Cornell University School of Hotel Administration
|Dean||Michael D. Johnson|
|Location||Ithaca, New York, U.S.
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The School of Hotel Administration (SHA) at Cornell University is a specialized business school for hospitality management founded in 1922 as the first four-year intercollegiate school in the world devoted to the field. It is one of a few hospitality management schools in the country that is not part of another academic department, school, or college, though until 1950, it was operated as a department within the New York State College of Home Economics. The undergraduate business curriculum at the School of Hotel Administration is one of only three such Ivy League programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) including the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Cornell University's Dyson Applied Economics and Management program, and Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Cornellians generally refer to it as the Hotel School, and its students and alumni as Hotelies.
The nature of SHA was in large part the creation of professor Howard B. Meek. He was supported in his efforts by New York City hotel men, a number of whom testified in Albany, urging the legislature to appropriate $11,000 per year for the school. Edward M. Tierney of the Ansonia Hotel stated "There is a dearth of competent hotel employes [sic], and such a course at Cornell would have the endorsement and co-operation of the hotel men generally throughout the country... The war brought a great change in the hotel worker, and the old-time attitude of servility has been replaced by efficient service giving and courtesy. Young men now enter the hotel business just as they would banking, railroad, or commercial life, to find a future in it, and the hotel man must offer the same attractions of commensurate pay and advancement."
In 1927, at the 2nd Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, Meek convinced a skeptical Ellsworth Milton Statler of the value of the concept; Statler declared "I'm converted. Meek can have any damn thing he wants." Statler and his wife became major benefactors of the school, eventually donating a total of more than $10 million. In 1950, the school was transformed from being a part of a statutory college into becoming an endowed unit of Cornell.
In 1948, the Statler Foundation funded the construction of a 50-room Statler Inn and the adjoining class-room building called Statler Hall. The building also housed Cornell's faculty club. The 750-seat Alice Statler Auditorium was added to the southern end in 1956. In 1986, the original Statler Inn was torn down and replaced with the current 150-room Statler Hotel & J. Willard Marriott Executive Education Center. The Statler Hotel underwent another renovation in 2006 and now has 153 guest rooms. The Statler Hotel is the only hotel on campus.
The school enrolled 895 undergraduates and 67 graduate students in 2011, hailing from almost 50 countries; it is Cornell's second smallest undergraduate college. Its curriculum encompasses all facets of general business management with a focus on the hospitality industry. Although not required, many students choose to work at the Statler Hotel to supplement their education at the school. SHA employs 65 full-time faculty members, most with field management experience.
In 1954, Conrad Hilton, who was closely associated with the school after his company bought the Statler hotel chain, called it "the greatest hotel school in the world." Conrad Hilton later became more closely associated with another school after he founded the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston in 1969.
SHA's course catalog includes several offerings popular among students in other Cornell colleges, notably HADM 4300, Introduction to Wines, a wine tasting course which enrolls 600–900 students each semester, as well as a 2-credit cooking course.
SHA also boasts technical courses such as Real Estate Finance and Investments (HADM 4428), Securitization and Structured Finance (HADM 4425), and Investment Portfolio Analysis (HADM 4429). Roughly 40% of undergraduates go into banking or consulting fields after graduation.
Experiential education is prevalent in the SHA curriculum. Hands-on learning opportunities include:
- Hotel Leadership Development Program: HLDP blends academic coursework with managerial experience to prepare students to assume leadership positions following graduation. If accepted into the program, students select a development track from the following: Accounting, Food and Beverage Division, Human Resources, Rooms Division, or Sales and Marketing.
- Hotel Ezra Cornell: HEC is an annual weekend-long educational conference put on by students of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration for leaders of the hospitality industry. HEC includes educational seminars, leisure activities, and food and beverage events. Students practice the skills they have learned in the classroom and showcase their talents to industry professionals.
- Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition: The Hospitality Business Plan Competition provides an experiential learning opportunity to young entrepreneurs. The competition begins in the fall and continues through the academic year with submission of final business plans in February, the start of the media campaign in March, and ends with group presentations during Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) in April. A team of judges determines the winners and prizes totaling $30,000 are awarded.
- Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition: Each year, the Center for Real Estate and Finance invites student teams to participate in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. The teams meet in New York and are given the case of an actual real estate transaction that has been disguised. In semi-final and final rounds, the teams analyze the transaction and develop a set of recommendations. The three teams that are chosen as the best in the semi-final round then make their presentations to the full panel of judges, who are real estate and finance experts.
- Guest Chefs Series: The Guest Chefs Series is hosted by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and gives students the opportunity to team up with all-star chefs to create three unique dining experiences. This class also improves students' overall awareness of current culinary trends and gives them direct access to recognized experts in the field. Past Guest Chefs have included Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Daniel Boulud, and Jose Andres.
- Establishment at Statler: Establishment at Statler is a student-run restaurant and the culmination of a multi-year process by students in HAdm: 3350 Restaurant Management. Each semester, after two weeks of training, students self-select into management teams of three; each management team is responsible for directing their peers one evening per semester in the operation of the restaurant. To that end, each management team proposes and executes daily menu additions, markets the restaurant, and trains and manages their classmates, to deliver a unique dining experience for guests.
Through its centers, institutes, and more than 100 corporate partnerships, SHA brings together hospitality business leaders, scholars, and entrepreneurs. The Center for Real Estate and Finance promotes student education and serves the real estate and finance industry. The Center for Hospitality Research creates and shares new knowledge with the industry and also promotes and encourages student research. The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship supports students' drive to become entrepreneurs. The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations provides a platform for students, employers, employees, unions and their advocates to understand and to improve hospitality labor and employment relations.
SHA's Office of Executive Education offers custom-blended programming, online and onsite instruction, and distance-learning options to hospitality professionals. The school has more than 20,000 executive education alumni.
In a 2007 Newsweek article dubbing Cornell the "Hottest Ivy", SHA was mentioned to be "considered the world's best."
Fictional Hotelies have included:
- In Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart, a hotel manager attended the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration because it was the only Ivy League school he got into
- In Dirty Dancing, Neil
- In 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan's friend, Fat Balls
- In Hotel by Arthur Hailey, Peter McDermott, manager of the St. Gregory.
Some notable alumni of the school include the founders of Alamo Rent-A-Car; Arby's; Burger King; Dunkin' Donuts; Duty Free Shoppers Group ; HVS Global Hospitality Services; and PriceWaterhouseCoopers Global Hospitality Consulting. (For more, List of Cornell University alumni)
Degrees and certificates
The full-service Statler Hotel has 153 guest rooms at the center of Cornell's campus. The hotel also serves as a primary teaching tool for the School of Hotel Administration. Each year more than 200 SHA students work alongside professionals in a range of hotel and restaurant operations.
In 2011, 2012, and 2013, the Statler Hotel was awarded a 4-diamond rating by AAA.
- "The School and the Industry - Cornell School of Hotel Administration". Hotelschool.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Cornell also offers general business degrees, at the undergraduate level through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and at the graduate level through the Johnson School.
- "AACSB Accredited Schools Listing". Aacsb.net. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- checked October 2, 2007
- "2033-STATLER HALL & AUDITORIUM Facility Information". Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- At Cornell School, No Expense Spared; Tim Minton; The New York Times April 25, 1979, p. C4: "In 1954 Conrad Hilton... was addressing the celebrants. 'He had just said that it was a distinct honor to speak at the greatest hotel school in the world,' recounts Dr. Beck, who was then a doctoral candidate, 'when just at that moment—it couldn't have been timed more perfectly—a wagon went over in the kitchen. It sounds like every plate, bowl and glass in the place had hit the floor.'"
- "25 Hottest Schools".
- Professional Development Program (PDP)>
- "The Statler Hotel Wins AAA Four Diamond Award - Cornell School of Hotel Administration". Hotelschool.cornell.edu. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Huxtable, Ada Louise (1973), "Hospitality and the Plastic Esthetic", The New York Times, October 14, 1973, p. 153
- New York Times, January 22, 1922, p. 33: "Hotel Men Approve Cornell Training: Hope Legislature Will Appropriate $11,000 a Year for Educating Help."
- History of the Hotel School "Meek can have any damn thing he wants."
- Brad Edmonson, Hospitality Leadership: The Cornell Hotel School. (1996)