May 20, 2016

New Hotel School Interim Dean Focuses on Business College Transition

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Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced Friday that Prof. Kate Walsh MPS ’70, management, has been appointed interim dean of the School of Hotel Administration.

Walsh will serve as interim dean for two years and begins her term July 1.

Kotlikoff said he believes Walsh’s experience with responding to the needs of the Hotel School’s constituencies will enable her to serve the program well as interim dean.

“The many contributions she has made as an advocate for students, faculty, alumni and staff alike also demonstrate her understanding of the Cornell community and will distinguish her successful leadership,” Kotlikoff said in his announcement.

Walsh stressed to Cornellians that she hopes to maintain the Hotel School’s status as a leader in hospitality education as it integrates into the College of Business, which will begin operations next semester.

“I’m very drawn to supporting what we do so well at SHA in ways that act as a bridge to what we can become,” Walsh said. “It’s not about protecting SHA; it’s about enhancing and strengthening it.”

Hotel School faculty had a “significant voice” in Walsh’s appointment to the position, according to Kotlikoff.

Walsh added that, as dean, she plans to support initiatives promoting SHA research on collaboration with College of Business faculty, increasing alumni engagement and improving undergraduate education.

“My vision for the school is to maintain our role as the world leader in hospitality education, rooted in our exceptional teaching, reflected in our meaningful research and continuously enhanced based on our deep understanding of this exciting and evolving industry,” Walsh said.

  • Reality Check

    This story needs some follow-up explanation of why an interim dean is being appointed. Will SHA no longer have a dean after Walsh’s interim term ends?

    • Follow all the news

      Dean Johnson accepted a position at another institution following the end of his term as dean. #letmegooglethatforyou

      • bigred93

        And the normal practice is to convene a search for a full five year term at that point. Since Johnson was already at the end of his scheduled term, there’s nothing about this that would have surprised anyone. Why, then, go a different route than normal practice and do a 2-year interim instead of a full search leading to a normal 5-year appointment?

  • dyson faculty member

    The Hotel School faculty asked to have an interim dean given the announcement of the creation of the CCB. There is no hidden agenda here; the need to have someone in place fairly quickly coupled with the fact that there were strong internal candidates made this a good decision for the Hotel School community. Now the School can proceed with a thoughtful search for a Dean with a “normal” appointment with a better understanding of the nuances added by the CCB.

    • Reality Check

      This comment leaves unaddressed the question of whether there will be a hotel school dean two years from now. If there’s a dean of CCB can there be a subordinate holding the dean title? In engineering, there’s a dean of the college and directors of the component schools. Will that be the pattern in the business college. Stay tuned.

      • dyson faculty member

        Johnson and Dyson are conducting “normal” dean searches now. So there is no “unaddressed” question.