Dr. LaCost retires after 30 years

Dr. LaCost retires after 30 years

13 Aug 2020    

Dr. Barbara LaCost has a long and vibrant history in the education field. After serving 30 years with the Department of Educational Administration at UNL she is retiring. 

At UNL, she was an assistant professor for six years before transitioning to an associate professor and was a dissertation advisor to many doctoral students in the department.

“Students working with Dr. LaCost knew they were receiving steady, caring guidance from a professor and mentor who saw them first as people and then as students,” said Dr. Nick Pace, chair of the department. “Her caring, whole student approach has had a lasting impact on students, faculty colleagues, and our department.” 

Dr. LaCost served as EDAD’s Senate representative for many years and in 2011 she was elected the president of the Senate. She was also one of the co-chairs of UNL’s Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women in which she did her part to help to enhance the status of all women at UNL. 

But, of all the work she has done and the roles she has served here at UNL, she is most proud to have been an advisor and guide to her students. 

“It’s great to see the success of my students that go on to take strong leadership roles in life,” Dr. LaCost said. “I’m always excited to hear from my students about how proud they are of their work, involvement, and leadership. Seeing them go from being a student to a teacher to a successful leadership role like a dean of a school, I feel proud to be a part of that process.

Dr. LaCost also enjoyed working with students in the classroom. She taught courses in education finance, postsecondary finance, business management of schools, and research and statistics and much more. 

And her own research focused on the funding of P-12 and higher education.

Before coming to UNL, she was the Education Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Education, a Special Education Instructor, Title VII Coordinator and Home-School Coordinator for Project CHILD for the Kankakee School District in Illinois. 

She has enjoyed every step in her educational journey and while she is sad to see it come to an end, she is ready to take the next step in life. 

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ll miss the camaraderie that I’ve built with several people here over time.”

Dr. LaCost said that she and her husband have plans to eventually travel one day and have the freedom to see her children more. 

“Everyone is capable of more than they think. Set yourself some high expectations and meet those expectations. Every day stick to your plan and let people know you can do this.”


Educational Administration
College of Education and Human Sciences