Department of Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management


Welcome to the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management!

Time flies when you are having fun and we are having fun! Twenty-five years ago the Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management department was born in a trailer tucked in the corner of main campus. It started with an idea and a dream that Dean Alex Doberenz had to create a world-class hospitality program at the University of Delaware. He hired a visionary and leader in the industry, Paul Wise who brought his military and club management experience to UD and created a program that would become one of the leading hospitality management programs in the country.

This year marks a quarter of a century of excellence in hospitality innovation and education for the HRIM Department.  We now have two undergraduate majors and an innovative masters program. Due to our faculty, staff and students we have the most innovative learning labs on campus. Vita Nova is a destination fine dining restaurant and the Courtyard by Marriott consistently earns high marks for customer service from guest surveys and on Tripadvisor comments. The department is consistently ranked in the top ten hospitality programs in the United States. Our faculty have been recognized for their scholarly research nationally and internationally among all hospitality and tourism programs for research productivity and scholarly work. The best hospitality companies hire our graduating seniors and our alumni are making names for themselves as leaders and entrepreneurs in all segments of the industry. 

On a personal note, this is my first year at the University of Delaware.  I was hired in January to be a professor and department chair of HRIM. The HRIM program is not new to me, as I have observed and admired the program and UD HRIM students over the years. As a new professor at Widener University in the late 1980’s I was intrigued by the rigorous experience driven learning the HRIM faculty had created. Over the years I would meet UD faculty and HRIM students at industry conferences and regional programs. The students were always professionally dressed and well prepared. It was at that time that I decided that I wanted to work at the HRIM program at UD. Little did I know that it would take almost 25 years to make the trip from Chester, PA to Newark, DE by way of Purdue University and the University of South Carolina.   While at Purdue University, I had the pleasure of teaching several UD HRIM alumni in the masters and PhD programs. They were very bright,  had excellent industry experience and were well prepared for the analytical thinking that was required to be a successful graduate student.  While at the University of South Carolina as the associate dean I was charged with developing study abroad programs. I looked to UD and modeled the study abroad courses after the HRIM programs as UD has the reputation for consistently offering the best HRIM study abroad experiences.

Today we have approximately 2000 alumni who continue to make a difference in the hospitality industry and in their communities. We are so proud of our students and alumni and look forward to celebrating their successes at the Gala on October 17, 2013.  I look forward to seeing you there as we thank those that have created a strong foundation for the present and recognize our alumni and all those that will create the future of the HRIM program and the hospitality industry.

Sheryl F. Kline
Department Chair, HRIM

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

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