University of Wisconsin-Stout

July 12, 2010

The University of Wisconsin-Stout has established a new School of Hospitality Leadership that will bring together three existing undergraduate majors and other programs under one director.

“UW-Stout has been one of the premier hospitality schools in the Midwest and the nation,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “This is a major step in positioning the school for even greater achievements.”

The new school will be part of the College of Management and will include three undergraduate majors, all with hospitality-related functions: hotel, restaurant and tourism management; golf enterprise management; and property management. Also under the school’s supervision will be the gaming entertainment minor; lodging management minor; property management minor; tourism minor; golf enterprise management specialization; and the gaming management professional development certificate.

“It made a lot of sense from an academic perspective to bring these majors and minors together into one school,” said Provost Julie Furst-Bowe. “This new school will bring a lot more attention to our hospitality majors and will be a real benefit for our students.”

“The hospitality industry needs this type of effort from an educational institution that will keep students engaged and assist them in enhancing their leadership tendencies,” said Susan M. Roman, director of human resources and an owner of The Signature Room at the 95th, an exclusive restaurant in the John Hancock Center in Chicago. Susan and her husband, Rick Roman, co-owner and president of The Signature Room, are UW-Stout hospitality graduates.

“Obtaining our degrees from UW-Stout prepared us well for the real world experiences we would have in the field of hospitality,” Susan Roman said. “We received a well-rounded education and our continued relationship with UW-Stout has been both rewarding and enlightening as to current events and trends in the industry.”

The School of Hospitality Leadership, she said, will ensure that UW-Stout is “a frontrunner in the education of our future leaders for the number one employer in our country.”

The new school took effect July 1. It was the product of a long review by campus officials, faculty and staff. No approval by the UW System Board of Regents was necessary, however.

All of the faculty and staff who worked for the department of hospitality and tourism transitioned into the new school without additional positions or more funding.

The undergraduate degree programs incorporated into the new school had a combined enrollment of 771 in fall 2009. The total enrollment of UW-Stout was slightly over 9,000.

The UW-Stout hotel, tourism and restaurant management program is one of the largest in the country with 534 students. It repeatedly has a job placement rate of 95 percent or more for its graduates.

The golf enterprise management program is five years old and already has nearly 200 students. The property management program is one of the university’s newest majors, in its first year.

“The School of Hospitality Leadership is poised to fulfill the needs of the industry and the state by providing a highly educated workforce,” said Randall Upchurch, director of the new school.

“In this era of national and global expansion, there is a heightened need for preparing graduates for professional careers that blend theory with practice. This produces innovative solutions to real world problems, benefits students and grows our economy,” Upchurch added.