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Dr. Hubert B. Van Hoof Selected to Lead New Penn State School of Hospitality Management


University Park, Pa. --May 6, 2004 -  A noted academic leader who has bolstered industry partnerships and created international learning opportunities for students throughout his career has been selected to lead the new Penn State School of Hospitality Management.

Dr. Hubert B. Van Hoof, currently professor and assistant dean of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University, will become director of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management effective July 12.  In this capacity, he will lead one of the most distinguished and respected hospitality education programs in the nation.

“Dr. Van Hoof is an experienced academic administrator and leader who will bring great energy and perspective to his new responsibilities at Penn State,” noted Dr. Raymond T. Coward, Schultz Professor and Dean of the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, when making the announcement.  “He is an established scholar, dedicated classroom instructor and industry consultant.  I look forward to working with him to enhance and expand the reputation and stature of the Penn State School of Hospitality Management.”

“It will be an honor and a privilege for me to work with the faculty and staff of Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, and to build upon its already stellar reputation in both undergraduate and graduate hospitality management education.  I look forward to intensifying the exemplary relationship between the School and its alumni and to enhancing its solid rapport with the hospitality industry,” Van Hoof said.  “This program will continue to attract talented undergraduate and graduate students and to graduate both the hospitality industry leaders of tomorrow and the very best young hospitality management researchers and educators.

“This is a personal and professional dream come true,” he added.  “I owe a personal debt of gratitude to Dr. Sara Parks, my predecessor, for leaving me such a well-established program and to Dr. Ray Coward, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, for enabling me to step into this position.  I will give the faculty and staff of the school, its alumni and the industry it serves and the leadership of the College of Health and Human Development and Penn State all of my energy, experience, enthusiasm, abilities and care for hopefully many years to come.”

As professor and assistant dean at Northern Arizona University (NAU), Van Hoof is an integral part of a leadership team that guides a School with nearly 600 students and 17 full-time faculty members.  His responsibilities include oversight of the daily operations for the Inn at NAU  a 20-room, full service hotel and restaurant associated with the School.  He also has administrative responsibility for the Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center, which provides state, national and international clients with quality research focusing on the hospitality, tourism and foodservice industries.  The center maintains partnerships with industry leaders such as Best Western International, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Cini-Little International, Darden Restaurants, Marriott International, McDonald’s Corporation, Ramada Inns, Walt Disney World and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, as well as the National Park Service, the Arizona Office of Tourism, and many state-wide Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce.

Van Hoof has consulted on issues of operational effectiveness with various hospitality organizations throughout the United States, the Caribbean Islands and Europe. Van Hoof was recently engaged by Forever Resorts, an international lodging and resorts conglomerate, to look into the development of online training for all of the general managers working for that organization.  Through the Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center, he has also been retained to develop and deliver intensive hospitality training to 130 concession managers in the U.S. National Park Service system who are located throughout the United States and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Van Hoof has consulted regularly with food service and hospitality operations in Arizona, including the Arizona Office of Tourism, Amerisuites Hotels, which owns and operates 230 facilities in 32 states, and several locally owned and operated restaurants.

Van Hoof is an active researcher, particularly in the areas of hospitality management education, hospitality information technology, international education, accounting and cost control, and public policy issues in tourism and recreation.  He has authored or co-authored nearly three dozen refereed articles, and is the lead editor and contributing author of the textbook A Host of Opportunities: Introduction to Hospitality Management, the second edition of which will be published by Prentice-Hall in Spring 2005.  From 1998 until 2003, Van Hoof served as the executive editor of The International Journal of Hospitality Information Technology.

Since joining the NAU faculty in 1991, Van Hoof has dramatically increased international learning and research opportunities for NAU’s students and faculty.  For example, he has established a network of ten international student exchange partner programs in The Netherlands, England, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Australia and Macao, and he has established international cohort programs from Germany, The Netherlands, Thailand and China, enabling students from those countries to come and study in the U.S. for periods of up to two years.  He was the creator of NAU’s international hospitality management major, the first and only major of its kind being offered by a state university in the United States that prepares students for international hospitality careers by helping them attain second language proficiency, requiring them to spend a semester of studying abroad, and offering them courses with a distinctly international focus, as well as international internship opportunities.  He is currently in the process of developing a joint master’s degree in international hospitality and tourism management with the Breda University of Professional Education in The Netherlands, the University of Barcelona in Spain, The University of Angers in France, and Arizona State University.

Before coming to NAU, Van Hoof worked and studied at the Hilton College for Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, where he taught international food service management and managed at Barron’s/The University Club, a restaurant focusing on international cuisine. He received his Ph.D. in public administration from Arizona State University, and his master’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Houston. He also received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Penn State has been a nationally recognized leader in hospitality education since 1937 and counts many industry leaders among its distinguished alumni.  To capitalize on that excellence and position the program for further growth and success, the Penn State Board of Trustees recently approved the creation of the School of Hospitality Management as a stand-alone academic unit within the College of Health and Human Development.  The School will become fully operational as of July 1.

Dr. Van Hoof can be reached at


S. William Hessert, Jr., 
Director, College Relations
College of Health and Human Development
The Pennsylvania State University
102 Henderson Building, University Park, PA  16802
(814) 863-4325

Also See: School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University Offering New Major: International Hospitality Management / May 2000
Oklahoma State is One of Only Five Hotel Schools in US with Teaching Hotels on Campus / October 2002

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