While industry certification programs are growing, budget cutbacks affect hospitality programs at colleges around the country. The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, ranked as one of the country’s top two college hospitality programs, is eliminating its meeting and events center as part of more than $30 million in budget cuts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Along with three other former majors—professional golf management, gaming management, and food and beverage—meetings and events will now be offered as a concentration within the hospitality major.
About seven years ago, the college grew along with the city’s gaming industry. College administrators and industry representatives say the expansion went beyond the hotel college’s core mission of hospitality management during the go-go years in Las Vegas. “There was broad support for going back to the basics,” Dean Don Snyder, former president of casino giant Boyd Gaming Corp., told the Las Vegas Sun. “We were not as focused as we could be.”
Snyder said hospitality employers consulted during the process preferred students with a broad base of knowledge as opposed to a specialized career. The same reasoning was cited for cuts in hospitality programs at the University of North Carolina, which were among 60 underperforming programs eliminated in what the university said was an effort to get more aggressive about their mission and concentrate on core degrees.