West Virginia University’s Board of Governors on Friday (Dec. 20) approved a new degree program in hospitality and tourism management in the College of Business and Economics that will serve one of the state’s largest industries.
The Board also approved Ph.D. programs in kinesiology and public health.
WVU’s new degree program in hospitality and tourism management responds to state tourism officials’ request for trained professionals and leaders in this burgeoning job market, and complements current majors in the College, including accounting, marketing, economics, management and finance. Previously, WVU offered an area of emphasis in hospitality and tourism under the management major.
“The College of Business and Economics has built this program from the ground up,” said Jose (Zito) Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, following the meeting. “The driving force in building the hospitality and tourism management curriculum has been its importance in West Virginia and to the West Virginia economy.”
WVU already has a living laboratory as part of its academic offerings, he noted. Taziki’s Mediterranean Café in the WVU Mountainlair is largely run by restaurant management students and employs student workers, allowing students to develop unique skills and a strong foundation in the hospitality industry. WVU’s hospitality program also partners with Morgantown’s Waterfront Place Hotel to give students access to both front-door and back-of-the-house operations.
“We want to be one of the premier hospitality programs in the country,” Sartarelli said. “We want to be able to supply our state and region with experienced, trained personnel. This new WVU degree program responds to that vision.”
Only about 40 of the nearly 600 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited schools in the U.S.have hospitality degree programs, none in West Virginia.
The new Ph.D. in biostatistics in the School of Public Health will provide students with training and practical experience in advanced and modern quantitative methods to fill careers in research or teaching in academic, government and industry settings.
The move to convert the Ph.D. in kinesiology (in sport and exercise psychology and coaching and teaching studies) in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences to majors, rather than areas of emphasis, better describes the curriculum, according to officials. Similarly, in the School of Public Health, converting former areas of emphasis in epidemiology, occupational and environmental health sciences, and social and behavioral science to majors better suits those curriculums.
The Board also adopted guidelines outlining the qualities and characteristics the search committee will be looking for in a permanent president focused around integrity, leadership, experience, scholarship and vision.
Among the characteristics the Board will submit to the Higher Education Policy Commission are: high ethical standards and character; leadership and experience managing a complex research university with a comprehensive academic medical center; promoting a culture that embraces diversity; experience in state and national settings; an understanding of the land-grant mission; demonstrated fund-raising abilities; a record of scholarship and service; and a vision for the future, among other qualities.
In other presidential search action, faculty, student, staff, alumni, WVU Foundation and administrative groups were reminded that they have until Jan. 2 to submit names of individuals to serve on the search committee. That panel will be appointed by Jan. 6, with on-campus interviews expected by April 26. The BOG plans to select the next president, with approval from the Higher Education Policy Commission, on or before June 5, in order to have a new leader in place by fall.
Under the consent agenda, the Board approved:
- Honorary degree recipients, to be announced at a later time.
- A proposed change to Policy 49 regarding the employment of minors to include language that addresses issues related to children on campus; the revision will be posted for public comment.
- Targets and metrics for 2018 Institutional Compacts as required by the Higher Education Policy Commission.
- William D. Wilmoth as new chair of Accreditation and Academic Affairs Committee and Ryan Campione as a new member of that group.
The next regular meeting of the Board is set for Feb. 20-21 in Morgantown; a special meeting is planned Jan. 6 to approve presidential search committee members.
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