Nathan Steele

Nathan SteeleAnchor link to John Martin videoProfessor Steele

Meet Nathan Steele,
Associate Professor,



  • B.S., Fine Art, Printmaking, minor in Psychology, Murray State University
  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, minor in Theoretical Quantitative Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Post-doctorate in Organizational Behavior, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah


  • I live in Springfield with my wife, Allison Lacher—also a professor at UIS—and our dog, Bonnie.
  • I’m the youngest of two and have an older sister.
  • I’m originally from Louisville, Kentucky and most of my family still resides there.

Interesting Facts:

  • I was an intaglio printmaker as an undergraduate.
  • I am a classically trained pianist, dabble at guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica, and I very much enjoy listening to nearly all styles of music—especially bluegrass and classical.
  • I am passionate about movies and cinematography.

Learning philosophy:

  • I believe that students are inspired to learn by demonstrated passion for a topic in the person who teaches them. I also believe that students—as the educational literature will support—learn in multiple ways. Lastly, I believe students arise to challenges, but only if challenged. With all this in mind, I try to: 1) approach the topics of my teaching with passion and interest, and to convey that to students, 2) to utilize multiple modalities of delivery and assessment including lecture, experiential activity, and independent exploration, and 3) to maintain a high level of challenge and rigor with multiple paths to success such that the most capable student remains engaged and the least capable has opportunity to work up to the challenge and surmount it.

Research interests:

  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Small Group Dynamics
  • Justice and Equity
  • Negotiation
  • Game Theory
  • Ethics and Moral Reasoning


Major project underway:

  • I am currently investigating—along with colleagues in Accounting and Mathematics—the mitigating effects of information presentation format on hidden profile effects—the nondisclosure or discovery or information that isolates an optimal choice from a field of suboptimal alternatives in small group decision making. Specifically, how performance evaluation and goal setting tools like the Balanced Scorecard methodology of performance evaluation may enhance the accuracy of decision making—i.e., performance evaluation and reward—even under conditions that normally result in suboptimal decision making—e.g., partial information held by multiple group members.

Advice to prospective students:

  • Now is not the time to shoot for the middle. Your college years open and close doors for decades ahead of you. Hard work, perseverance, and investment of yourself in your pursuits will pay dividends for the rest of your lives. Never ask yourself, “What can I get away with?” Rather, ask yourself, “What is the best I could possibly do here?” Then, pursue it diligently.

Best thing about UIS:

  • The single best thing about UIS is the people. Our personnel, faculty, and students are what make UIS so special. We have an embarrassment of riches in this regard, especially for so small an institution.