DePaul University Opens School For Hospitality Leadership
The hospitality industry is one of a handful of fields showing strong job growth in the current stagnant economy, according to a recent Labor Department report. From May to June alone, hospitality sector job openings jumped 13 percent nationally to 304,000.
“We foresee strong demand for graduates from DePaul’s hospitality school for three reasons,” Roberts said. “The industry is showing signs of a rebound and we anticipate a bright job market when our first graduates emerge. We’re located in Chicago, one of the most vibrant hospitality markets in the country, which may become even more robust if the city is chosen to host the 2016 Olympics. And our program applies the resources of a highly ranked business school to the education of hospitality managers—an approach that greatly appeals to Chicago industry leaders, who tell us they have been seeking a high-quality, local business school for recruiting strategic-minded hospitality managers.”
The industry’s keen interest in the school is evident, he noted, in the 800 e-mails the college has received from industry representatives and others eager to arrange internship and recruiting programs as well as teach or guest-lecture at the new school.
With all these factors supporting the school’s success, Roberts believes enrollment could grow to 400 within five years and 800 to 1,000 students in eight to 10 years.
From within and outside the university, the new school has attracted a stellar faculty that blends academic and professional accomplishments in the hospitality field.
New faculty members include Misty Johanson, who moved to DePaul this summer from the School of Hospitality at Georgia State University to teach the program’s overview course, Perspectives in Hospitality Management. The dynamic course will blend cutting-edge research with real-life lessons gleaned from Chicago’s metropolitan hospitality community and its international presence, Johanson said.
“Students will gain an understanding of the importance of managing and leading those who are responsible for service excellence within each segment of the industry.”
Johanson, who earned her doctoral degree in hospitality from Michigan State University, brings experience in restaurant and resort management, training and consulting into the classroom.
She also was recently appointed executive editor of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education’s top peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. The international journal now will be housed at DePaul, enhancing global awareness of its hospitality school.
Michael Lynch, director of Loyalty Marketing and Market Research for Lettuce Entertain You’s 65 restaurants, will teach an evening section of Perspectives in Hospitality Management as well as the course Wine Education and Management. The latter course will cover the business aspects of the wine and beverage industries while giving students a practical knowledge of wine.
The field offers a lot of career potential for business school students, Lynch said. “Despite the sluggish economy, wine sales in the United States continue to grow. In fact, the United States recently surpassed Italy to become the second largest wine-consuming nation in the world, behind France. Besides wine selection, beverage service, such as a well-made margarita at an excellent Mexican restaurant, can enhance the character of an establishment. Beverage service also plays an integral part in an establishment’s profitability. With these trends come more management opportunities.”
The school’s course in Hospitality Real Estate will be taught by Barry A.N. Bloom, principal of Abacus Lodging Investors LLC, a private equity firm focused on hospitality industry investments. Bloom most recently was executive vice president of portfolio management and administration for CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc., where he was responsible for oversight of the company’s $6.6 billion in assets. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the lodging sector to DePaul, having held senior roles at Hyatt Development Corp., Tishman Hotel & Realty, VMS Realty Partners and Pannell Kerr Forster.
Bloom graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, with distinction, and holds an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Hospitality Education at Iowa State University.
Mary Beth Leone joins as an adjunct faculty member and will teach Managing Hotel Systems. The course will introduce students to hotel operations, including service orientation, demand forecasting, capacity management, room pricing strategies and reservations control, as well as front office accounting, staffing and quality management. Prior to entering academia, she worked for 18 years in hotel and tourism management, specializing in rooms, revenue, sales and marketing. Leone has a hospitality and tourism management master’s degree from Roosevelt University and a restaurant, hotel, and institutional management bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.
School director Roberts, who recently authored a book on casino management, will teach a course on this subject in the spring. The lively class will provide an overview of managing casino operations and include a session where Roberts will teach students the fundamentals of blackjack and other casino games.
“It will be unusual to see blackjack played in a business school classroom, but you have to fully understand the games in order to manage the staff that runs them,” Roberts observed.
For information about enrolling in the School for Hospitality Leadership at DePaul, call ( 312 ) 362-6777, e-mail SHL@depaul.edu or visit http://hospitality.depaul.edu.
Phone: ( 312 ) 362-8592