Published: May 18, 2020

Faculty research plays a critical role in building a top business school. When a journal article is very successful, it influences how academics think about a topic and changes how people in industry and government think, too. But the impact does not stop there; this work inspires curriculum and, more broadly, schools’ rankings among other research-producing institutions. 

Leeds faculty and PhD student research are published in an elite set of journals, meaning their thought leadership is among the best of the best. However, the school’s community, especially employer partners and donors, have not always been aware of the importance of this research for the Leeds School and for society at large. 

In 2017, that all changed. 

Former Advisory Board Chair (now emeritus) Gordon Trafton, current Board Chair Ellen Balaguer and board member emerita Kathryn Marshall brought their ideas to Dean Sharon Matusik and John Lynch, senior associate dean for faculty and research, for how the school could amplify the faculty research for Leeds’ stakeholders and better celebrate the achievements of faculty. 

Longtime supporters of Leeds, alumnus Dolf Kahle (InBus'88) and his wife Susan Kahle (Comm'87), also a CU Boulder alumna, were excited to support these efforts. They agreed to help formally establish the Kahle Family Research Award in order to highlight excellence in research by Leeds faculty, and share the faculty’s thought leadership with the school’s community.

Since then, Leeds has presented the Kahle Family Research Award to one exceptional faculty research paper published in an elite journal in the previous calendar year. Each division will nominate the outstanding paper produced within that division, and a faculty committee then determines the award-winning work. 

As John Lynch describes, “This faculty research award lifts up the research excellence of our faculty and raises the understanding of why that research is crucial for a top business school.”

Asaf BernsteinRyan C. LewisThis year’s award was recently presented to Assistant Professors Asaf Bernstein and Ryan Lewis from the Finance Division for their paper titled “Disaster on the horizon: The price effect of sea level rise.”

The article appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics and focused on impact rising sea levels will have on coastal real estate markets. They found that homes vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise (SLR) sold for 6.6% less than unexposed homes, and the most vulnerable properties — those that stand to be flooded after one foot of SLR — are selling at a 14.7% discount. Their work underscores the distinct relationship between financial markets and effects of climate change on coastal real estate prices and suggests there are benefits to establishing policies now, such as requiring increased transparency in coastal real estate transactions, which may help mitigate future costs of climate change. 

The following papers are the rest of this year’s nominees by division:


“A Growing Disparity in Earnings Disclosure Mechanisms: The Rise of Concurrently Released Earnings Announcements and 10-Ks”
Published in the Journal of Accounting & Economics

Nathan MarshallAssistant Professor Nathan Marshall’s work on earnings disparities shows that more companies disclose earnings announcements concurrently with their 10-K reports instead of on their own. Marshall found that this growing phenomenon has led to lower investor sophistication and more obstacles in the way of reliable earnings information. 


“Extreme Opponents of Genetically Modified Foods Know the Least But Think They Know the Most”
Published in Nature Human Behaviour

Phil FernbachNick LightPhilip Fernbach, associate professor and co-director of the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making, and PhD candidate Nick Light coauthored a paper on how those who are most opposed to genetically modified foods often  think they know about genetically modified foods than they actually do.

Organizational Leadership and Information Analytics

“The Role of Race is Salary Negotiations”
Published in the Journal of Applied Psychology

Sabrina VolponeSabrina Volpone, assistant professor and PhD program director, co-authored this paper exposing how Black job-seekers receive unfavorable outcomes in salary negotiations, due to expectations that they will ask for less than White counterparts.

Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Operations

“Operational Transparency on Crowdfunding Platforms: Effect on Donations for Emergency Response.”
Published in Production and Operations Management

Gloria UrreaAssistant Professor Gloria Urrea, co-authored this research focused on finding ways to increase yield for disaster-relief crowdfunding efforts and showed that organizers’ updates to the campaigns and the certification that the campaign benefits a charitable purpose both increase donations to the cause.


Congratulations to all of this year’s outstanding top nominees. We’re incredibly proud of the work and contributions you make in your respective fields.