Previous School of Hotel Administration deans to speak at 90th Annual Hotel Ezra Cornell

Feb 13, 2015

Media Contact: Kira West, Marketing & Communications Director,

Ithaca, NY - Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) is an annual weekend-long educational conference, a 90-year tradition at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA), put on by the students for hospitality industry leaders. The purpose of the conference is for SHA students to practice skills they have learned in the classroom and showcase their talents to industry professionals. This year's conference, HEC 90, will take place March 19-22.

This year, one of the most highly anticipated programs is a panel featuring former SHA deans, led by Dean's Advisory Board member Ted Teng '79, president & CEO of the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. The panel, titled Deans' Panel: Hospitality Leadership, will feature former deans John J. "Jack" Clark, David A. Dittman, and David W. Butler -- who assumed the deanship in 1981, 1990, and 2000, respectively -- along with Michael D. Johnson, the current Bradley H. Stone Dean and E.M. Statler Professor, as they discuss their times as dean of SHA.

This panel is a fantastic opportunity to hear from the influential deans who led the school through decades of success. 

Since becoming the sixth dean of SHA in 2006, Michael Johnson has continued to uphold the school's outstanding regard and notable reputation within the industry. Because of that reputation, he was recently invited to appear on Corporate Review, hosted by Donald Trump, Jr.

In his Corporate Review interview, Dean Johnson describes how SHA distinguishes itself from other, more typical business programs. Johnson notes that SHA has continued to develop with the industry, expanding upon its humble beginnings as an operations program. "What distinguishes SHA is that we provide an outstanding, grounded business education that is dynamic, complex, and people-oriented, and it's framed in the context of the hospitality industry," says Johnson. He points out that while global GDP is growing at about 2%, in the hospitality industry the rate is close to 4.5%. This highlights the importance of a great hospitality education, but also shows the need for great leadership in this education.

Dean Johnson's Corporate Review segment also features commentary from SHA faculty members and footage from around Statler Hall, where SHA is housed on the Cornell University campus. The segment is available to view online at:

To help describe why Cornell is a leader in its approach to hospitality education, Dean Johnson quoted one of his fellow professors, who stated, "There are a lot of great programs that will teach you the hospitality business, but there is one that teaches you the business of hospitality; that is Cornell."

With the theme of HEC 90 -- "...and the rest is history!" -- in mind, this panel will provide not only a unique opportunity to hear from prior deans regarding how they have seen growth since their times leading the school, but also insight on how these leaders see the School of Hotel Administration in the future.

About the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University
The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit