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, the #8 U.S. public hospitality and tourism program, ranked 33rd in the world. Time Magazine recently named Miami one of the world’s greatest places. Our amazing location and high standard in education, make us the global destination to study, learn and live in the exciting field of hospitality.
The best news is that the hospitality and tourism industry is thriving again, after two years of uncertainty. So many people around the world, including our own alumni and students, fiscally made it through the pandemic because they pivoted, became nimble, and used technology to their advantage. COVID-19 took much from us, but it couldn't suppress our spirit and resolve.
In fact, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, the Chaplin School is proving itself to be a pillar in the hospitality industry and serves as a beacon of hope for many aspiring students and for the community.
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, $500,000 from the Festival’s benefiting charity, the Chaplin School.
As the leader in graduating the most Hispanic, Black and International undergraduate hospitality students in the U.S., we are also committed to seeing our student population reflected in the industry. That's why in partnership with a donor, we created the first ever endowed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professorship. Our goal of developing DEI curriculum is now reality, and our mission of creating a pathway to success for underrepresented talent in the hospitality industry is well underway.
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.
Our existing relationships make us unique and set us apart, such as our collaboration with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits as co-producer of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One.
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 online bachelor of art degree in Global Sustainable Tourism and our most recent online master’s degree in hospitality management cruise line operations management.
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