Dean's Welcome

Mark W. Nelson, PhD

Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean
Professor of Accounting

Dean Mark Nelson

Welcome to the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

I am honored to serve as the 12th dean of one of the world’s most prestigious business schools. For 70 years, Johnson has prided itself on its first-class faculty and staff. We offer excellent MBA programing that enables our students to realize their passions and accelerate their careers. Our research informs our teaching and pushes forward the frontiers of business practice. Our intense, diverse, collaborative community supports our mission and creates a network that sustains us all.

I’ve had the privilege of serving Johnson for 26 years, as a professor, associate dean, and now dean. I’m exceptionally proud of what Johnson has accomplished. We have re-engineered the definition of an MBA with our performance learning approach. We are collaborating with Tsinghua University in China, Queen’s University in Canada, and Cornell Tech in New York City to offer ever more innovative MBA programs that complement and strengthen our residential MBA programs. The recent launch of the Cornell College of Business is enabling closer ties with the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and School of Hotel Administration and is providing new opportunities for our students and faculty that fully harness the breadth and depth of Cornell. All of this activity solidifies our position as a world-class center of business teaching and research.

We will identify new opportunities to serve our students, to enhance our scholarship, and to support the Johnson community, while preserving what makes us special. I look forward to continuing our commitment to excellence and embracing our future together.

Mark Nelson Biography

Mark W. Nelson is the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean and Professor of Accounting at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. He received his BBA degree from Iowa State University and his MA and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University.

Nelson’s teaching focuses on corporate financial reporting and intermediate financial accounting at the MBA and undergraduate levels. He has received ten teaching awards, including Cornell’s Apple Award for Teaching Excellence, the Russell Distinguished Teaching Award, and the inaugural Cook Prize for Graduate Teaching presented by the American Accounting Association. He is a coauthor (with Spiceland, Sepe, and Thomas) of a leading textbook, Intermediate Accounting.

Nelson’s research examines psychological and economic factors that influence how people make decisions, interpret and apply accounting, auditing, and tax regulations, and trade in financial markets. His research has been published in scholarly journals in accounting and psychology, including the Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting Research, Accounting Organizations and Society, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. His research has been honored with the AAA’s Notable Contribution to Accounting Literature Award, the Deloitte Wildman Medal for research that is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of public accountancy, AJPT’s inaugural Best Paper Award for research that makes an outstanding contribution to auditing research, and the Johnson's Faculty Research Award.

Nelson served for four years on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). He also served three terms as an area editor of The Accounting Review and as a member of the editorial boards of many accounting journals. He was Johnson's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2007–2010, overseeing the tenure-track faculty and research functions of the school. 

June 7, 2016

Accounting scholar Mark Nelson named dean of Johnson

Mark Nelson, Cornell professor of accounting, has been named the 12th dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.


Johnson Accounting Professor Wins National Teaching Award

Mark Nelson, “personal trainer” of accounting, stood out in national pool for excellence in teaching graduate business students


Accounting Professor Wins Research Prize

Mark Nelson’s sole-authored paper on professional skepticism in auditing named “best paper” by top auditing journal


Johnson's Mark Nelson speaks to Reuters on changes to FASB standards & rules

The notion of investors as willing and educated adopters of changes to FASB reporting standards is discussed in article

Student Awards 
2016 Commencement Weekend: Students receive awards at the Johnson (JGSM) Dean's MBA Awards Brunch.

Professor Mark Nelson 
Professor Mark Nelson speaks at a 2015 Recognition Celebration