UH considering merging TIM with Shidler
University of Hawaii leadership is resurrecting efforts to recombine the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management School with the Shidler College of Business Administration, a move that has been heavily debated over the last decade.
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University of Hawaii leadership is resurrecting efforts to recombine the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management School with the Shidler
College of Business Administration, a move that has been heavily debated over the last decade.
A 2011 attempt met with resistance from some at the campus and in the industry, who weren’t convinced that the change would benefit travel industry students. The concept also was
defeated on several other occasions when TIM school alumni and industry leaders opposed it.
The TIM School was once under the business college, but became autonomous in 1991. Proponents say that the separation gave the
TIM School the ability to
respond more nimbly to industry needs, attract more attention and build long-term relationships, especially in Asia.
But UH Interim Chancellor David Lassner and Michael Bruno, UH interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, sent a memo Monday saying the TIM School’s “sterling reputation has diminished” and that “it will now take substantial work to restore.”
The memo directed TIM School Interim Dean Thomas Bingham to work with Shidler College of Business Dean Vance Roley and Kathy Cutshaw, vice chancellor for administration,
finance and operations, to develop a proposal to place the TIM School within the Shidler College of Business Administration.
Early reactions suggest that the proposal isn’t likely to encounter the same level of resistance that defeated similar efforts. At the same time, Bingham said “it’s also fair to say that there isn’t complete agreement that
a merger is in TIM’s best
“This is a complex matter. There are several areas where being part of Shidler could be complementary
to both units. … However, giving up the autonomy
that TIM has had for 26-plus years, that Chuck Gee and others fought so hard for,
is a very serious matter with significant impact on all our constituencies,” Bingham said.
Joe Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors, said he’s not necessarily opposed, but as an alumnus is “concerned about the integrity and focus of the discipline and how much might be diluted.”
But Keith Vieira, principal of KV &Associates, Hospitality Consulting, and an executive-in-residence at Shidler, said he thinks the change will produce graduates who have a better grasp of core business
Gee, TIM School dean emeritus and UH regent emeritus, said he doesn’t favor the change, but views it as “inevitable” since the TIM School lacks the resources to hire a permanent dean with visitor industry ties.
“In the past, students and faculty would lead protests all the way up to the state Capitol, but in this weakened state I don’t see that happening,” Gee said. “But if they try it and it doesn’t work, I think that there’ll be a strong push to change it back.”
Roley said he was encouraged that Gee and some TIM School faculty seemed more inclined to consider combining forces than they were in the past.
“I’m excited about the possibility of helping the TIM School re-establish itself as one of the world’s major hospitality programs,” Roley said.