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Palan to take reins of Haworth College of Business

May 20, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A business educator with an extensive background in marketing, the health care industry and managing collegiate entrepreneurial programs has been named dean of Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business.

Following a successful national search, Dr. Kay M. Palan, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Iowa State University's College of Business, has been named to the leadership position in the college, effective July 1. Her appointment was made pending approval by the WMU Board of Trustees and includes an appointment as a tenured professor of marketing.

"Dr. Palan's academic and professional background, her engaging manner and her clearly communicated shared values and commitment resonated with members of this campus community when she visited campus last month," said Dr. Timothy Greene, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, of the new dean. "There's a genuine sense of excitement about the direction the college will go under her strong leadership."

Palan, an associate professor of marketing at ISU, has been associate business dean there since 2006, and she began serving in that role on an interim basis in 2004. A faculty member at ISU since 1994, she came to that university from Texas Tech University, where she completed her doctoral degree. Palan also has an extensive consulting background with a variety of business firms and other organizations, including many in the health care industry.

"I'm really very excited about leading the Haworth College of Business," Palan says. "The faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders all impressed me with their passion for the college and their desire to move forward. My experience and background are a good match with the college's and University's mission and direction."

During her tenure at ISU, Palan managed and coordinated both an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurial studies and a graduate certificate program in the same field. She also undertook a number of marketing-related consulting projects with civic, nonprofit and corporate entities throughout the state. Those projects dealt with marketing strategy, market opportunity analysis, feasibility studies, communication branding strategies, marketing plan development and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Her professional writing and presentations reflect many of those same topics as well as her expertise in the areas of gender and youth-based marketing issues. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board for Case Research Journal and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for a number of additional journals, including the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Economic Psychology and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

Palan's most recent research focuses on examining teenage girls' autonomy and competence as shoppers. A related focus area is consumer socialization--how children learn to be consumers and make consumption decisions. Her doctoral research, which guides much of her work, was on decision-making in families, especially on the types of influence strategies children and parents use when making decisions together.

She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing at Winona State University in 1976, a Master of Business Administration degree from Moorhead State University in 1990 and a doctoral degree in business from Texas Tech in 1994.

Palan will lead the Haworth College of Business, which is WMU's second largest college and the academic home to nearly 5,000 students studying in six departments. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is among just 25 percent of U.S. business schools that are accredited at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It also is among a select 10 percent of U.S. business schools that have additional specialized accreditation in accounting.

Palan will succeed Dr. David Shields, who accepted a new deanship at Mercer University in Atlanta last summer.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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Western Michigan University
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