Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business

The School of Hospitality Business
MSU Hospitality Business logo.png
Motto The First, the Original, and Still the Leader
Established 1927
Type Public
Director Dr. Ronald F. Cichy
Academic staff 12
Undergraduates 865[1]
Postgraduates 25
Location East Lansing, Michigan, USA
Website www.bus.msu.edu/shb


The School of Hospitality Business is an industry-specific school within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. Founded in 1927 as the nation's first business-based Hotel Training Course, The School of Hospitality Business now has 865 undergraduate students, 25 graduate students, and 12 faculty members.



MSU's School of Hospitality Business was founded in 1927 when the Education Committee of the Michigan Hotel Association met to discuss development of a college-level hotel management school, after which Michigan State approved a Hotel Training Course. When classes started, there were 18 students majoring in the Hotel Training Course.[2]

In 1947, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation granted $1.4 million for construction of the Kellogg Center for Continuing Education. The program was also divided into three major areas of concentration: Hotel Management, Restaurant Management, and Institutional Management that year.

In 1951, Kellogg Center for Continuing Education was opened. The first General Manager was Weldon Garrison, a 1946 graduate of The School of Hospitality Business. The school's offices were moved to the Kellogg Center, enrollment increased to approximately 300, and the Les Gourmets dinner-dance was founded as annual event.

In the 1960s, the Eppley Foundation granted the University $1.5 million to build the Eugene C. Eppley Center for Graduate Studies in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. The school is still housed in this building. The School became the first program in the country to offer a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, and enrollment reached 550.

In the 1980s, CAREER EXPO, the nation's leading hospitality career fair was founded, and enrollment eclipsed 1,000. Dr. Ronald F. Cichy, an alumnus of the school, was appointed Director of the School. The Visiting Distinguished Chefs Series was founded.

In the 1990s, the Hilton Lecture Series was founded, the school’s internship office was renamed the Student and Industry Resource Center (SIRC) and was endowed for $1 million, the First Annual Hospitality Association/Alumni Association Auction was held in the Kellogg Center, the Michael L. Minor Master of Science in Food service Management was launched as a complement to the school’s MBA in hospitality business, the Hospitality Association offered its first Vegas Night.

In the 2000s, the school became independent within the Eli Broad College of Business, the school's Alumni Association published the 75th Anniversary history book: The Legacy of the Leader, the Master’s Degree in Hospitality Business and the Graduate Specialization in Hospitality Business are launched, faculty developed and launched a Hospitality Business Real Estate and Development Specialization for undergraduates.


The School of Hospitality Business offers the following programs on both undergraduate and graduate levels:


The School’s faculty was ranked number one by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research in “mean productivity” from 1992–2001, and in having "the most intensely" contributing authors amongst the Top 20 universities. According to the study, the School’s faculty published 1/3 more articles than their closest competitor, and almost double that of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. In another study reported on by the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, a half dozen faculty members of The School of Hospitality Business were named among “Hospitality’s Most Influential Scholars.” The faculty also received the 2006 Richard J. Lewis Quality of Excellence Award for outstanding leadership. [3]

Notable Faculty include:

  • Dr. Michael Kasavana, a leading expert on hospitality information technology. He has authored 6 books and coined the phrase "V-Commerce," and is considered the world's expert on this concept. Dr. Kasavana is the recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award, and was the first recipient of a Distinguished Achievements Award from FS/TEC.
  • Dr. Bonnie Knutson, an authority on consumer lifestyle and buying trends, strategic marketing, and marketing research. She is currently the editor of the Journal of Hospitality and Marketing, a national scholar of the National Advertising Foundation, a winner of the Golden Key Teaching Excellence Award, and the coveted Withrow award for excellence in teaching and research.
  • Dr. Jack Ninemeier, the author of 42 books utilized both in the industry and in classrooms around the world.
  • Dr. Raymond Schmidgall, the Hilton Hotels Professor of Hospitality Financial Management and an accounting and financial management expert. He has authored 2 books on the topics of hospitality accounting and finance currently used at leading hospitality institutions around the world.

Study Abroad

While Michigan State University currently has the nation's largest study abroad program with more than 200 programs reaching 60 countries on all continents,[4] The School of Hospitality Business directs courses in China, Dubai, India, Norway, United Kingdom and Australia. Study abroad programs are currently under development in the school for Italy and Puerto Rico. Dr. Arjun Singh, a faculty member for the school currently serves as the Eli Broad College of Business Study Abroad Program Director.


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