Themes of 2019 faculty retirements: motorcycles, scuba, and avoiding boring things

With 2019, Roger Graham, accounting; Jim McAlexander, marketing, and Kathy Mullet, design have retired from the College of Business, and moved on to plotting their next great adventures. We’re grateful for their commitment to the college.

Roger Graham Jr.

Accounting

Before Roger Graham, Jr., taught accounting classes, he ran a construction business in Montana. The economic crash of the early 1980s caused him to return to school to earn his MBA in accounting. But instead of becoming an accountant, he took a temporary position as an instructor at Northern Montana College.

Graham liked it so much that he decided to pursue a doctorate in accounting at the University of Oregon. He graduated amidst another recession, and consider it lucky to receive a job offer from Oregon State.

“I was close to 40 when I started,” Graham says. “I spent my career here.”

Graham’s path to the College of Business professor might have been non-traditional. But it didn’t deter him from an active career in both research and teaching. He regularly published articles and taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level classes. He championed the creation of a Ph.D. program in accounting. For a time, he led the Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Management. He also was engaged in policy work, setting industry standards as a member of Oregon’s Board of Accountancy.

Graham is looking forward to spending time with his horses, taking motorcycle trips and working on construction projects around home.

Jim McAlexander

Marketing

Jim McAlexander created quite a stir when he first announced that he would never do boring research.

“It’s a toss across to people who do empirical research,” McAlexander explains.

True to his words, his work has been anything but boring, like the consumer research he did for Harley Davidson riding motorcycles around the country.

As a member of the marketing faculty, McAlexander helped to create the Close to the Customer Project, or C2C.

“It was really exciting to bring together the academic and the practical,” he says. “It has been a real exchange between the business community and the academic community.”

C2C allows student to move forward by taking the knowledge they gain and applying it to solve real-life business problems. McAlexander feels honored to have worked with colleagues who share his value and understanding for the importance of providing practical experiences for students. He’s found it fulfilling to witness the “ah-ha” moments created through C2C, as well as through his brand community research on the shared experiences of marketers and consumers.

McAlexander plans to spend more time on two wheels — bicycles and motorcycles — and continue avoiding boring things.

Kathy Mullet

Design Programs

Kathy Mullet was born and raised on the East Coast. But people often told her she was a “closet Pacific Northwesterner.” So when she arrived at Oregon State in 2004, it was no surprise she fit right in, enjoying the bicycling opportunities, curb-side recycling and close ties to the athletic and outdoor clothing industry.

Already an accomplished design instructor, Mullet developed a PhD program and thesis-based master’s degree in apparel design in her role as coordinator of the apparel design program. Expanding opportunities for students is one of her proudest accomplishments, along with watching former students succeed.

An award-winning educator and scholar in functional apparel design and design theory, Mullet has been a featured speaker at international conferences, and her designs have been selected for more than 10 juried shows.

Mullet is on the editorial board for Clothing and Textile Research Journal and Fashion Practices. She authored the textbook, Concepts of Grading, and is completing the sixth edition of Business of Fashion textbook co-authored with Oregon State Emerita professor Leslie Burns.

Mullet will continue her involvement with industry groups. Meanwhile, she has set her sights on biking across the United States and scuba diving in the Galapagos.