For release: February 4, 2014
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
The University of Memphis recently announced a strategic shift to operate the Kemmons
Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management (KWS) as an independent school
within the University. The KWS, which has been housed as a part of the Fogelman College
of Business & Economics (FCBE) for the past decade, will now have a unique opportunity
to serve its students with a more industry-driven curriculum.
“We are very excited for the new positioning of the Kemmons Wilson School,” said Kemmons
Wilson Jr. “We want to provide a real-world environment within an academic setting.
For example, the School itself is housed in a full-service hotel and conference center.
By broadening our course curricula, students will be better prepared on a wide range
of hospitality issues. Ultimately, it will allow us to improve our training in regards
to first-hand service standards, business challenges and real-time operations.”
"As our enrollment grows, we believe that the Kemmons Wilson School has achieved the
critical mass it needs to offer a more focused program in hospitality and resort management,”
said Dr. Radesh Palakurthi, professor and director of the School.
Palakurthi added that the new bachelor’s curriculum has 60 credit hours of coursework
in the major compared to about one-third of that previously. It will also offer concentrations
in lodging, food and beverage, and event management in the near future to better meet
the needs of its students.
“As an important institutional partner of I.H.G. Academy (InterContinental Hotel Group)
and The Hilton Worldwide based in Memphis, we have striven to provide our students
with the necessary skills to become successful managers in the rapidly globalizing
hospitality and resort industry,” added Palakurthi. “Such skills are accomplished
through experiential learning, mandatory internships, computer assisted learning and
simulations, and live corporate cases. We believe that this independence will allow
us to be in sync with the needs of the industry.”
“The Kemmons Wilson School has grown considerably in the last several years and, after
10 years of wonderful support from the FCBE, is ready to move toward autonomy,” said
U of M Provost David Rudd. “This step will allow the school to focus on the unique
demands of the rapidly evolving hospitality industry, along with local partnerships,
growing the resort management side of the school, and a co-op effort at the Lambuth
Campus. I have great confidence that the school will quickly rise to be a national