Hospitality Management Education Initiative Advisory Board Meeting

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Hospitality Management Education Initiative (HMEI) Advisory Board Meeting
San Diego, CA
May 1, 2015

I welcome you to San Diego State University.

Thank you to all our campus hosts for their hospitality and for ensuring such fantastic weather today… and of course, thank you to everyone here for your dedication to this initiative, the CSU, and this state. I appreciate it, and we all benefit by your advice and counsel.

Hospitality and San Diego seem to go hand in hand… and for three reasons.

Earlier this week, I received a kind handwritten personal note from Lindsay Cress – thanking me in advance.  Smart move, Lindsay – there’s no chance I’d cancel now.

I was met this morning at Parking Structure 5 – by hospitable students.

Earlier this week, I was in the area for a conference of our risk management and business leaders in the CSU. Welcomed by the San Diego Police Department… turned right on red…

At this conference on Tuesday, we discussed discussing partnerships, leadership, and innovation to forge pathways for student success.

Partnership and innovation… two words that aptly describe the CSU’s Hospitality Management Education Initiative and its strategic plan moving forward… leveraging our collective knowledge, wisdom and expertise to drive this initiative and the future of California.

Earlier this week, the CSU released a new Fact Book for 2015 – which is in front of you - containing up-to-date figures and demographic information for the system. 

These new figures indicate that the CSU remains a vital piece of the state’s economic and social well-being… and will continue to be the catalyst for positive growth and change in California… one student at a time, but done at scale.

As the nation’s largest senior comprehensive public university system - educating over 460,000 students and with 3 million living alumni - the CSU is uniquely positioned at the nexus of academics and business to partner with the hospitality and tourism industry, develop human resources, and spur innovation through research.

Our campuses offer a wide range of degree programs that accentuate California’s exceptional and diverse tourism and hospitality offerings.

And in 2014, the CSU conferred about 95 percent of all hospitality industry-related degrees in California. 

I think the hospitality term for that is full occupancy

At the same time, California’s tourism industry pumps over $110 billion into the economy annually… and combined, the hospitality and restaurant industry accounts for over 2.6 million jobs in the state, a figure that is expected to continue to grow by 2025.

When we talk about the importance of the CSU and the hospitality industry to the socioeconomic success of California, the proof is really in the numbers.

Moving forward, the keys for this initiative will be to continue to connect the dots between the CSU and industry to:

  • build pathways to student success through a quality, accessible education;
  • ensure that the needs of the industry are being met;
  • lead the way in innovation and research in hospitality and tourism; and
  • spur socioeconomic prosperity in California.

The Hospitality & Tourism Management Education Initiative Strategic Plan 2015-2020… which places additional emphasis on the tourism industry in California, hence the inclusion of Tourism in its name… will help guide our efforts in meeting these goals and preparing students for the needs of California’s hospitality and tourism industry.

I am very eager to see this plan set into motion… and I’m thankful of the work that this initiative and its members have done and will do to see these goals come to fruition.

With that, I’ll now turn the program over to Cal Poly Pomona President, Soraya Coley.