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President's Message

About this Series of Education Articles

As the President of ICHRIE, I was asked by Rachel Chen, the current Director of Education, to comment on the articles in this edition of the Communique. This special issue about Education Issues is the third in a series that was created in the Strategic Plan for 2020 as one way to meet the needs of members. It has been a pleasure reviewing the submitted articles that have come from across the globe. What I find most interesting is that several of the articles address the concern that we aren’t necessarily meeting the needs of Industry in our educational programs. Clarifying the needs as we attempt to educate the future managers for the industry is important for us. As a long time educator in the field of hospitality and tourism, determining what is most important for our graduates as far as skills, knowledge and abilities has been an ongoing challenge. And, of course, as the industry changes so do the needs.

Each of the authors has detailed a tool or practice that they use to try to meet the current challenge. One theme found in these articles is the need for our students to have practical experience in one way or another. Maureen Brookes outlines the mentorship program employed by her university. Mary Dawson describes the student managed “think tanks” in which students define the topics for industry practitioners to present as members of panels. Cynthia Deale illustrates the questions she asks herself as she engages students in experiential, authentic learning projects. Kevin Roberts explains two examples of experiential learning in the classroom setting. Ralf Burbach mentions dual study programs and flipped classrooms, while Thu Thi Trinh is preparing curriculum to educate and train in the midst of the Vietnamese tourism boom.  

I hope that you will read these articles and, hopefully, get an idea or two that can help you in your quest to educate future hospitality and tourism professionals.

More from our President: Strategic Planning Update

As promised, I will try to keep all of you up to date with the happenings of the ICHRIE Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The Executive Committee met in New York in November during the HX show. Chris Roberts, advisor to the board, was present and got the executive committee starting to think about the strategic review of the organization that we plan to complete.  While the organization works through this review, the current strategic plan 2020 created under the leadership of Maureen Brookes and approved by the Board of Directors in July 2015 remains in place. There are five targeted areas from the strategic plan that are being worked on this year under the leadership of Amit Sharma, ICHRIE’s current Vice President and chair of the strategic planning committee.

Chris explained the proposed planned process and targeted an end date of December 2018. To begin the process, the organization’s mission, vision, and values will be examined. There will be an established framework to use for making decisions going forward that will involve the ICHRIE membership at various points in the process.  He asked for and received the support of the Executive Committee members. The purpose of the strategic review is to help ICHRIE evolve and remain relevant to members and potential member as we go forward. The group then discussed the reality that some things long held dear may have to change…

The Executive Committee also discussed a potential new mission statement. The draft of this statement was agreed upon by the Executive Committee and sent to the current strategic planning committee for comment. It will be forwarded to the Board of Directors and reviewed at the Board Meeting to be held at the end of January in Baltimore. After the board meeting, it will be sent to the membership for comment and commitment.  I, along with other members of the executive committee and board of directors, will keep the membership informed and included as we work through this important review. 

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