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SHA Dean to Step Down

Christopher Muller will continue to teach

Christopher Muller, Boston University School of Hospitality SHA

Christopher Muller became dean of the School of Hospitality Administration in August 2010. Photo by Vernon Doucette

In his two years as dean of the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, Christopher Muller didn’t get much rest. He made it his mission to redesign the school’s academic curriculum, he guided students toward a greater understanding of the international hospitality market through study abroad and courses here at BU, and he networked with industry leaders to give SHA graduates an edge in the job market.

Now he is moving on to something new.

Muller will step down as the dean of SHA at the end of the fall semester, and after a brief sabbatical will return to serve on the school’s faculty in the field of hospitality administration. He will focus on his core research areas of corporate and multiunit restaurant brand management, chain restaurant organization development and growth, and the training of multiunit management.

When Muller became dean in August 2010, he told the school’s newsletter, Check In, that increasing SHA’s research activities was crucial to making the school “a full partner in the University.” His own research is evident in more than two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles.

“Dean Muller has done a great job of making progress in the structure and outreach that SHA does,” says Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer. “He has worked with the faculty and industry leaders to make sure that SHA is meeting the needs of the students, ensuring that the education our students are receiving is appropriate for students coming out of a research university with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.”

Under Muller’s direction, SHA was one of the beneficiaries of a two-year, $8.6 million installation and improvement project for wireless access on the Charles River Campus, covering more than 200 classrooms as well as dining facilities and dorm rooms. Following the upgrade, the school bought 80 iPads for faculty and students and incorporated interactive textbooks and real-time student polling of learning outcomes into classes.

Among many entrepreneurial ventures, Muller ran several eateries in New England and Florida, and he cofounded the European Foodservice Summit, Europe’s leading conference for international restaurant, supply, and food service executives. He also created the popular blog Starters for the trade publication Restaurant & Institutions Magazine.

Muller is a comfortable and welcome presence in front of a class—he was a guest lecturer at SHA back in 1994 when it was a subsidiary program of Metropolitan College. Previously, Muller helped found the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, which is the largest hospitality management college in North America. He also taught at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, where he won Hospitality Teacher of the Year five times.

Muller says that while he has been honored to serve as dean of SHA, he is excited about returning to teaching.

“As anyone who knows me will agree, I seem to be at my best in a classroom,” says Muller, who arrived in Zurich, Switzerland, yesterday to host the 13th European Foodservice Summit. “In fact I often say I look at teaching as a ‘competitive sport,’ always striving to make my lecture this morning the one you will still be discussing over dinner with your friends tonight.”

Morrison says an advisory committee will work to find a new dean by the end of this year.

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Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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