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New Director for The School of Hospitality Business

McCall said a key factor is being part of the Eli Broad College of Business. ā€œIā€™m looking forward to partnering with the rest of the college and being able to engage all of the people and resources it has to offer,ā€ he said.

On January 1, 2015, Michael McCall officially donned two hats for Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. The first is Director of The School of Hospitality Business. The second, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Endowed Professor.

McCall, who earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Buffalo and a master’s and doctorate at Arizona State, comes to Michigan State from Ithaca, NY, where he held academic positions at both the Ithaca College School of Business and the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

He’s astute, enthusiastic, and constantly in search of ways to make his industry better. One of those ways involves using data accumulated through customer loyalty programs to make a consumer’s experience more individualized, more luxurious, and more cost-effective.

In Ithaca, he had everything he needed to pursue this research, but in East Lansing? He has more. For him, moving to Michigan to fill big shoes in a big program at a big university was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Previously led by Ron Cichy, the longest-serving director in its 87-year history, MSU’s School of Hospitality Business is recognized as one of the best hospitality business programs in the world. Walking into it, McCall wasn’t intimidated. He was excited. “The school is in the perfect place,” he said of the award-winning program cultivated by Cichy. “Now, I get the opportunity to envision it in three to five years and figure out how to get there.”

McCall said a key factor is being part of the Eli Broad College of Business. “I’m looking forward to partnering with the rest of the college and being able to engage all of the people and resources it has to offer,” he said.

Fresh off his first 100 days in office, McCall is already forming plans. “Have you ever heard of the Fosbury Flop?” he asked, referencing the innovative style, now used by every world-class high jumper, that was introduced into international competition in 1968 by U.S. Olympic gold medalist Dick Fosbury. “We need to have a Fosbury Flop in hospitality business.” That is, what we currently understand and teach about hospitality business helps the industry succeed. But eventually, someone is going to come up with a creative new idea that will raise the bar. He wants The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State to be that “someone.”

For more information on making a gift to the Broad College of Business, contact Director of Development Vivian Leung at leung@broad.msu.edu or by calling (517) 355-8504.

Author:  Devon Barrett