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History of the Department of Hospitality Management

  • The Department of Hospitality Management at IUP traces its roots back to 1916 when a household arts and science course in cooking was first offered at what was then Indiana Normal School.

    Founded in 1875, the Indiana Normal School began the tradition of providing “hands-on” learning experiences for its students which still remains deeply embedded in our curriculum today.

    The household arts and science cooking course proved so successful that, by 1930, the courses were being conducted out of two food laboratories in what is now McElhaney Hall. In addition, these facilities also featured a dining room utilized by the class to sample and evaluate its prepared products.

    School Lunch Program Added

    By 1937, a formal school lunch program was added to the curriculum. This course featured quality, quantity food and, through a satellite feeding system, provided lunch to students at Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School. The school lunch curriculum was expanded in 1940 to include larger kitchen facilities and an eat-in cafeteria in the old Leonard Hall. From here, students satellite-fed those enrolled in the institution’s “laboratory school” as well as offered the general public a noon meal in the cafeteria.

    In 1965, when the institution was granted university status, the expanded food production courses were organized under the Department of Institutional Management. The department name was changed to the Department of Food Service Management in 1971 to reflect the inclusion of commercial operations management into the program. The department continued to evolve and again was renamed the Department of Food and Nutrition in 1973.

    The explosive success was brought about as a result of increasing enrollment in the Food Service Management major, combined with the rapid growth and demand for formal hotel management courses. This led to the formation of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) in 1989.

    Established as a Regional Leader in Hospitality Education

    HRIM played a pivotal role in the university over the next 14 years as it successfully prepared students for entry-level management positions in the business of hotels and restaurants. During this time, the program established itself as a regional leader in hospitality education.

    As the demands of the contemporary hospitality industry required professionally trained hospitality managers to service the needs of a highly sophisticated clientele, and to efficiently and effectively manage the businesses within the growing hospitality industry, the continued assessment of student learning identified emerging technical, human relations, and conceptual skill-sets now required for the successful hospitality manager.

    To meet these contemporary demands, HRIM evolved into the Department of Hospitality Management (HOSP). In April 2003, a major curriculum revision became the catalyst for the continued evolution of the department. The name also effected the change of the curriculum from a tract-based curriculum-of-study to a dynamic, flexible, student-friendly curriculum. The curriculum maintained a contemporary major academic core designed to provide a professional skill-set with real-world application. This major academic core is complimented by a Liberal Studies component, yet permits the student individual flexibility in selecting hospitality management elective courses driven by their specific career interest.

    Restructured Core Classes and Concentrations

    In response to changing industry demands, HOSP again revised its curriculum in 2015. A restructured core is complemented by concentrations in hotel and lodging, restaurant and food service, and special events management.

    The department consistently enrolls 300 majors, making it the second largest undergraduate hospitality program-of-study in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.