May 4, 2005

Johnson to Become Hotel School Dean

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President Jeffrey S. Lehman ’77 announced yesterday that Prof. Michael Johnson, D. Maynard Phelps Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, has been named the new dean of the School of Hotel Administration.

Johnson’s term will begin on July 1, 2006. Prof. Sheryl Kimes, hotel administration, the Richard and Monene P. Bradley Director for Graduate Studies and a member of the dean search committee, will serve as the interim dean for the 2005-06 school year.

“The Hotel School has been the number one hospitality school in the nation, and the most important thing is that it continues to improve,” said Johnson in an interview with The Sun yesterday.

“President Lehman and I are delighted that Michael Johnson has agreed to lead the School of Hotel Administration. Michael brings to the position considerable experience, foresight and keen intellect, and an impressive ability to communicate his vision for the future,” said Provost Biddy Martin in a press release.

Johnson was in Ithaca today and was greeted with an ovation from the hotel school faculty. “The announcement of the appointment today was greeted with enthusiasm,” Martin said. Simeon Moss, Cornell press relations office director, said that Johnson’s reasons for waiting until 2006 to assume the position had to do with his family. He will travel on behalf of the school and speak with alumni over the next academic year.

Johnson succeeds current Dean David Butler, who has been in the position since 2000. Johnson received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D and MBA degrees from the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the marketing faculty at Michigan since 1982.

Johnson said that he has a lot of experience doing research in the business, marketing and hospitality areas.

“[The job is] a nice fit for me,” Johnson said.

Earlier this semester, Lehman offered the position of dean of ILR to Prof. Jan Svejnar, another professor from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Svejnar has yet to accept the position, which has drawn criticism from some ILR students and faculty. Prior to becoming Cornell’s president in 2003, Lehman served as dean of the University of Michigan Law School.

Johnson said that he met Lehman for the first time during the dean search.

“My basic goals are to improve relations with the students, improve the faculty and work with the alumni,” Johnson said.

When asked why he decided to accept the position, Johnson said that he “wanted the challenge of leading a great institution. The people are outstanding.”

Archived article by Sun Staff