Hiring preferences for hospitality educators

This study examined the attitudes of hospitality administrators on the relative desirability of various qualifications of faculty, including doctoral degrees and industry experience. The study used a survey instrument that was designed to address the following questions: (1) What qualifications with respect to terminal degrees and industry experience do hospitality education administrators prefer when hiring hospitality faculty?, (2) What factors influence hospitality education administrator preferences regarding faculty qualifications?, and (3) Do hospitality education administrators at similar programs have cognate preferences for faculty qualifications? The results indicated a preference for hiring faculty who possess a Ph.D. over those with a D.B.A., Ed.D., or J.D. as a terminal degree. Industry experience was also a desired qualification for faculty. The study also indicated that hospitality programs cluster into two groups, primarily smaller programs which place less emphasis on the doctorate and industry experience than larger programs. Because of the current shortage of hospitality faculty, those without the doctorate or industry experience continue to provide a large portion of the professoriate. However, these faculty will ultimately need to pursue the doctorate and gain substantial industry experience if they wish to survive in hospitality education.