The Groves of Academe
The phrase Groves of Academe is from the works of the 1st century poet Horace. He wrote, “Atque inter silvas Academi guaerere verum.” The translation is: And seek for truth in the groves of Academe. When I came across this recently, I was struck by the use of the term ‘groves.’ For me, it created an image of many separate groves of trees, all contained in one larger estate. Within those groves were rows and rows of trees, each representing constructs of hospitality and tourism ideas. Some of the efforts are about advancing our sharing of truth (teaching and learning). Some efforts are about pushing the frontiers of what is known to identify ‘new’ truth (research). Some efforts are about how we use our truth to meet the needs of others (service).
Our hospitality and tourism academy is that vibrant set of groves. There are many of us that belong to this academy, working individually yet diligently to advance knowledge in hospitality and tourism (which is ICHRIE’s mission). Some of us are that grove over there, fine tuning our teaching techniques. Others are in the grove across the way, deep into a research project. And of course, many of us bounce between groves, spending a bit of time on one and then switching over to another. That’s one of the joys of our academy: the ability to shift our focus and energy to different groves, depending on what is needed at the time and what captures our interest.
I do acknowledge that the groves would sprout from the earth regardless of the formal boundaries of the estate. Using this analogy, our ‘estate’ is ICHRIE. What the ICHRIE academy does is provide a framework in which we can organize our individual work and collectively share it. ICHRIE creates a voluntary organization that we can join. ICHRIE creates venues for us to meet to discuss our work (conferences), publishing outlets for our written work (publications such as JHTR, JHTE, JHTC, and the Research Reports), and networking opportunities for us to actually meet our peers so that we can build professional relationships.
Six of those venues are regionally based via our federations. Another venue is the annual summer conference, which is designated as our international conference with the intention of bringing members from far and wide together. Between these seven conferences and the four publication outlets, ICHRIE creates a broad range of opportunities for our work to be nurtured, harvested, and shared. While no socially-constructed mechanism is perfect, what we have collectively built across the years as our Groves of Academe is ICHRIE. It’s been a useful mechanism for us to interact as an academy. Let’s keep the estate healthy and tweak the structure as needed to continue to meet the needs of those many vibrant groves within it.