Former CEO to bring experience to buisness school

Jill Martin

Ethics are key when it comes to any aspect of society. For Jim Haines, former Westar Energy Inc. CEO and president, a strict code of ethics is what defined the turnaround of Westar.

Washburn now has the honor of having Haines on the School of Business teaching staff as a Ned Eldon Clark Distinguished Professor of Business.

Along with being the man accredited for the improvements at Westar, Haines taught at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2001 to 2004. In addition, he has lectured at several universities during the past years, including Washburn. After retiring in June, Haines knew a position as a teacher would fulfill one of his life goals.

“I have always wanted my professional career to end with me teaching,” said Haines. “That is a goal I have had for a long time, so I am excited to be reaching it here at Washburn.”

David Sollars, dean of the School of Business, said Washburn students should feel very fortunate to have Haines as a professor.

“Jim has a great reputation and a lot to offer the students here at Washburn,” said Sollars. “The most interesting aspect of his experience he is bringing to Washburn is his emphasis in business ethics. He has taken two unfavorable situations and completely turned them around for the better through strict business ethics.”

Haines delivered the Chandler Lecture at the University of Kansas School of Business in 2003 as well as the College of Business Administration’s Business Ethics Lecture at Kansas State University, sponsored by Cargill Inc., in 2004. He has also been inducted into the GAMCO Management Hall of Fame. Of all his achievements, Haines is most proud of his ability to re-establish confidence in companies.

“I am very proud to have been CEO for two different companies,” said Haines. “Both of them were in a considerable amount of trouble when I took over. It felt good to restore the confidence of the customers as well as the employees.”

Haines will take on his teaching role in January. He will instruct at the MBA level as well as the undergraduate level. For now he is continuing his guest lecturing. He will also start on several projects regarding the School of Business.

“I am very excited to start teaching again,” said Haines. “I am eager to begin teaching and getting to know the students.”