It gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Muzaffer "Muzzo" Uysal is joining our faculty as the new Chair of our Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM) program. The hands-down choice of our search committee, Professor Uysal brings many career highlights that underscore his leadership in the hospitality and tourism field. He is a relationship-builder with both industry and academe, a dedicated and innovative educator, and an internationally renowned hospitality researcher.
Professor Uysal comes to us from Virginia Tech’s highly regarded Pamplin College of Business. He has experience both at the undergraduate and graduate level, served as his department’s coordinator of the HTM undergraduate program, and founded and ran his department’s Study Abroad program, which attracted students from various majors each year. During his distinguished career, Professor Uysal also served as Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Programs at the University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management.
An acknowledged leader in the field of hospitality, Professor Uysal was the 2016 recipient of the John Wiley & Sons Lifetime Research Achievement Award at the Annual ICHRIE (International Conference of Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Educators) conference. The award is given to an International CHRIE member who has made and continues to make significant contributions to the field of hospitality and tourism. He was also honored with the 2016 Leslie Reid Alumni Award at the 50th Anniversary of Texas A&M University’s Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, an award that recognizes graduates from the department who have excelled in the profession. As an internationally acknowledged academic leader, Professor Uysal has served as co-chair for three conferences, as a member of scientific conference organizing committees for more than 10 conferences, and as track chair/reviewer for over 15 conferences.
Professor Uysal has extensive involvement in the industry and will focus on connecting HTM students to the best internships and job opportunities. He is a long-time member of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the International Travel & Tourism Research Association. He was invited to serve as a consultant to a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project Multilateral University Consortium: the US-Turkey-Armenia Project via the University of Florida. He also served as a member of the advisory board for “Northern Insights,” funded by the Norwegian Research Council on the area of creating value-tourism experiences. Professor Uysal has conducted workshops and seminars in more than 30 countries. He was appointed as “Extra Ordinary Professor” for three years until February 2016 in the Tourism Research Unit in Economic Environs and Society at the Potchefstroom campus of the North West University in South Africa. Professor Uysal has been on the Board of Directors at the National Tour Foundation: Education Advisory Council and the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies.
In addition to all of Professor Uysal’s relevant leadership and educational experience, he is an internationally prolific researcher in the field of hospitality. That will serve as a magnet to attract top faculty talent as the HTM department continues to evolve. His 150+ articles in refereed journals (11,000 citations) have focused on the supply-demand dynamics of tourism and tourism behavior, including decision making by tourists and quality-of-life issues that accompany tourism. His research is pragmatic, grounded in industry partnerships in numerous countries, including Saudi Arabia, Norway, Italy, Turkey, Armenia, South Africa, and China. He has also published 29 book chapters, and over 50 publications in refereed conference proceedings. Professor Uysal is also a Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences.
Professor Uysal will bring inspired, pragmatic, and energetic leadership to our Department of Hospitality & Tourism Management. I have no doubt that his accomplishments will help attract the next generation of HTM faculty. We are planning opportunities for you to connect with him when he joins us in September, so keep an eye out for those invitations.
I would like to thank the search committee for their excellent work. I would also like to thank Denise Coll, a member of the HTM advisory board, for assisting us in the search. Finally, I would like to thank Linda Enghagen for the leadership and energy she has brought to her role as Interim Chair. We are grateful for her service over the past academic year.