Faculty Spotlight: Greg McKee

Greg McKee
What is your position at the University of Nebraska?
I am a full professor and an extension specialist working with cooperative businesses. These are businesses owned by a key stakeholder, such as the supplier, customer or employees. I also teach about and study these businesses – a three way split in my appointment.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska?
I did similar work (teach/study about cooperatives) for the past 11 years in North Dakota. The competitive environment for agricultural cooperatives in Nebraska is more complex than in North Dakota. Also, there is a close relationship between the agricultural cooperatives, the Nebraska Cooperative Council and UNL. This relationship, the access this would give me for relevant teaching and research questions, and the complexity of the cooperatives here appealed to me at this stage of my career. I now have the opportunity to regularly interact with directors and managers in meaningful ways. I get professional satisfaction from knowing that my research, teaching and outreach contribute to solving problems that affect the bottom line of businesses and communities.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
Cooperatives are the business world’s answer to the question, “How can I participate democratically in the marketplace?” Cooperatives can befound in the medical, utility, finance, agricultural and many other industries. These are controlled democratically by the people who use these business’s services. When students realize they can have such a direct voice on the operations of a business in an industry they care about it’s truly enjoyable to observe the level of interest the students take in how this might affect their career development or the contributions they can make to their communities once they graduate.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have four children at home. Working with my wife to raise them and get them interested in making a contribution to their world is the most important thing in my life.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I once smuggled five gallons of ice cream into a movie theatre. I don’t remember what the show was, but I sure enjoyed the ice cream!

What is your life like outside of work?
Besides reading to my kids, teaching them to cook, and otherwise raising them, I also volunteer in my church. I enjoy biking to the office; Lincoln has a wonderful bike trail system and I take advantage of a nice ride whenever I can.