If you’re a faithful reader of MeCo posts or follow news items about special events education, you’ll have heard that the University of Nevada Las Vegas is eliminating its meetings and events major – the first (and one the few) education programs to actually award four-year degrees in meetings and events. Note: they are not getting rid of most of the actual courses or the three instructors in the program, but students who enroll in the fall of 2011 will graduate with a degree in Hospitality Management and a “concentration” in meetings and events. That’s “a step down”, according to Professor Patti Shock, the creator of the program and long-time education advocate of higher education in our industry.
I gave Patti a call to see what was behind this seemingly crazy decision – after all, Las Vegas is probably the No. 1 city for meetings, conventions and events and it just doesn’t make sense to cripple a program that feeds young talent into the system.
“It was strictly budget cuts,” she told me – no back-room politics or funny dealings behind closed doors. State-funded schools are being hit hard all over the country, and they’re cutting everything they can just to survive.
It could be worse. At least the courses and instructors will still be there. And Patti tells me that she’s trying to work a compromise that will allow the new Meetings and Events concentration to be noted on the diploma.
We’ll be taking an in-depth look at education options for industry professionals in the June/July print and digital edition, and will update you on Patti’s progress at UNLV.