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VOL. 129 | NO. 24 | Wednesday, February 05, 2014

University of Memphis' Kemmons Wilson School Becomes Independent

By Bill Dries

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The University of Memphis is making the 10-year-old Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management an independent school within the university.

The school has its own bachelor’s degree curriculum with 60 credit hours of coursework. The coursework had been a third of that previously.

With the autonomy, the school will also offer concentrations in event management, lodging, and food and beverage services.

The Kemmons Wilson School had been a part of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics since it was founded.

The school is housed in a full-service hotel and conference center on the university campus and is named for the late founder of Holiday Inn.

His son, Kemmons Wilson Jr., said in a statement that the school’s goal is “a real-world environment within an academic setting.”

“By broadening our course curricula, students will be better prepared on a wide range of hospitality issues,” Wilson added. “Ultimately, it will allow us to improve our training in regards to first-hand service standards, business challenges and real-time operations.”

Dr. Radesh Palakurthi, professor and director of the school, said the status as a separate school means it has achieved “the critical mass it needs to offer a more focused program in hospitality and resort management.”

Since becoming interim university president in July, Brad Martin has talked of more university programs aimed directly at the job market. It’s also been a theme of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

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