For the first time, USF has added a new school to the Sarasota/Manatee campus. The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management will open in January, so students can begin courses for the program in the spring.
“This is the first time USF has made a home for a school not on the main campus,” said Ellen Wile, public affairs coordinator for the Sarasota/Manatee Campus.
Wile said Sarasota’s tourist industry is as important as Tampa’s, which is why the Sarasota /Manatee campus is a good place to base the program.
“The hospitality industry has asked the university off and on for the past 10 years to put in a hospitality management degree,” Wile said.
Originally, the plan was to add the degree as part of the School of Business. However, David Stamps, provost and vice president for academic affairs, decided to make it a separate field of study, said Peter French, associate vice president and dean of academic affairs of the Sarasota/Manatee Campus.
French said many people in the hospitality industry are supporting the new program, including the retired CEO of Holiday Inn and the president of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.
“The university really listened to the industry when developing the program,” French said.
Fifteen business classes will be required for students, including public speaking and professional writing.
“The industry says these things are essential,” French said.
The first degree offered in the new school will be a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. It requires 60 hours of junior and senior level course credit, so full-time students can earn their degrees in two years. Students will also have to complete 1,000 hours of work experience.
Because the Sarasota/Manatee campus is an upper-division regional campus, only upper-level classes can be taken at the campus. The 15 credit hours of business classes can be taken at any campus. Introduction to Hospitality Management will be the first degree program course offered, and students can take it beginning in May.
Jay Schrock will be the founding director for the new school.
“We wanted someone who is skilled at developing new programs,” French said.
Schrock developed the hospitality management program at Texas Tech University and at San Francisco University. He will be in town on Dec. 5 for a press conference. He will be in his position by the middle of January.
A $300,000 endowment has been set up for students interested in the program. Beginning in January, students can receive them in $500 increments.
The campus is not yet sure whether a new building will be constructed for the school. For administrative purposes, the school is tied to Robert Sullens, dean of undergraduate studies at the Tampa campus.