New leaders step into interim chair roles

The Haworth College of Business welcomes new leadership in the Department of Accountancy, Department of Management and Department of Marketing. Despite the uncertainty of our current moment, these leaders have a clear vision of where they will take their departments in the future.

Department of Accountancy

Jim Penner headshotDr. Jim Penner is interim chair and associate professor of accountancy. He joined the WMU faculty in 2011 and serves as the faculty advisor for the Accounting Club.

Penner is a CPA in the state of Michigan and was previously employed at the Detroit office of Ernst & Young.

His primary research focus has been on the capital markets effects of financial reporting as well as the role of private company accounting requirements. In addition, Penner creates case studies for use in the classroom. His research has appeared in numerous publications including:

  • Information Systems Research
  • The CPA Journal
  • The Journal of Contemporary Business Issues
  • Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance 

“I am most excited for the opportunity to continue advising and mentoring students as they transition to successful professionals,” says Penner. “I am also looking forward to networking with our amazing WMU accountancy alumni and working with them to provide our students the best opportunities available.” 

Department of Management

Tim Palmer headshotDr. Tim Palmer is interim chair and professor of management. Palmer also serves as director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. He joined the WMU faculty in 1999.

Palmer received a Michigan Campus Compact Faculty and Staff Community Service-Learning Award in 2009. In addition, he earned the 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, as well as WMU’s 2014 nomination for the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year Award.

Palmer’s research on student learning, organizational reputation, sustainability and strategic decision making has appeared in numerous publications including:

  • Academy of Management Learning and Education
  • Journal of Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
  • Organizational Research Methods

“I am excited to take on this role because I have always been a fierce advocate for our students,” says Palmer. “I look forward to working with them as they develop into the next generation of responsible business leaders. Similarly, I am excited to work even more closely with my colleagues. My doctoral degree was in strategy, and this is an ideal time to practice what I've been teaching alongside a fantastic team.”

Department of Marketing

Kelley O'Reilly headshotDr. Kelley O'Reilly is the interim chair and associate professor of marketing. She joined the WMU faculty in 2011. Her scholarly interests include sales, service and online decision making. 

O’Reilly was WMU’s 2020 nomination for Mid-American Conference Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success, and has been awarded Haworth College of Business awards for research (2013), teaching (2015), and service (2018). Prior to academia, O'Reilly spent more than 20 years in retail and service franchise businesses holding a variety of executive positions at Fortune 100 corporations. 

Her work has been published in numerous academic journals including:

  • Organizational Research Methods
  • Journal of Product & Brand Management
  • International Journal of Qualitative Market Research

“I’m excited to be in this role because our department has a passion for developing talent, and we work to do that by creating an environment in which students can flourish,” says O’Reilly. “Because the vast majority of marketing faculty have significant industry experience, we teach students how to perform in their careers in ways that will take them to the next level. That really sets us apart and explains the success of our nationally recognized programs.”