11/8/2004

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Contact: Toni Dixon, School of Business, (785) 864-4449

Westar Energy CEO Jim Haines will discuss ethics at Business School lecture

LAWRENCE -- Jim Haines, who took over as CEO and president of a troubled Westar Energy Inc. in December 2002, will present the KU School of Business Anderson Chandler Lecture Monday, Nov. 8.

Haines, who holds a law degree and has been a professor of business ethics, will present “Corporate Governance, Business Ethics and Individual Responsibility” at 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center on the Lawrence campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Returning to Westar, where he had been chief operating officer until 1996, Haines took over a very different company than the one he left. In 2002, Westar was a company with problems, most notably a $3.6 billion debt, falling stocks and the loss of trust from regulators, stockholders and the public.

Since Haines became president, CEO and a member of the board of directors, Westar has improved relationships with employees, shareholders, regulators and lawmakers. It has simplified its business structure and reduced debt by more than $1.8 billion.

Haines is the eighth presenter in the Chandler series, which began in 1997 as a gift from Anderson Chandler. Chandler is CEO, president and director of Fidelity State Bank and Trust Co. of Topeka and vice president and director of First Bank of Newton. He is a member of the School of Business Dean's Club and of its board of advisers.

Chandler, a School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, recently established the Anderson W. Chandler Teaching Professorship in Business. In 1997, Chandler received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, the highest award for service to KU given to an alumnus by the Kansas Alumni Association.

In 1996, Haines left Westar Energy to become president and CEO of El Paso Electric Co. in El Paso, Texas. After his retirement in November 2001, Haines was named adjunct professor and Skov Professor of Business Ethics in the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas-El Paso, an appointment that he continues to hold.

Haines, a 1975 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School, began his career as an assistant attorney general for Missouri.

Through the Chandler Lecture Series, the Business School has presented speakers such as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Broder; political commentator Robert Novak; and Earl G. Graves, CEO of the parent company of Black Entrepreneur Magazine.

For more information about the lecture or the KU School of Business, visit http://www.business.ku.edu or call (785) 864-7500.

 

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