HOUSTON—A new dean will take the helm at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management this summer. Dennis Reynolds, Ph.D., currently the Ivar Haglund Endowed Professor of Hospitality Management and director of the Wine Business Management Program at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management, is expected to begin his duties at Hilton College on July 1, UH Provost Paula Myrick Short said. Final approval is expected by the UH System Board of Regents on Feb. 19.
Reynolds, a prolific researcher and sought-after speaker on global service-management issues, said the College’s reputation as one of the world’s top hospitality programs and its distinguished faculty are what attracted him to the job, and he hopes to build upon those foundations as dean.
“My primary goal as dean will be to extend the global reach and reputation of Hilton College. I hope to see us enhance our graduate education programs while maximizing the undergraduate experience, including innovative educational platforms that will help prepare our graduates to be successful leaders in the global hospitality industry,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds brings a valuable blend of real-world experience and academic acumen to the position. A former J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, Reynolds is also a two-time graduate of that program, earning both his doctorate and Master of Professional Studies there. He received a B.S. in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Golden Gate University.
His industry experience includes time as an operations analyst for Food & Beverage Investigations, a regional operations manager at SODEXO USA and vice president and general manager of North American operations for Nutrition Management Services.
“We are thrilled to have an internationally-respected industry and educational innovator in Dr. Reynolds to lead the Hilton College,” Short said.
The College’s seventh dean, Reynolds follows longtime Dean John Bowen, who is retiring after 12 years to rejoin the faculty.