Dean's Message

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Dean Kay Palan

Each day I observe students tackling a topic that is both important and difficult—how to make effective decisions. I see students in classroom settings learning how to present data to decision makers to illustrate how a change in a supplier, an investment, a tactic or a process can benefit the bottom line. I see them grappling with how strategy drives decisions. I also see them learning how to achieve balance in their extracurricular lives as they embrace the roles of scholar, campus leader and friend. Understanding the core elements of good decision making, the multiple perspectives involved in any decision, and the impacts of those decisions is crucial for our students as they engage in one of the most pivotal decisions of their lives—choosing a career pathway.

Decisions and their implementation are the lifeblood of any business, so in many ways, teaching students the fundamentals of good decision making is one of the most vital things we do.

As you explore our college, you will notice that certain themes emerge—people, communication, research, data, leadership. All are essential components of effective decision making and central to everything we do in business and in the college itself.

Here are just some of the initiatives which help guide Haworth College of Business students and community members in becoming extremely capable decision makers.

  • The Greenleaf Trust Trading Room, offers a state-of-the-art learning environment for investment analysis.
  • A new major in entrepreneurship within the college and a University-wide entrepreneurship minor are educating future business owners in the fundamentals and nuances of the entrepreneurial enterprise.
  • The new supply chain management center is enhancing our ability to deliver leading-edge instruction and forge deeper connections with industry.
  • Starting Gate, a mentor-based student business accelerator, allows students from across WMU to access valuable resources in developing their startup companies.
  • Faculty-student consultancies in supply chain and marketing provide students with critical experience and companies with professional-level services.
  • Many students participate in case competitions, learning the many factors in the business environment that affect decision making, while developing relationships with their teammates, peers and industry professionals.
  • Experiential learning continues to be the cornerstone of our curriculum. Students participate in an array of experiential learning opportunities from feasibility studies to simulations to internships.
  • The college offers executive education and workforce development programs, designed to provide companies with the tailored support they need in a variety of areas.
  • The college embeds social entrepreneurship and meaningful service learning initiatives into the curriculum.

This is an exciting time at the Haworth College of Business! As we make decisions on the content of the curriculum and new opportunities for the college, we often turn to our alumni and industry partners for input on their needs. I appreciate your perspective and expertise and invite you to contact my office at any time to discuss how we can innovate and improve our delivery of business education so that a Haworth College of Business degree grows in value every day.

Just Business logo

Palan shares her perspective on business topics of the day on her blog, Just Business


Kay M. Palan, Ph.D.
Dean, Haworth College of Business
(269) 387-5050