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ECU announces School of Hospitality Leadership

July 27, 2012

ECU News Services
A name change for an East Carolina University program reflects its focus on educating a new generation of leaders in hospitality, according to the program director.

The Department of Hospitality Management has changed its name to the School of Hospitality Leadership, following completion of an approval process that began in 2011. Dr. Bob O’Halloran, who has served as department chair for five years, assumes the role of director.
Dr. Robert O'Halloran

“The school has grown considerably, and we see the name change as a necessary step in our growth and in positioning the program to compete globally,” O’Halloran said. “The formation of the school is one of the growth initiatives in progress at ECU. We see the school as a key provider of leadership talent in North Carolina and beyond,” he said.

The transition from department to school status is well deserved, said Dr. Judy Siguaw, dean of the College of Human Ecology where the school resides. The change “reflects the strong interest from ECU students in the rapidly growing hospitality industry and better showcases the significant international reputation of the hospitality faculty,” she said.

The school is the largest hospitality education program in the state, with approximately 450 students and a curriculum that has historically emphasized leadership. Associate professor Cynthia Deale recently received grant funding from BB&T to research and develop new leadership modules to add to the hospitality curriculum.

Students can complete a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management on campus or through distance learning. Concentrations include food and beverage management, lodging management, and meeting and convention management. Exceptional students may complete a combined BS in hospitality management and an MBA with a hospitality management option in five years, an opportunity unique in North Carolina and in the Southeast.

For more information on the ECU School of Hospitality Leadership, visit

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