Dr. Tim Burkink
College of Business and Technology dean, 308.865.1547

Dr. Kyle Luthans has been awarded the John Becker Endowed Professorship for the University of Nebraska at Kearney College of Business and Technology.

The award was announced by Dr. Tim Burkink, dean of the UNK College of Business and Technology. In announcing the award, Dr. Burkink said: “Dr. Luthans was selected from among many deserving candidates based on his record of high quality teaching and impactful scholarship. Feedback from students and peers indicate he is a dedicated teacher who is knowledgeable and current in his discipline, fair yet rigorous, and focuses on engaging students in the learning process.”

Dr. Luthans, who teaches courses in administrative strategy and policy, human resource management, labor relations and management, is also a leading researcher whose work focuses on high performance work practices and organizational leadership. He was among a group of featured faculty in the 2010-2011 issue of the UNK research magazine “New Frontiers.”

Dr. Luthans is one of a small group of leaders in a new global movement that is changing the way businesses measure and develop a critical asset–their employees. Traditionally, employees have been valued for what they know, termed “human capital” and/or who they know, described as “social capital.” While those two human resource qualities are still key in the workplace, Dr. Luthans is among a group looking beyond the “what” and the “who” to a third dimension–“who you are and what you can become”–which they have termed “psychological capital,” or PsyCap.

“We do feel that these (PsyCap resources) have universal applicability,” he said. “We’ve done research across cultures and across different organizations–profit and nonprofit, retail and service industries. Research has shown that managers or leaders with high levels of PsyCap not only have the ability to bounce back after difficult times themselves, but they also can create a contagion effect that can spread positivity throughout an organization.” In addition to publishing his work in top journals, he has presented his work at major national and international academic conferences.

The John Becker Endowed Professorship, established in 1997, recognizes a distinguished UNK business professor who has a sustained and distinguished record of teaching a research. The term is for three years. Becker was an Omaha accountant and businessman.