Hotel Restaurant Management (program) gets a name makeover
PRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (Feb. 14, 2014) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s popular undergraduate major – Hotel and Restaurant Management – has a new name.
Department chairman Dr. Ernest Boger announced to students in early February that the program will now be known as Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“The change reflects what we actually do, what we program students for,” Boger said.
The new name brings UMES in line with its peers, Boger noted, and addresses a long-standing observation by the Accreditation Commission on Programs in Hospitality Administration.
When UMES’ program received the commission’s formal endorsement in 2008, the organization noted its name suggested a far more limited career scope than the existing curriculum projected. Accordingly, the faculty proceeded to lay the groundwork for a name change. However, a previous administration had other priorities, Boger said. So the program stuck with nomenclature that the chairman said was applicable a half-century ago, but is viewed today by educators and professionals in the field as outdated.
“The great majority of our courses … apply to the broader industry and careers areas of hospitality and tourism,” Boger said.
Indeed, recent UMES graduates in hotel restaurant management have found careers with industry stalwarts Sodexo, Aramark and Enterprise as well as the National Park Service, airlines and convention and visitors’ bureaus. UMES’ professional golf management degree combines an ability to play and teach competitive golf at a high level with training to manage the business aspects of a $60 billion industry, including PGA certified golf courses and their affiliated resorts.
“It’s our way of embracing the entire hospitality and tourism industry,” Boger said, “and recognizing the broad spectrum of opportunities for students who complete their degrees here.”
UMES is Maryland’s lone public college that offers a hospitality / tourism management degree. Boger believes the name change will enhance the program’s reputation as “the state’s academic and intellectual specialist in the field.”
With state-sanctioned gaming starting to blossom across Maryland, Boger said casino operators are looking for specially trained employees and want to hire home-grown professionals. “We feel that’s a niche we ready -- and prepared -- to fill,” he said.
“Hotels and restaurants are what we like to call the ‘physical plant’ of tourism. There’s so much more to the profession than bricks and mortar,” Boger said.
The chairman said he’s heartened by support from his dean, Dr. Ayodele Alade, Provost Ronald Nykiel and President Juliette B. Bell.
With the new name in place, Boger said the UMES faculty is exploring ways to broaden the hospitality-tourism curriculum, including development of a master’s degree.
This past fall, Dr. Karl Binns Sr. oversaw a senior-year capstone project in which three teams of students collaborated on presentations aimed at analyzing and developing a prospective tourism expansion strategy for the Town of Princess Anne. Binns and Boger say that idea is just scratching the surface of hands-on instruction the department is looking to utilize beyond that of the traditional hotel and restaurant sector.
“When I first heard about the name change I was uneasy,” senior Samantha J. Lord said. “I didn't know what changes this would bring to our department, or how it would affect our students.”
“I’m now excited, however, to see what new changes our Hospitality & Tourism Management title will bring,” she said. “As it broadens what we really do. I'm hoping to see an increase in tourism classes and I can't wait to see how this will bring our department to another level.”
Bill Robinson, director, public relations, (410) 621-2355