In August, Dr. Youcheng Wang will become dean of UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, a leading pipeline of tourism industry talent and longtime partner of Visit Orlando. Prior to joining UCF as an assistant professor in 2003, Dr. Wang (pronounced “Wong”) worked for the Beijing Institute of Tourism, the Beijing Tourism Administration and the University of Illinois. Currently, he is Rosen College’s associate dean of Academic Affairs and Research. Author of three books, Dr. Wang has received several awards for his research and is a frequent speaker at international conferences and industry forums.
What goals do you have for your first year?
It will be a busy but productive year, focused on collaborating with faculty and staff to develop a strategic plan for the next five to 10 years. Among other things, we will focus on a more comprehensive curriculum targeted to various industry sectors, as well as on continued student success, especially continued high-placement rates. Most importantly, we hope to position UCF Rosen College as a hub of knowledge creation by hosting international conferences and workshops for idea generation and intelligence sharing. We also want to provide faculty and staff with resources for their success; fortify research programs; and communicate research outcomes to various stakeholders while further engaging the hospitality and tourism industry at large.
Why should employers hire UCF Rosen College graduates?
Our mission is to develop future generations of global hospitality and tourism leaders, while our educational philosophy is to apply creative decision-making techniques in responding to different industry opportunities. Our curriculum provides both academic preparation and practical experiences that students will need to enter, succeed and thrive in hospitality management careers. Our approach emphasizes attitude and behavior, which are equally important for successful careers in the service industry.
How successfully do your students transition into careers?
Upon graduation, 97 percent of our students have full-time jobs and are consistently elevated to key management positions within a short period of time. We provide the industry with a high-quality, talented workforce and educated citizens to the society at large.
Why is Visit Orlando an important community partner?
Visit Orlando’s mission is to brand, market and sell the area globally as a premier leisure, convention and business destination, while our mission is to develop future generations of global hospitality and tourism leaders representing all industry segments in the hospitality capital of the world. We are very well-aligned, and we both contribute greatly to the region’s economic growth and play a critical role in preserving our region’s status as the No. 1 destination in North America.
Any closing thoughts on what the future holds for UCF Rosen College?
First of all, I am honored to serve as dean. I understand the responsibilities and value the trust and expectations people have expressed. By working together with faculty, staff, students and industry partners, we will collectively make UCF Rosen College a global center of excellence in hospitality education, research, scholarship and industry engagement. I look forward to all that lies ahead for the college and our industry.