Texas Tech University

Rawls Ph.D. Alumna Kay Palan Named Dean of Alabama's Culverhouse College of Commerce

Trevor Bell

March 25, 2016

The Rawls College would like to congratulate 1994 Ph.D. graduate Dr. Kay M. Palan, as she was recently announced as dean of the University of Alabama's Culverhouse College of Commerce.

This article was provided by Edith Parten of the University of Alabama.


Dr. Kay M. Palan, dean of Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, has been named dean of The University of Alabama's Culverhouse College of Commerce.

Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA interim provost, announced today the appointment, which is effective July 1.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Palan to our University of Alabama family," said Whitaker. "Her experience will prove invaluable for our business school as we move forward with the University's strategic plan and vision.

"We also wish to express our appreciation to Dr. Brian Gray for his leadership as interim dean during this transition period," Whitaker said.

Palan has been dean and professor of marketing at the Haworth College of Business since 2010 and brings more than 25 years of experience in academics, including a six-year stint as associate dean for undergraduate programs at Iowa State University.

Palan began her academic career as a teaching/research assistant at Texas Tech University, where she earned her doctorate in business in 1994. She served as an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State from 1994-2000 and as an associate professor from 2000-2010. She served as interim associate dean for undergraduate programs for two years there before her selection as associate dean in 2006.

"I am really delighted to have the opportunity to work with the faculty and staff in the Culverhouse College of Commerce to advance the mission and goals of the College," said Palan. "The College's positive trajectory, combined with its potential to be one of the very best business schools, makes this an exciting time to join the College and University."

Palan also has industry experience as executive director at Health Enterprises in Fargo, North Dakota, and director of Traill County Nursing Services in Hillsboro, North Dakota.

She is a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business' initial accreditation committee and serves on the editorial review board for Case Research Journal. A past chair of the AACSB affinity group Women Administrators in Management Education, Palan earned a Master of Business Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Winona State University.

Honored repeatedly for her teaching and leadership skills, Palan was selected from a pool of candidates following a six-month nationwide search.

A search committee of faculty and professionals, chaired by Dr. Rich Houston, professor and director of UA's Culverhouse School of Accountancy, led the search to replace Dr. Mike Hardin, who left to become provost at Samford University in Birmingham.