School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM) Name Change

The name of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management was changed at the February 10, 2014 senate meeting to the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management (HFTM). This name change was the culmination of a series of discussions, informal and formal, that took place over several years. The new name reflects the expansion of the School's expertise and research activity more accurately and fits well with the University of Guelph's identity as Canada's Food University.
The College of Management and Economics (now the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics) began a discussion concerning its identity, structure and administrative processes during summer 2012. This was undertaken in part due to the recognition that the College needed to more effectively brand itself and its programs along with the need to continuously enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of internal processes. In concert with these discussions, other academic units also revisited their names, and eventually three name change requests - College of Business and Economics, Department of Management (formerly Department of Business) and Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management - were submitted to the Provost for consideration at the same time.
In summary, the principal reasons for the name change are:
  • Several faculty members had become increasingly involved in the area of sustainability and social responsibility as it relates to food and food supply chain systems. Examples of these initiatives include: Garden-to-Table, the University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project (UGSRP), restaurant and home kitchen waste research, custom course development for the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, Farmers ’ Market research projects and LEAF certification for PJ's. 
  • The School has been very successful in attracting research funding from OMAF, Longo's Supermarkets and Tim Hortons in the areas of sustainable coffee production, animal welfare, home meal replacement and UGSRP.  
  • Faculty service roles in the food sector include the OMAF/MRA Research Program Director for Product Development & Enhancement through Value Chains, which capitalizes on current knowledge and seeks to look more broadly at the consumer end of the food-value chain. Extending the HAFA program beyond food services will further complement and consolidate the University’s position as Canada’s Food University. 
  • Work in food systems management is continuing at this time, and is expected to be incorporated into student learning as existing courses (for example Intro Foods, Cost Control, Service Operations Management and Revenue Management) are updated with topics relevant to food systems management, and new courses are developed in areas such as Food Systems Safety, Alcoholic Beverage Distribution and Supply Chain management.
Prior to submission of the proposal to change the name of the School, the current and past Directors engaged with meaningful discussions summarized below:
  • The proposed name change was discussed informally during several HTM faculty meetings held in 2012-2013, and these discussions were shared by the School’s representative on the Strategy/Structure Taskforce with other academic units.
  • The opinions of several Policy Advisory Board members and alumni were sought, all of which supported the name change.
  • Fourth-year undergraduate students and a group of HTMSA student leaders were informed of the proposed name change in a pre-class announcement and were given the opportunity to provide verbal or private feedback (by email). The students were supportive of the change, and a few spoke in support of the proposal provided their program (specialization) names were not affected.
  • The three proposed name changes were communicated to all faculty at the August 2013 retreat, followed by a formal vote for the School's change during the HTM faculty meeting on September 30, 2013. A majority (1 abstention, none against) of faculty voted in favour of changing the name of the school to the "School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management".