monitoring by the Financial Press and Forced CEO Turnover. Journal of Banking and Finance, 26(2249-2276).
  • Farrell, K. A., Whidbee, D. A. (2002). The Impact of Forced CEO Turnover on Committee Structure. Journal of Managerial Issues, 14(1), 49-67.
  • Farrell, K. A., Hersch, P., Netter, J. (2001). Executive Compensation and Executive Contributions to Corporate PACs. Advances in Financial Economics, 6, 39-56.
  • Farrell, K. A., Karels, G. V., McClatchey, C. A. (2000). Celebrity Performances and Endorsement Value: The Case of Tiger Woods. Managerial Finance, 26(7), 1-15.
  • Farrell, K. A., Whidbee, D. A. (2000). The Consequences of Forced CEO Succession on Directors. Journal of Business, 73(4), 597-627.
  • Allgood, S. A., Farrell, K. A. (2000). The Impact of CEO Tenure on the Relation Between Firm Performance and Turnover. Journal of Financial Research, 23(3), 373-390.
  • Farrell, K. A., Sen, S., Joyce, P., Toutant, J. (1997). Performance in Principles of Finance Courses by Students with Different Specializations. Financial Practice and Education, 7(2), 66-73.
  • Blackwell, D. W., Farrell, K. A., Wunsch, A. (1997). The Effect of Executive Compensation Policy on Long-Term Investment Expenditures of Large Corporations. Advances in Financial Economics, 3, 61-80.
  • Farrell, K. A., Frame, W. Scott (1997). The Value of Olympic Sponsorship: Who is Capturing the Gold?Journal of Market-Focused Management, 2(2), 171-182.
Undergraduate Courses

Advanced Corporate Finance (FINA 461)

Introduction to Finance Honors (FINA 361)

Bank Management (FINA 465)

Graduate Courses

Corporate Readings Ph.D. Seminar (FINA 969)

Managerial Finance, MBA (GRBA 811)

Teaching Interests
  • Corporate Finance

  • Banking


Significant External Service
  • Academic Program Review, University of Arizona, Department of Finance, 2020
Selected Institutional Service
  • Committee Co-Chair, UNL, RCM Steering Committee, 2019-2020
  • Committee Member, UNL, Deans Council, 2017-present
  • Committee Chair, UNL, Dean of Engineering Search Committee, 2018
  • Committee Member, CoB Executive Committee, 2010-present    
  • Committee Member, UNL, Achieving Distinction Task Force, 2016-2017
  • Committee Chair, Marketing Department Search Committee, Marketing Department Chair, 2016-17
  • Committee Member, UNL, Chancellor Search Committee, 2015-2016
  • Committee Chair, CBA, Common Area Building Committee, 2014-2016
  • Committee Chair, CBA Search Committee, Associate Dean, 2013-2014
  • Committee Chair, Management Department Faculty Search Committee, Clifton Chair in Management, 2013-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, Academic Scheduling and Policies Advisory Group, 2012-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, Activity Insight Steering Committee, 2012-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, ALP Planning Committee, 2012-2014
  • Committee Member, Marketing Department Faculty Search Committee, Sales Center Director, March 2013-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, Enrollment Management Committee, 2010-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, University Wide Assessment Committee, 2010-2014
  • Committee Member, CBA Assessment Committee, 2010-2014
  • Committee Member, CBA Committee on Scholarships, Honors & Awards, 2010-2014
  • Committee Member, CBA Undergraduate Committee, 2010-2014
  • Committee Member, UNL, Ad Hoc Committee for Summer Sessions, 2011-2012
  • Committee Chair, CBA, Undergraduate Strategic Planning Implementation Group, 2011-2012
  • Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Academic Leadership Program Fellow, 2011-2012
  • University Distinguished Teaching Award, 2001-2002
  • CBA Distinguished Teaching Award, 2001-2002 and 1995-1996
  • UNL Parents Association “Recognition Award for Contributions to Students”, 2007-2008, 2005-2006, 2002-2003, 2001-2002, 1998-1999, 1997-1998, 1994-1995