Message from the Dean

Dear faculty and staff,

I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as the Dean at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

For the last 45 years, the Chaplin School has been a pillar in the hospitality industry and an invaluable talent resource, as well as a beacon of hope for many aspiring students. So many of its graduates have accomplished great things in the hospitality industry around the world.

I embrace this responsibility and will devote all my time and energy to preparing and educating those who will lead us in the future.

Building upon the legacy of the leaders before me, now more than ever, we will focus on student success, the cornerstone of FIU. We’ll forge intimate industry relationships to amplify resources for the students, while we strengthen the existing relationships that make us unique and set us apart, such as our collaboration with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits as co-producer of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

As the world evolves and the industry with it, we need to continue to evolve our curricula, in order to maintain that delicate balance between education, industry, and students. Students need to be prepared to meet industry demands. At the same time, our industry needs graduates who can lead and drive innovation and growth.

The Chaplin school will build upon the model that has produced so many successful alumni over the years, but our sight is set on raising the bar. We aim to redefine hospitality education. Future graduates will have the option to focus on growth areas, such as data science, food and beverage science and hospitality real estate development and, with faculty collaboration, hone in on research and innovation.

I want to express my immense gratitude to Dean Mike Hampton for his leadership and vision during the last seven years. I also want to give special appreciation to the faculty and the staff at the Chaplin School, without whom our past accomplishments and future success would not be possible.

I am committed to encouraging innovation and creative thinking, some of the principles I employed when developing the curricula for Culinology®. Our success is only limited by our ability to imagine what is possible.


Michael Cheng, Ph.D., CHE

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