Mark W. Nelson (on leave)

Mark W. Nelson (on leave)

  • Professor of Accounting
  • S.C. Johnson Family Professor of Management

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Faculty Area

Interdisciplinary Theme

  • Behavioral Economics and Decision Research

Faculty Expertise

  • Accounting
  • Behavioral Research
  • Decision Making
  • Auditing


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Mark W. Nelson is the SC Johnson Family Professor of Management and professor of accounting at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. 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 intermediate financial accounting and financial reporting, as well as judgment and decision-making in accounting. He has received 12 teaching awards at Cornell and Ohio State, including the American Accounting Association's inaugural Cook Prize for graduate teaching excellence. He is a coauthor (with Spiceland, Thomas and Winchel) of Intermediate Accounting.

His research examines psychological and economic factors that influence how people make decisions with financial information; interpret and apply accounting, auditing, and tax regulations; and trade in financial markets. It has been published widely in accounting and psychology journals, and acknowledged with the AAA's Notable Contribution to Accounting Literature Award, the AAA's Wildman Medal, AJPT's inaugural Best Paper Award, and the Johnson School's Faculty Research Award.

Nelson's service to Cornell has been extensive. From 2016 to 2023 he served as the Johnson School's Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, and was responsible for the school's three residential MBA programs, four Executive MBA programs, and three MPS programs, and strategic partnerships with Queens University, Tsinghua University, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Cornell Tech. He also served on the leadership team of the SC Johnson College and had responsibilities relevant to the overall activities of the college as well as to various research centers and institutes. From 2007-2010 Nelson served as the Johnson School's associate dean for academic affairs, overseeing the faculty and research activities.

Nelson's external service includes three terms as an editor of the Accounting Review and four years on the FASB's Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Recent Courses

  • NBAT 6050 - Advanced Topics in Accounting

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Ohio State University, 1990
  • MA Ohio State University, 1989
  • CPA Iowa State University, 1985
  • BBA Iowa State University, 1985