Message from the Dean
Dear Students, Prospective Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as the fifth Dean of FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, a Top 10 U.S. public hospitality & tourism program and ranked 35th in the world.
What a difference a year makes. The hospitality and tourism industry is thriving again, after 15 months of uncertainty. So many people around the world, including our own alumni and students, fiscally made it through this year because they pivoted, became nimble, and used technology to their advantage. COVID-19 took much from us this past year, but it couldn't suppress our spirit and resolve.
In fact, for nearly 50 years, the Chaplin School has been a pillar in the hospitality industry and served as a beacon of hope for many aspiring students and for the community.
This past year, through the SOBEWFF® & FIU Hospitality Industry Relief Fund, thousands of furloughed hospitality workers, including many of our alumni, received more than $1.6 million in immediate financial assistance specifically meant to help restaurants and bars in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It all began with an initial $1 million dollar donation from the Chaplin School.
As the leader in graduating the most Hispanic and Black undergraduate hospitality students in the U.S., we are also committed to seeing our student population reflected in the industry. That's why this year, in partnership with a donor, we created the first ever endowed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professorship, with the goal of developing DEI curriculum and creating a pathway to success for underrepresented talent in the hospitality industry.
Building upon the legacy of the leaders before me, now more than ever, we will focus on student success, the cornerstone of FIU. As the global leader for sustainable hospitality and tourism management, we are committed to a diverse, personalized student-centric culture to prepare industry leaders for the future.
More than 80 percent of our students find employment upon graduation. Our existing relationships make us unique and set us apart, such as our collaboration with Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits as co-producer of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®).
The Chaplin School continues to build upon the model that has produced so many successful alumni over the years, but with a focus on innovative new programs, such as our new online bachelor of art degree in Global Sustainable Tourism.
This is an exciting time and place. If you're a prospective student, we want you to consider joining us. To our current students and alumni, on behalf of our faculty and staff, I am grateful to you for choosing our FIU and FIU Hospitality. Paws Up!
Michael Cheng, Ph.D., CHE