Robert Nelson

Associate Professor

Department: Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management
Campus Address: 202 Raub Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6455


Robert R. Nelson, associate professor and immediate past chair of the University of Delaware’s Department of Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management. Bob came to the University of Delaware as an assistant professor in 1990 and served as department chair from 2007 to 2011 and associate chair from 2000 to 2007. Prior to coming to the University of Delaware, Dr. Nelson was among the founding faculty of Drexel University’s hospitality program.

Dr. Nelson’s research on tourism development has led to numerous academic publications and paper presentations. He served as editor of the Journal of Convention & Event Tourism from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Nelson’s book projects include Current Issues in Convention and Exhibition Facility Development and Developing a Successful Infrastructure for Convention & Event Tourism. In the upcoming year he will spend his sabbatical from the University of Delaware as a visiting scholar at Cornell University’s Center for Real Estate and Finance where he will look to develop new models to assess public / private partnerships to encourage hotel real estate development.

Dr. Nelson is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the Lodging Industry. He serves and has served on the board of directors of several industry and philanthropic organizations. Among them are the Delaware Hotel & Lodging Association, the Delaware Restaurant Association, FTA, Blue Hen Hotel LLC and the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. Dr. Nelson earned his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware's School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy where he focused on tourism and convention centers as catalysts for local economic development. He is a graduate of Cornell's School of Hotel Administration and has an MBA from Drexel University's LeBow College of Business.

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.4 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Fund, 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 Anu Sivaraman, who is among Social Media Marketing Magazine’s “Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter” and’s “Top 50 Marketing Professors on Twitter” - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer experience-driven learning and emphasize evidence-based analytics methods to enrich the student experience. Here, finance students visit New York City’s financial districts for a first-hand look at markets trading and to meet with UD alumni.

Charles W. Horn, AS75, and wife Patricia, recently made a $3 million commitment to enhance and expand entrepreneurial studies.

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