Letter from the Dean – P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program Edition

Welcome to the P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program in Hospitality and Tourism Edition – March 2022

I am proud to share with you the launch of the P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program in Hospitality and Tourism, a nationwide initiative developed in partnership with a consortium of deans and directors from Hospitality programs at universities across the country.

Black, Hispanic, and First Nation peoples are dramatically underrepresented in hospitality doctoral programs. A survey of such programs conducted in early 2020 revealed that only 3% (5 out of 166) are people of color (POC); what is more, 11 of 14 programs surveyed had no POC candidates at all. It should come as no surprise that most major hospitality programs in the United States have very few, if any, POCs among their tenured/tenure-track faculty. Indeed, just 8.4% (13 out of 160) of tenured and tenure-track faculty at the top 20 programs are POCs, with 8 of the 20 programs having no POC faculty at all.  

Our goal is to create a pathway for students from underrepresented groups to ascend into the role of tenured professors. The potential of the P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program extends much further beyond the halls of academia. Hospitality, as both a business and a pleasure, is integral to all aspects of our lives and livelihood. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to change our classrooms and our society into one that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and most of all, antiracist, following the mission of the Center for Antiracist Research, founded by Ibram X. Kendi, here at Boston University.

In this special edition of Boston Hospitality Review, you will read personal stories from professors of diverse backgrounds about their Ph.D. Pathway: Richard A. Currie, Ph.D., Boston University School of Hospitality Administration, E’Lisha V. Fogle, Ph.D., The Collins College of Hospitality Management, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Juan M. Madera, Ph.D., Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston, James Arthur Williams, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, and Deanne Williams-Bryant, Ed.D., Bethune-Cookman University.  They speak candidly about the obstacles they encountered and how in which they overcame them. 

This special edition also ushers in the P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program in Hospitality and Tourism conference on April 8-9, hosted by Boston University School of Hospitality Administration. The conference introduces student attendees from underrepresented minority groups to such topics as academic research in hospitality, how tenure works, and financing for doctoral programs. The student attendees will have the opportunity to learn from people of similar demographic backgrounds, meet potential mentors, and network with hospitality academics and administrators, particularly Ph.D. program directors and deans of hospitality programs.  

I hope you will join us in these efforts! To learn more about the P.O.C. Ph.D. Pathway Program in Hospitality and Tourism and the conference on April 8-9, visit our website or contact me at aupneja@bu.edu.

 

Yours in hospitality,

Dean Arun Upneja

Arun Upneja, Ph.D.

Dean of Boston University School of Hospitality Administration

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